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2015 RESOLUTION ON RACE
Church of God General Assembly

Whereas the Apostle Paul stated in Romans 12:15 that we should rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, and as we acknowledge the fact that we are one body and that there should be no division in the body, so that if one member suffers all the members suffer with it, and... 
 

Whereas in the wake of the fatal shooting last week of a pastor and eight church members during a prayer meeting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015 by a gunman motivated by his specific hatred of black people, and in the broadest of terms people of color, and desire to start a race war, and...
 
Whereas recognizing tensions created by several highly publicized incidents involving police shootings, and...

Whereas in observance of the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, a racially motivated act of terrorism resulting in the death of 168 persons, as the General Assembly of the Church of God we resolve to express our compassion and concern in the following six ways: 

Leadership--we call on pastors and leaders to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit to live out a counter-cultural lifestyle that works to expose and repent of the sin of racial division and acknowledges the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Prayer--we pray for healing, repentance, unity and peace, and we plead for God's mercy on our nation and on those who are compliant with the racial violence and racial disparities being manifested in the church and in the systems of this world;
 
Lament--we mourn in solidarity and sympathy with the people of Emanuel AME Church and the families, congregations and communities affected by the traumatic impact of these incidents, and we confess our past and present failure to walk faithfully and consistently in the light of our belief in a God who has no respect of persons;

Forgiveness--we affirm radical forgiveness of the persons whose motivation for doing harm to others is racial hatred and discrimination, acknowledging what Jesus taught and showed us by His death on the cross, that love is stronger than hate; 

Justice--we acknowledge that ministers in our own General Assembly and fellow congregants have been victims of racial profiling, we stand for justice to be administered on their behalf in a fair and impartial manner, we urgently call for justice in all cases of racially-motivated violence, and we support those agencies and officials who enforce the law and administer justice equitably to ensure the safety and security of all of our citizens, congregations and communities; 

Vision of reconciliation--we commit ourselves as people of Christian faith to envision, strategize and work toward the realization of a reconciled church, nation and world. Let it be further resolved that we, the people of the Church of God Reformation Movement, come to a thorough awareness that there is a disparity between our vision for reconciliation and the actual experience of many of our brothers and sisters; And, let us learn to listen to the stories our brothers and sisters share, express in word and deed our feelings of empathy, and commit to walk together as we boldly stand against every form of racism.
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