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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

A Letter to Congregations

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Dear Friends of God,

Once again, our nation has come face to face with our systemic racism. We are failing our people. We are not listening to the voices of those oppressed. We need to reform our justice system. We need to reform our police practices. We need to reform our economic system that deepens the impact of racism and dehumanizes our people. We need to reform our hearts. Communities of faith must be part of these reforms. We must put our faith into action. We must rise up and use our voices and our power. We, at Christian Theological Seminary, believe that congregations can make a difference.

Our dean, Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, and Faith in Indiana organized a Processional for Racial Justice on May 31, the Feast of Pentecost, in downtown Indianapolis. As religious leaders and people of faith in the city and the region we gathered and raised our voices in unison with countless others in our city and across the nation over the ongoing racism against Black and brown people in our country. On Sunday, hundreds of us enacted a die-in for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, which was how long police officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on the neck of George Floyd, resulting in his death. During the gathering, we called upon mayor of Indianapolis, Joe Hogsett, to implement a series of police reforms that would provide equal protection for Black and brown people. President Mellott and other members of the CTS faculty, staff, students and alumni were present.

Christian Theological Seminary calls upon all congregations to act in their cities and regions. Demand that your local officials put the appropriate measures in place that will provide justice and equality for everyone. Check out the LIVE FREE Reform Agenda of Faith in Indiana for inspiration. Join with people of other faith traditions and any who are committed to dismantling white supremacy and its destructive power. Organize peaceful protests and demonstrations to compel your local leaders act and lend your support. The gospel of Jesus calls us to speak out and act when justice is denied. When you do, know that you are not alone. We are taking action too. 

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