To the Diocese of Georgia Community,

I write to ask your prayers for the people of Brunswick and Glynn County as the murder trial in the case of the slaying of Ahmaud Arbery will start October 18. Following video evidence coming to light, clergy representing all six Episcopal congregations in Glynn County,  were part of a joint statement issued by a 29-member group of clergy in the area asking for action. “We join together with one voice to demand that justice be done, justice that is impartial and swift.”

Watching the video was unspeakably hard. I lament that persons of color remain at greater risk than I will ever know. I cannot imagine being a parent, relative, or friend having to see Ahmaud’s death. But without the video, we would not have arrived at this trial where the evidence will have its days in court. 

I have made prayers for Ahmaud Arbery’s family and prayers for the accused killers and their families part of my daily prayers. I ask you to join me in prayer as the case comes to trial, for wisdom for the judge and jury charged with the sacred task of weighing out earthly justice. I offer this prayer for the trial:

Almighty God, whose justice alone is eternal, be present with the judge and jurors charged with bringing earthly justice in the death of Ahmaud Arbery. Give them the insight, understanding, and wisdom that come from you alone as they discern the truth and impartially administer the law. Be with the Arbery family, with the accused and their families, and all in the Brunswick and Glynn County Community. Give them your peace as they watch, listen, wait, and hope for a decision that reflects your judgment and your justice. And give us all the grace to hunger and thirst for your righteousness that we may work together to become the Beloved Community where all may know a world without suspicion, in which the only fear is fear of You, in whose image and likeness all humanity is made. This we ask for the sake of your Son our Savior, Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns now and forever. Amen.

A verdict in this trial cannot bring about the Beloved Community where divisions have ceased and dignity and abundant life are enjoyed by all people who see themselves and others as beloved children of God. I am grateful to the clergy of Glynn County, Christian and Jewish alike, of many denominations, who used this tragedy to begin anew on working together toward justice. As we join them in prayer, may we join them in a witness against the sin of racism. No matter the outcome of the trial, the work of repentance and amendment of life also means doing the work to continue to grow as reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers in the name of Christ.

In Christ,

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