On behalf of the Church of God of Prophecy Trust, in the United Kingdom, and our churches in Belgium and Netherlands, its board of trustees and eldership, we express our profound condolences with prayers to the family of Mr George Floyd, extended families and wider communities in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Having seen the callous and brutal murder, of Mr Floyd, an African-American and father of children, in the gaze of our global village, the outpouring of grief by many over the past days; from coast to coast, nation to nation and his memorial, we bow our knees in solidarity, prayers and petitions to our God.
Our hearts are broken, we are torn as we sit in the global house of mourning with so many of our fellow humans, black, brown and white, across our international village. We do so being fully cognisant that even though we are separated by thousands of miles, culture and huge oceans, we are not divided in our total condemnation of such an heinous racist criminal action. We have, like so many, traversed the international bridge of grief to converge in Minnesota, where we meet other mourners, and those further afield within the United States of America. We join with our General Overseer of the Church of God of Prophecy, our North American Presbyter, and a vast international company of ecclesiastical, political and business leaders in condemning racism, overt or covert, institutional or individual.
The murder of Mr Floyd is unquestionably indicative of where, “justice has been systemically barred and turned away from black people, and righteousness has stood afar off in silence; for truth has fallen in the street, for many generations and uprightness cannot enter in its fulness.” What should we the church, the ekklesia of God be saying and doing? We ask God for forgiveness where we have been silent and inactive in the face of oppression. We resolve to collaborate with other churches, para-church organisations within the United Kingdom, and our International church administration to synergise our efforts and resources, to explore how we can collectively be catalysts for change within our broken, unjust and systemically flawed governmental infrastructures, across our global village.
Mr Floyd’s untimely passing has provided a cauldron in which human empathy, from people of all colours and creed, is being poured into and fused to build a memorial for positive change, over the heat of and despite structural injustice and opposition. We embrace the spontaneous international energy seen in protests across the nations, in the cry for meaningful change.
We believe all men are made in the image of God. This means that God poured himself into all of us, irrespective of our ethnicity, origin the colour of our skin, or social standing, there is ‘something’ of God in all of His creation. Therefore black lives matter; white lives matter; every life matters!
We believe that inward wholeness and social wholeness are inseparable, because we are all connected through the breath of God. In our fallen and broken world we the Body of Christ are and must be salt and light. We must therefore bring the truth of God, clarity of purpose, hope, reconciliation and healing. It is this light that connects each successive day and with it the hope of our world. Dark though the clouds may be, our world is never without light. The Body of Christ is that light! It must therefore embrace its mandate and in the paraphrased words of John Wesley, spread wholeness across the nations, but we cannot spread wholeness, without bringing reformation and healing to the nations. I’m convinced, “that faith in the true and living God affects the whole of human nature. It commences with the conviction of the mind based on adequate evidence it continues in the confidence of the heart or emotions based on conviction and it is crowned in the consent of the will by means of which the conviction and confidence are expressed in our conduct.” May our conduct reflect the will and purpose of God.
Father, I pray for your immeasurable and unending comfort, guide and peace to be experienced by Mr Floyd’s family and extended families. I pray for the leadership of the United States of America, and every nation on your earth, at all levels of their infrastructure, the legislature, administration and executive organs of governments. I pray that the glorious light of the word of God will illuminate the process of legislation that it be just and equitable, that every cell of systemic darkness which conceives and purveys hate and bigotry, be consumed by the fire of your holy presence. I pray that that justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. I pray that these streams will flow through the ‘Whitehall’s’ of Europe, through the channels of Africa and to the ‘Whitehouses’ of the America’s. I pray that every man, woman and child be immersed in the flow of your presence. I pray for our churches and our leadership and that the prophetic voice be heard in the streets where truth has fallen, that pastoral counselling, administrative excellence and gifts of compassion and mercy, may rest upon us, and be experienced there also, and that we may reposition ourselves to sit where the broken, disenfranchised, marginalised black people, white people or brown man, woman or children are sitting. I bind the spirits of discord, jealousy, envy, anger, unforgiveness and strife and release the spirit of truth, unity, hope, justice and reconciliation in and through you. In the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.
This statement was originally published on the Church of God of Prophecy UK website - https://cogop.org.uk/george/