President Mark Dalbey sent the following to the Covenant Seminary campus on June 1, 2020, followed by an afternoon of prayer for our nation, led online by the Seminary Student Life team.
In addition, Dr. Dalbey assisted with a separate statement, released in unison from all the agency coordinators and presidents of the Presbyterian Church in America. For further news, follow the Covenant Seminary Facebook page.
The horrific killing of George Floyd this past week by a white Minneapolis police officer while three fellow officers watched has had a deep and profound impact on our nation, the church, our seminary community, and me personally. It has revealed in painful and graphic detail the deep open wound of racial hatred and injustice that has not properly healed throughout our nation’s history to the present day.
My response has been one of righteous anger, sorrowful lament, weeping, and an outcry for justice. Many of us in white majority culture are grieving and repenting once again of our failure to speak, love, and advocate for our African-American neighbors who bear God’s image and deserve justice and protection. George Floyd is but one of many we are aware of recently and numerous others we are not who have been treated as less-than-human in our criminal justice system. May we heed the call of the prophet Micah (Micah 6:8) who declares that the Lord requires us to “do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.”
After meditation and reflection yesterday on Pentecost Sunday, I pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit to bring gospel peace and reconciliation through the blood of Christ who came to tear down the dividing wall of hostility between people and God as well as between people and people (Ephesians 2:11-22). I long for the day when people from every nation, tribe, peoples and languages will worship in unity before the Lamb who will wipe away every tear from our eyes (Revelation 7:9-12). I look forward to the day when I will be in the New Jerusalem enjoying and celebrating the streets of the city filled with boys and girls safely and joyfully playing in its streets (Zechariah 8:4-5). In the meantime, and with dependence on the Holy Spirit’s empowering grace, I am committed to continue the gospel work of lament, confession, and repentance in the pursuit of racial peace and reconciliation.
Related: Click here to read more about action taken by the Covenant Seminary board of trustees in 2017 repenting of failed racial reconciliation and justice.