Regarding The Trial of Derek Chauvin

Facing the trial and verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, the Twin Cities Presbytery has released a statement calling the Presbytery – and all people – to work towards an end to white supremacy.

Nothing will bring George Floyd back. Nothing will undo the trauma to his family or to our wider community — especially to our Black friends, family, and colleagues.

Consequences matter, but let us not mistake a verdict for God’s liberative justice.

While Derek Chauvin will have consequences for this soul-stealing act, we pray that our community does not mistake this moment as “the conclusion” to a deeply painful and contentious year. The work of justice-seeking is wider than one trial alone; it must be part of our lifelong daily spiritual practice.

The truth is that we are still at the beginning of a journey as a community — one to which people of color have been calling us for over 500 years. In particular, the long history of Black resilience, resistance, joy, wisdom, and wholeness is powerful testimony.

We are living through an era of reckoning with a long and painful history in Minnesota that dates back to before its founding and which has allowed the conditions for racist violence to flourish.

As a majority-white presbytery, our particular journey is one of asking ourselves hard questions about our own systems, as well as our complicity in the brutal systems in our communities. and committing ourselves to the work of eradicating them.

So let’s not stop now. Let’s move beyond a Minnesota “Nice” that likes things comfortable, polite, and quiet, toward being a Minnesota willing to get real about our deep issues and engage in powerful conversations. As Christians, we look to the kin-dom of God while also striving to reimagine community systems so that we might embody peace and wholeness now.

Dreams of a better way to live together may seem audacious at this painful moment in our common lives, but we worship a God who does powerful audacious things. So we hold onto this hope, a fire that burns in our souls, unsettling us from our previous ways and fueling our conviction as we move forward.

1 comment

  1. Mollie Vanderzyl

    Thank you for this thoughtful, insightful and very Christian way of discussing the issue of the Chauvin trial. It gives me hope to know that folks in my faith tradition can see and communicate the big picture in theses fraught racial situations.

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