We are a community united in God’s love, actively sharing that love with all.
June 2, 2020
We are living in extraordinarily difficult times. We are still sheltering-in-place with the expectation that one day our lives will return to normal. We here at the Walnut Creek United Methodist Church eagerly await that time in which we can physically be with one another again!
Today I am writing to you on another difficult matter that faces us as a church and as a nation. You have no doubt heard the news of the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests across our country and the world in reaction to this injustice. Some of these protests have turned violent with blame on both sides. Property has been looted and damaged. We are in a state of chaos across our great nation.
This chaos has even visited our community here in Walnut Creek. On Sunday, May 31st, we witnessed looting in our Broadway Plaza, and even the Walgreen’s on North Main and Treat Boulevard was vandalized. We are now seeing boarded up businesses along Main Street all the way to downtown Walnut Creek. It is a time in which we are left wondering what our world is coming to.
It is the view of your pastor that the murder of George Floyd is symptomatic of a variety of issues that befall our great country, primary of which is the basic inequality that exists across our country. Our great country has struggled from the beginning to live by its credo “that all men (people) are created equal.” Our country fought a civil war over this. We have struggled mightily to overcome the scourge of racism in our society, and yet we find ourselves paralyzed once again with no answers and seemingly no hope.
I realize that as a white male, I exist in a very privileged place in our society. I have not had to struggle with what it means to live as a minority. I have not ever had to live in fear of law enforcement. I have never been looked at suspiciously because of the color of my skin. I never walked around in my neighborhood to have someone tell me I do not belong there. But this unfortunately is part of the daily lives of so many people in our country.
There is no easy answer to get us out of this malaise. It feels like for every step we take forward towards a more just and equitable society, we take two steps back, never obtaining that ideal. But we must not lose hope, for the message of Jesus is that even in the face of principalities and powers beyond our control, we have a power. We have the power and the capacity for Love. That is what Jesus based his life on. That is what such modern-day prophets like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi staked their lives on.
So, as we live in these uncertain times, let us continue to live that power of Love in our lives. Let us live that Love unconditionally in our lives so that others may come to know this Love that transforms lives, communities, and nations. In closing I leave you with these words from Robert F. Kennedy, which he spoke on the night Martin Luther King was assassinated:
What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black.
The Rev. Colin Kerr-Carpenter
Senior Pastor, Walnut Creek United Methodist Church