The Oregon Conference of theSeventh-day Adventist Church joins the chorus of voices to lift up the memory of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and the multitude of other black brothers and sisters whose lives were taken by unjust racially-influenced violence. We join the outcry for justice and raise our voice to stand in support of all of our brothers and sisters who continue to live in an oppressive shadow of racially-derived mistrust, fear and abuse by the dominant society.
The Bible proclaims:
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them” Genesis 1:27 (NewInternational Version). On this foundation, we believe that all humans are created equal to live in harmony and peace together.
We understand that the grand narrative of our Scriptures reveals a great controversy between good and evil in our world, which is apparent in the devaluation and harming of others and beckons us back to divine love and goodness. We denounce the evil of racism in all forms, and we denounce the injustice of systemic racism and classism. We support those who peacefully protest injustice and demonstrate non-violent actions to advance equality. Yet, we are pained by acts of violence, riots and destruction that bring harm to the cities and country we love.
We all need to be part of real solutions and strategic actions to address systemic racism and prejudice. We all must take substantive steps toward racial equality. For us, that starts with listening carefully to our minority brothers and sisters, learning from their experiences and taking steps together toward a more just society.
We have much to learn, but we know that the way forward includes practicing Jesus’ teaching to “love your neighbor as yourself” Matthew 22:39, (New International Version).
We call on every Seventh-day Adventist Christian in our territory to prayerfully live out this greatest commandment so that we may be agents of change, instruments of peace, and catalysts of healing in our society.
Together, we can find better solutions to helping all people in our territory achieve hope, healing and wholeness.