As faith leaders we write to condemn the brutal murder of George Floyd of Minneapolis and to commit to working toward a more just and equitable future.

The death of Mr. Floyd at the hands of police officers was a modern-day lynching. His death reinforces a long history of people of color, especially African-American males. Those who killed Mr. Floyd should be held accountable.   

History repeats itself again and again. Mr. Floyd's death was not an isolated incident. Others who have recently died include Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice. They have each been senselessly slain because of racism. We know this violence to be morally and legally wrong and yet, it continues.

The risk of police brutality makes living as a person of color dangerous. Protests, vigils and letters help us to express anger and grief, yet alone they will not change the learned behavior of racism. In order to curtail violent acts based on skin color, policies should be changed, and practices and behaviors should be punished so that inequities can be abated. If laws, policies and practices become more stringent, then perhaps violent acts will be lessened. But, in the meantime, many are dying.

We do this as holy work. Our respective faith traditions call us to be accountable to one another and to the greater power that holds us together. Making these changes is not work we can do alone.

How are you being changed by Mr. Floyd's death? How will these past two weeks guide your time and attention, and sharing of resources this next year? How will you help end racism? Since seeing these images, has anything changed in you?

As we hold the memory of Mr. Floyd in our prayers, we fall short if we leave these questions unanswered.

Molly Burgoyne Brian

Third Haven Friends Meeting

Rev. Sue Browning

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Easton

Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River

The Rev. Bill Chilton

Fr. Kevin Cross

The Church of the Holy Trinity, Oxford

Rev. Nancy M. Dennis

St. Stephen’s African Methodist Episcopal Church

Pastor Wendell Gary

Bethel Africian Methodist Episcopal Church

Heather Hall

Spiritual Director

The Rev. Julie Hart

Interim Pastor, Grace Lutheran Church, ELCA, Easton

Rev. Dartanyon L. Hines

Scotts United Methodist Church

Asbury United Methodist Church

Rabbi Naomi Hyman

Rabbi Peter Hyman

Temple B’Nai Israel

The Rt. Rev. Joel Marcus Johnson

Anglican Bishop of The Chesapeake, Ret.

M Walid Kamsheh, MD

Leader, Islamic Center of Easton

Rev. Leonard E. Palmer, Sr.

St. Luke UMC (Bellevue)

Matthew Peters

Executive Director, Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center

Rev. Tim Poly

Royal Oak Community UMC

Rose Potter

Community Leader

The Very Rev. Gregory L. Powell

Dean of Trinity Cathedral

Rev. Nancy Sajda

Interfaith Minister and President P.E.A.C.E.

Pastors Tony and Deborah Short

TriLife Christian Center

Edward Simonoff

Treasurer P.E.A.C.E.

Rev. Dr. Wm. T. Wallace, Sr.

Union United Methodist Church

Pastor Robert M. White

Pastor Walt Wiltschek

Easton Church of the Brethren

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