A Letter from the Bishop: March 18, 2021
“Love one another as I have loved you…”
Dear Siblings in Christ,
On March 16, 2021, a gunman took the lives of eight people on the outskirts of the Atlanta, GA. Six of the those who were killed were women of Asian ancestry. Over the last year there has been a dramatic and alarming rise in violence, racial discrimination, and hate speech against people of Asian ancestry. I join with other faith and political leaders in condemning violence and discrimination against people of Asian ancestry and acts of violence of any kind, particularly based on race, class, gender, misogyny, xenophobia, and sexual orientation.
During this Season of Lent, our souls weep at the continued acts of hate toward people of Asian ancestry and of all people of color who have been victimized by violence based in racism. Violent words and actions like this stem from the long legacy of supremacy and imperialism both in the United States and beyond.
My heart aches thinking of the fear and hurt that is a companion to our siblings who endure acts of hate and violence on a daily basis. As people of faith, we must act to end the scourge of violence and racism that has become a part of the cultural landscape of our nation. We follow Jesus who points us always towards God’s dream of Beloved Community where all nations, tribes, languages, and people gather as one at the welcome table. It is my fervent hope and prayer that we will one day, as beloved people of God, recognize the beauty of the Divine in each other.
May God grant to the victims eternal rest, comfort and hope to their families, and may the Holy Spirit inspire us to be a community of peace, inclusion, justice, and love.
Yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Deon K. Johnson,
Eleventh Bishop of Missouri