Our Faith Affirms the Sanctity of Black Lives

Lblmesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people come in all bodies. As a part of the ReconcilingWorks community, we ask you to be bold in your stance of caring for all of God’s Beloved and know that acts of violence, killings, and mass shootings targeting people of color and the LGBTQ community must come to an end.

ReconcilingWorks has joined with our ecumenical partners in ministry to craft this below letter.

Join ReconcilingWorks in signing this letter in a cry of lament and call to action.

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The orginal letter lives online at: 

Lamentation from a Tulsa highway

As people of faith and leaders of faith-based organizations focused on justice and equality for all of God’s children, we mourn the death of Terrance Crutcher, who died a violent death on Friday, September 16, 2016.

Terrence Crutcher was an unarmed black man who was shot dead by a police officer on a two-lane road in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Seconds before he was killed, police dash cam and helicopter video footage show him walking to his car with his hands over his head as a police officer walked behind him with her gun raised. In a recording from the police helicopter, an officer is heard saying, “Looks like that’s a bad dude”.

"After watching the video and seeing what actually happened," said Tiffany Crutcher, Terence's twin sister, "we're truly devastated. The entire family is devastated.”

My soul is deprived of peace,
I have forgotten what happiness is,
I tell myself my future is lost,
all that I hoped for from the Lord
Remembering it over and over
leaves my soul downcast within me.
Lamentations 3:17-20

Tiffany Crutcher then went on to tell the media gathered in Tulsa, "You all want to know who that big 'bad dude' was. That big 'bad dude' was my twin brother. That big 'bad dude' was a father. That big 'bad dude' was a son. That big 'bad dude' was enrolled at Tulsa Community College, just wanting to make us proud.

"That big 'bad dude' loved God; that big 'bad dude' was at church singing, with all his flaws, every week. That's who he was."

But I will call this to mind,
as my reason to have hope:
The favors of the Lord are not exhausted,
his mercies are not spent;
They are renewed each morning,
so great is his faithfulness.
My portion is the Lord, says my soul;
therefore will I hope in him.
Lamentations 3:21-24

We pray for the family of Terrance Crutcher that they may experience God’s healing strength as they deal with the pain and loss of their loved one.

We pray for peace and compassion for the Tulsa community and all of the communities across this nation that have been devastated and wrenched asunder by these acts of awful violence.

We pray for justice, true and unfettered, that it may heal the wounds that this tragedy - and others like it across the land - has inflicted on our strained and fragile social structure.

Today, as we hear and read unfolding news from North Carolina of yet another fatal confrontation between police and black men, we know that prayer – while powerful in its own right – is not enough. We look to our various religious traditions and denominational cultures to find ways to engage people of faith in effective, non-violent and constructive efforts to bridge the chasms of fear and mistrust that separate us as a community, as a nation.

[ap_column span="3"]May God bless us all in this troubled time, Amen.

The Welcoming Church Program Leaders

Aubrey Thonvold, Executive Director
ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation

Bridget Cabrera, Deputy Director
Reconciling Ministries Network

Marilyn Paarlberg, Executive Director
Room for All (Reformed Church in America)

Phil Porter, President & Andy Lang, Executive Director
Open and Affirming Coalition of the United Church of Christ

Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, Executive for Health and Wholeness Advocacy
United Church of Christ

[ap_column span="3"]Rev. Rodney McKenzie, Jr., Director
Academy for Leadership and Action, National LGBTQ Task Force

Alex McNeill, Executive Director
More Light Presbyterians

Carol Wise, Executive Director
Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests

Rev. Mark C. Johnston, Ph.D., Executive Director
Open & Affirming Ministry Program, Gay Lesbian and Affirming Disciples Alliance

Believe Out Loud Team

Phil Porter, President & Andy Lang, Executive Director
Open and Affirming Coalition of the United Church of Christ[/ap_column]