HOW GRATEFUL we are to live in a city with a heritage of partnership between government and the faith community. For the second time in a matter of weeks our current mayor, Betsy Price, has called for prayer for another city. First, we prayed over Dallas and the Ebola challenge they faced. This week, she asked us to pray over Ferguson and all the other cities under threat caused by strong racial tensions. So, we have gladly complied. Please see Mayor Price’s letter below and then pray with us.
Standing for Our Nation,
Pastor Terri Pearsons
I’m sure you have seen or have been watching the news updates about the pending grand jury decision about whether police officer Darren Wilson will be charged in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. I know all of you shared my concerns about the images from Ferguson months ago showing the destructive clashes between demonstrators and police. Even today, it’s clear that a significant tension remains.
Fortunately, we live in Fort Worth, Texas—a city filled with compassion, tolerance and understanding. Sure, we don’t always agree; but we honor the rights of others to have different viewpoints. I’m proud that we can approach disagreement and discord with a mutual respect for one another.
Even still, the events in Ferguson and the following protests and demonstrations in other parts of the country are troubling. We’ve heard the pundits on the 24-hour news cycle. We’ve heard from those on all sides of the issue. A wide divide remains and some continue to fan the flames.
As we wait for a grand jury decision, I wanted to take the time today to reach out to you as faith leaders in Fort Worth. I ask for your prayers for the community of Ferguson. I ask your prayers for all communities across this country, that they would have the strength and courage to face challenges—not with fear, aggression or violence—but with an open ear, compassion and respect. I hope and pray that we have the foresight to see each other as “Americans” above all else while celebrating the diversity that should strengthen—not divide—our cities.
I would also ask you to talk to your congregations about the right and the wrong ways to resolve community challenges. The “Golden Rule” should always prevail. And, as you talk with your congregations, please let me know if you hear any questions or concerns about this issue. If there are problems, we want to know about them, face them and solve them.
No matter how the grand jury lands on this issue, I hope we—as Americans—respect the justice system that remains a foundational pillar of our way of life. What’s more, I hope Ferguson and other communities struggling with these challenges can find meaningful ways to come together and find healing through faith, love and compassion.
As our Charter for Compassion states: “The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the center of our world and put another there, and to honor the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.”
Thank you for what each of you do!
Mayor of Fort Worth
Join us now by praying with us:
Father, we come, in Jesus’ Name and In faith, believing for Ferguson and all cities under the destructive force of the spirit of division. As the Body of Christ we stand for the love of God to be poured out in a great awakening across this nation. We agree with Jesus’ prayer that the world will know us by our love-a love so strong that it stops storms of strife. Along with thousands of others called by His Name, we have humbled ourselves while seeking His face, and now believe for His mighty hand to heal our land. We praise Him for His faithfulness. We speak peace to the streets of Ferguson and all those like it. And, like Daniel, we expect the mouths of ‘lions’ who stir trouble and strife to be shut so that no one listens. Praise God for America and His move among us! The devil is a liar but Jesus is Lord!
Watch this clip and pray as Pastor Terri calls for an outpouring of the Spirit in Ferguson, in our cities and in our nation: https://vimeo.com/112733984