Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, released this statement regarding the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia:
The video images of the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old who was jogging near his home in Brunswick, Georgia, will remain with us. In the wake of this killing, we grieve the hearts broken and trust shattered. Arbery’s family and the families of all victims of gun violence remain in our prayers for comfort, peace and God’s grace.
As United Methodists and followers of Christ, we are firmly committed to social justice and unrelentingly opposed to gun violence and racism. We encourage open, honest and compassionate discussion and cooperation centered on respect and justice for all. Our responsibility is to shine God’s light in a dark world, dispelling the shadows of hatred that divide us.
I commend to you today’s statement from the UMC Council of Bishops, calling for justice and the eradication of racism and white supremacy. I also lift up pastoral words from Bishop R. Lawson Bryan and ask you to join me in prayerful support for the people of the South Georgia Conference through this agonizing time.
Grace and peace,
L. Jonathan Holston