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Ferguson verdict
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Dear editor,

The residents of Ferguson, Missouri have suffered great pain resulting from the police shooting death of Mike Brown on August 9, 2014. This trauma was exacerbated by the many hours that Mr. Brown’s lifeless body lay slain in the street. The admitted overreaction by Ferguson police has also been a source of agitation. As the Grand Jury process draws to a close, there is widespread concern of violence as law enforcement prepares for the worst.

The Bible records some of the most violent episodes in human history. Even more disconcerting is the notion that the first pre-crucifixion violence against Jesus was indeed police brutality (John 18:22). Yet, in all of its wisdom, the words of Jesus compel us to be nonviolent, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
In an effort to be peacemakers, the clergy, school officials and law enforcement of Rockdale and Newton counties have joined with co-laborers in DeKalb, Clayton, Fulton, City of Atlanta and others to affirm:

• We support the constitutional right to peaceful protests & condemn violence against ALL people, property & first responders (EMS, fire dept., police, deputies, highway patrol, etc).

• We call on clergy to minister & champion the needs of the community. We urge clergy to mentor & monitor youth in their efforts to promote constructive, redemptive change.

• We support civic involvement through the expansion of voter registration. We urge every registered voter to make your voice heard in each election, especially for local political offices.
• We call on the business community & philanthropists to support economic empowerment by creating more jobs & career opportunities for underprivileged youth.

As events unfold both nationally and locally, we submit our leadership in the ongoing effort for equality and social justice. In the event that the Grand Jury decision is made public this weekend, we will immediately convene to conduct a Redemption Forum for Youth & Young Adults at Springfield Baptist Church at 1877 Iris Drive in Conyers, Georgia. Stay tuned to social media (Facebook - Springfield Baptist-Church, Twitter - @pastorewl & Instagram - @SBCGROWTH) for the exact date and time of this event.

In Christian Service,
Newton Minister’s Union
Pastoral Accountability to
Covenant Truth (PACT)
Other Newton & Rockdale Pastors