On June 4, 2020, Bishop David Graves challenged the people of the Alabama-West Florida Conference to simply listen. This came after the tragic death of George Floyd and other acts of violence against people of color.
The conference collectively prayed for 24 days on various social justice issues. That initiative concluded yesterday. If you missed any of the prayers on Facebook, they are all archived here. At any time you may resource the calendar and the videos. This might also be a thoughtful way your local church could participate with your own video series by using the topics assigned to each day.
Our next step is to provide dismantling racism resources to clergy and laity in the conference. As the news continues to unfold, we are understanding more and more that it is essential to educate ourselves about racial issues. The resources are divided into listen, read and watch to meet your preferred style of learning.
Another step the conference is taking is to provide more opportunities to participate in Vital Conversations. Dates are forthcoming and will begin in mid July. These conversations explore how we strategically understand race, culture and justice.
"As your bishop I feel called to address racist tendancies in myself and to help our conference address a systematic issue," stated Bishop Graves. "These prayers and resources are just the beginning of a long-term priority to address the injustices against people of color. I will be launching an anti-racism task force soon and look forward to seeing where this leadership team guides us in the coming months and years. These continued steps are part of the commitment to dismantling racism in the Alabama-West Florida Conference."
Let us continue to pray for one another that we will be agents of peace, love and bold change.