UCC leaders ‘saddened, disturbed’ by murder of NYPD officers
United Church of Christ leaders are saddened and disturbed by the murders of New York City police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos at the hands of man with a lengthy criminal record, who was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. In a written statement, the UCC National Officers call for peace with justice, and for the ongoing need for sacred conversations on race.
Here is the complete statement:
We are deeply saddened and disturbed by the brazen murders of two New York police officers on Dec. 20. The senseless killing of officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos by a revenge-driven gunman while sitting in their police car in Brooklyn understandably has shaken the city of New York and the entire nation. We join our hearts with others in offering prayers for all those touched by this horrific crime, most especially the officers’ families. Our prayers, too, are for the health and recovery of the Baltimore woman also shot by the same man earlier that day.
The killing and wounding of innocent persons never avenges injustice, but supplants the very peace with justice that we long for in our cities and neighborhoods. We join others in expressing our concern for the well-being and safety of all police officers who work daily under the stress and fear of similar attacks, just as we continue to share our concern for the well-being and safety of all young people of color who too often are racially profiled and have unnecessarily become the victims of excessive police force.
The murder of these two officers, one Asian American and one Hispanic, as senseless as their deaths are, painfully reminds us of the racial polarization in our communities. The ongoing need for sacred conversations on race, from our multi-racial, multi-ethnic perspectives, is paramount to any depth of understanding and healing we will ever experience as a nation scarred by centuries of racial injustice and division.
In this Christmas season of hope and anticipation, we wait expectantly for God’s love to be made flesh. This central teaching of our faith, which undergirds our understanding of the personhood of Jesus, is not held captive by his life story alone, but it is what propels us, as bearers of Christ, to be proclaimers and agents of God’s incarnate love today. O come, o come Emmanuel. God be with us, and grant us your peace.
The Collegium of Officers of the United Church of Christ
The Rev. Geoffrey A. Black
General Minister and President
The Rev. J. Bennett Guess
Executive Minister, Local Church Ministries
The Rev. M. Linda Jaramillo
Executive Minister, Justice and Witness Ministries
The Rev. James Moos
Executive Minister, Wider Church Ministries
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