North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists Calls for Peace in Baltimore


(Spectrumbot) #1

In a special edition of the North American Division NewsPoints, the Administration of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, issued the following statement on April 28, 2015, in response to the growing number of demonstrations following the funeral of Freddie Gray who died tragically in Baltimore, MD:

The Seventh-day Adventist church in North America is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Freddy Gray and the heartache it has caused his family and the Baltimore community. We extend our deepest condolences and continue to pray for his family.

In order to bring about change, we must engage in open, honest, civil, and productive conversation about the rights and equality of every member of our community. We pray that peace will prevail, for violence will only beget violence. To bring a lasting peace we, as a Church Community, must also descend on Baltimore with the love and compassion that Jesus modeled for us, not just now, during this time of turmoil, but in the years to come.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church stands ready to provide any and all resources necessary to help transform an oppressed, hopeless people into a vibrant, thriving community filled with hope.

We pray for the many citizens and clergy from various denominations including Adventist members that are participating in non-violent marches, encouraging peace. Pastor David Franklin, Miracle Temple Adventist Church; Pastor Reginald Exum, Edmonton Heights Adventist Church; and Pastor DuWayne Privette, Sharon Seventh-day Adventist Church have embodied love and compassion, taking to the streets to call for a non-violent solution.

Today, the North American Division Adventist Community Services, the Columbia Union of Seventh-day Adventists, and the Allegheny East, and Chesapeake Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists, will lead a group of volunteers that will join the West Baltimore community in cleanup efforts. Pray for these volunteers.

We admonish that those on either side of this conversation will strive to speak with peace, love, and grace.

We once again pray for the day when all of God’s children will treat each other without suspicion, bias, and hatred. As the Apostle Paul reminds us: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6780

(Andreas Bochmann) #2

I am impressed. This sounds like the ordinance of footwashing at a communal scale. We are called to serve…


(Tim Teichman) #3

This is a longstanding problem. I wonder what the church is planning to do about it. Sending people to clean up the mess is not going to help anything, really. That’s the city’s job.

The root cause of this is state oppression of minorities and IMO the public’s outrage over it is far overdue. I am not advocating violence, but can totally see why this is happening and anyone who is surprised hasn’t been paying attention. Suppressing the violence by bringing in the National Guard is not going to fix anything.


(Kevin Paulson) #4

I pray that our pastors in the Baltimore area are adding their voices to the call for peace and reconciliation. This is a deeply-rooted systemic problem which leaders at every level must address. God’s people in such a setting must be voices for both justice and the eschewing of violence.


(Tim Teichman) #5

That would be a decent start, but it’s not enough. To be effective, the church must actually do something. Get a plan. Lead change. It will be a long term effort that (should) put us somewhat at odds with the state.


(Steve Mga) #6

There are several type of people all mixed up together.

  1. Those who mourn.
  2. Those who are on a scale of Unhappy to actual Anger.
  3. The Criminal Element who see any Civil Unrest as an opportunity to burn and loot, to jeer the police.
  4. Outside agitators coming in from D.C, NY, Penn. to stir up the crowd.

Since these are all mixed up together I dont see how an untrained religious organization like SDAs are going to bring any calmness to this situation. I just hope no SDAs end up getting physically hurt.


(Randle Patrick) #7

The over/under of the number of SdA’s at Freddie Gray’s funeral is zero.

And the original and lasting impression of the GYC event in Charm City back in the day had/has as much radar detection as the gyrocopter that flew from Gettysburg to DC.

Maybe the good news regarding the clean up effort is that Regional Conference Church members and Chesapeake Conference Church members may finally meet.


(k_Lutz) #8

ALL LIVES MATTER!

Especially not just those that which put up with you.

Trust The BEing.


(Frank Peacham) #9

What makes them think those who are trashing their community with open disdain for the rule of law are “depressed and hopeless?” To me this is a opportunity for the church to teach ethics, morality, honesty, non-violence and peaceful ways to address injustice. For the upper class to be encouraged to love their neighbors.


(Steve Mga) #10

Has the SDA church been doing anything up to now???
If not.
Probably won’t when this is all forgotten.


(Tim Teichman) #11

Well, they’re no more important than the next person. Perhaps they’ll get hurt out of principle, defying the man.


(le vieux) #12

As if those who are destroying property and attacking policemen care what the NAD thinks or says.


#13

That is not all they did though. And helping to clean up our street’s is a good thing. Gives us an opportunity to show (the public/government) that we care about our communities; and a people who will try and bring order out of disorder.


(jeremy) #14

this has to be about the 4th or 5th incident in recent memory in which a black person has been killed by white police, which isn’t a good trend…in this instance, however, it appears freddie had had spine and neck surgery the week before his arrest, which means he may not have died as a result of abuse from police:

http://thefourthestate.co/2015/04/breaking-freddy-gray-had-spine-surgery-just-one-week-before-arrest/


(k_Lutz) #15

Such speculation is vulgar, at the least!


#16

Thanks for sharing that Jeremy. if this is true, it changes everything:

It is reasonable to believe that the injuries Gray suffered after the arrest were not related to the police’s treatment of him at all. Spinal and neck surgery is a large ordeal, and doctors advise weeks of bed rest and taking it easy in order to not rupture the patient’s recently fused spine.

If this is true, Freddy Gray decided to go out and ended up getting in a scuffle with the police instead of healing properly. The police didn’t mistreat him at all; he mistreated himself.

Even if this story, you posted, is shown to be not true, should still say to us that we need to be careful before all the facts are in.


(jeremy) #17

and the thing with all of these episodes, in which a black person has died, there seem to be two legitimate ways of looking at things, which means the overwhelming tragedy of someone losing their life is overshadowed…

but having said this, this recurring pattern of a black person dying through interaction with white police must mean something…after all, do we ever see situations in which a white person is killed as a result of interaction with black police…


(le vieux) #18

Probably, but it doesn’t lend itself to media hype and stereotypes, so we don’t hear about it.

I was listening to a reporter interviewing some Black residents of Baltimore, and they said this has nothing to do with race. The problem is with the police. Unlike Ferguson, MO (although the two incidents can’t really be compared), Baltimore has plenty of Black police officers.