North American Division Issues A Call for Peace in West Baltimore
The Administration of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, issued the following statement on April 28, 2015, in response to the growing number of demonstrations following the funeral of Freddie Gray who died tragically in Baltimore, MD:
The Seventh-day Adventist church in North America is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Freddy Gray and the heartache it has caused his family and the Baltimore community. We extend our deepest condolences and continue to pray for his family.
In order to bring about change, we must engage in open, honest, civil, and productive conversation about the rights and equality of every member of our community. We pray that peace will prevail, for violence will only begat violence. To bring a lasting peace we, as a Church Community, must also descend on Baltimore with the love and compassion that Jesus modeled for us, not just now, during this time of turmoil, but in the years to come.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church stands ready to provide any and all resources necessary to help transform an oppressed, hopeless people into a vibrant, thriving community filled with hope.
We pray for the many citizens and clergy from various denominations including Adventist members that are participating in non-violent marches, encouraging peace. Pastor David Franklin, Miracle Temple Adventist Church; Pastor Reginald Exum, Edmonton Heights Adventist Church; and Pastor DuWayne Privette, Sharon Seventh-day Adventist Church have embodied love and compassion, taking to the streets to call for a non-violent solution.
The North American Division Adventist Community Services, the Columbia Union of Seventh-day Adventists, and the Allegheny East, and Chesapeake Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists, will lead a group of volunteers that will join the West Baltimore community in cleanup efforts, tentatively scheduled for tomorrow morning. Pray for these volunteers.
We admonish that those on either side of this conversation will strive to speak with peace, love, and grace.
We once again pray for the day when all of God’s children will treat each other without suspicion, bias, and hatred. As the Apostle Paul reminds us: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”