We represent a host of faith communities, and people of no particular faith, from across one of the nation’s most diverse regions. We have differences in beliefs and religious practices, cultures and ethnicities, the languages we speak and the lands from which we or our ancestors have come.
Our mission and our message, though, is united. Our hearts and souls are troubled and saddened in the death of George Floyd. To his name, though, we know we could add many more, as we recognize that the trouble we feel in our hearts: the anger, the grief, the loss, the rage, is not only for the death of a child of Houston. We are also troubled, emboldened, and stirred as we wrestle and struggle for a more just society, a society that must come to terms with historic inequalities, and then must do something about them.
We express our condolences to the family of Mr. Floyd, and to our brothers and sisters in the African American community. There is much that we stand against: long-standing inequities, injustice often codified in laws and practices, and systems of economics and education based in racism, prejudice and bias. There is much that we stand for: societies and governments based in fairness for all, respect and understanding to abound, communities united for the public good. Either way, the fact is this: we stand together.
We pray for substantive change to come from our words, and so we pledge ourselves to make that change. We pray for actions that will be constructive and relevant and we pledge ourselves to act. We pray we can change policies, and we pray even more that we can change hearts and minds, that we do not turn a blind eye to suffering, that we truly see one another as the beloved people that we all are; in turn, we pledge ourselves to the hard work of being that change and bringing that change. We pray for the strength to break down barriers of prejudice and bigotry so that what we build benefits not just some, but all, and we pledge ourselves to be that strength for each other.