Former police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murdering Mr. George Floyd.
A moment of justice has occurred: Mr. Floyd’s death has been neither excused nor ignored. Many will welcome this verdict as a long overdue act of official accountability and humanity. Other people may respond to this verdict with lingering questions and concerns. As people of faith we are called to listen to all people and to do exactly as the prophet Micah said: “To do justice, love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.”
To do justice, we too must act. The young woman who took out her phone and filmed Mr. Floyd’s arrest, ensured that the world would have visual evidence of Officer Chauvin’s actions. What actions are we being called to take to create a more just world?
To love mercy, we must listen and learn. To whom are we being called to listen?
To walk humbly with our God, we dare not shy away from the divisive, difficult issues of our day, particularly those that involve systemic racism.
We are the people God is calling to create a more perfect union in our country. Our ministry of reconciling love, our ministry of loving our neighbors as ourselves, our ministry of respecting the dignity of every human being, begins again today.
We have much to do and we have been given many gifts to use. Let us build on this moment of accountability with deep prayer and focused action.
Tonight I invite your prayers for the community of Minneapolis, for the family members of Mr. Floyd and Mr. Chauvin, and for all who are grieving or feel unheard.
May all of us who feel exhaustion, joy, frustration, anger or even guilt be filled with God’s boundless love. May our hearts be comforted and know that God working through us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine and may we experience tonight the peace of Christ which passes all understanding.
On Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 8:00 p.m., our diocese will gather with dioceses throughout the country for a service of remembrance for Mr. George Floyd. I hope that you will save this time and date. Detailed information will be shared in upcoming days.
As the night falls on Minneapolis, the state of Minnesota and our nation, let us all continue to pray.
In Christ’s Name,
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry
11th Bishop of the Diocese of Michigan