In Memory of George Perry Floyd, Jr.

posted on May 27

In Memory of George Perry Floyd, Jr.
October 14, 1973 - May 25, 2020
Like many people throughout our nation and world, my heart is heavy today. The heaviness is triggered by recalling the general confusion and dismay we felt during the first months of the pandemic, the shock from the first news of the violent death of George Floyd, the trauma from replayed footage, and the personal inadequacy I experienced as I provided pastoral care to my flock of clergy and laity. Today we remember this man’s suffering, our responses, and the unfolding of criminal litigation and American history. One year later, we are easing out of the pandemic, as the vaccinated can move about with much more confidence, but the unvaccinated remain vulnerable. The shock of George Floyd’s death is wearing off, but the grief and trauma continue. The feelings of inadequacy continue, at least for me as a white Christian leader. I continue to reflect upon what I can do to be a better citizen, a stronger prophetic voice, a much more active friend … and above all, a deep listener.
One of the best ways we can remember George Floyd today is by listening to each other. When someone is suffering, listen. When someone is panicking, listen. When someone can’t breathe, listen. May our listening stimulate our senses to act quickly with compassion. May we attend promptly to the emergency, and listen deeply to the pain beneath it.
All over the world, people are remembering George Floyd today. They are remembering with vigils, prayer services, and hashtags. The ecumenical churches of Europe are remembering, as well. They are lighting the #candleofjustice with us today, and are joining in this prayer:
O Lord, you are a God of justice –
may we share your passion for justice,
which can be seen throughout the Bible.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
enable us to stand up for justice
and stand against intolerance.
Thank you that you love each person,
made in the image of God.
Change our hearts to see others as you do.
Allow our hearts to break over the sin of racism,
and our lament to turn into righteous action.
In this season of Pentecost, may we be attentive to the movement of God’s spirit in our own lives, calling us to listen and to love.  Listening is the beginning of loving.
Remembering and Listening,
Bev Coppley
District Superintendent

In Memory of George Perry Floyd Jr.
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