A pastoral letter to the faith community of Morgantown, WV, and beyond

I’m sharing here this, which was posted on Friday (June 19), by First Presbyterian Church in Morgantown, WV, of which I’m a member:

The time has come for the faith community to stand together and say, “No more!”

No matter whether that faith manifests as extremely conservative.

No matter whether that faith is expressed as broadly liberal.

No matter how you address your God.

No matter how you say your prayers.

No matter.

The tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina, must bring us all together to say, “No more!”

No more can we stand aside and allow those among us to sow fear and hate.

No more can we allow that fear and hate to kill our sisters and brothers, whether that hate is clothed in racism, extreme nationalism, unbending religiosity or other extreme viewpoints whose only goal is to destroy anything and anyone who is different or disagrees.

At First Presbyterian Church in Morgantown, at 11 a.m. this coming Sunday, we will toll our bell 10 times, once each for Cynthia Hurd, for Susie Jackson, for Ethel Lance, for the Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, for the Honorable Rev Clementa Pinckney, for Tywanza Sanders, for the Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., for the Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson and, yes, for Dylann Roof.

We call on all of our sisters and brothers to join us however they are able to say, “No more.”

As our tradition teaches, “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets,” and “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. ’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Rev. Monica Styron & Session of First Presbyterian Church, Morgantown

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