October 4, 2022
Siblings in Christ in the State of Tennessee and those who hold positions of power,
“So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” (Galatians 4:7)
Christians must always be “restless.” God’s restless church is called to serve and advocate in response to such diverse social situations as disasters, poverty, discrimination, social policies, and economic arrangements. Prophets challenged the culture, exposed the power of sin and idolatry, and spoke out on behalf of the poor and powerless. Christians are committed to society for the sake of all, and this means they must be ready to speak for change.
It is time again for us to speak for change and vote Yes on 3 to pass Amendment 3 in the November 8, 2022 election. It is one step in righting a historical wrong that still rears its ugly head in many and various forms.
In Mark 12:31, as part of the Great Commandment, Jesus tells the disciples, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Our baptismal covenant mandates, "We will seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves, we will strive for justice and peace among all peoples and respect the dignity of every human being.” Black and brown bodies have borne far too much of racism’s burden, while white persons have remained comfortable in their privilege. For me, this is a non-negotiable; it is mine and, I think, our evangelical witness.
Slavery or involuntary servitude has no place in the state of Tennessee, or any state, or any place. God has made us heirs and, as such----free! Vote yes to Amendment 3! It is far past time.
+ The Reverend Kevin L. Strickland, Bishop