Social Issues · March 19, 2022

We All Belong to God

Confronting Violence Against Asian Americans.
A Statement from the Clergy of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church

Every week, the clergy of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church meet to discuss pastoral matters and to pray for the members and friends of this community of faith.

This week we spent time talking (once again) about recent acts of violence in New York City perpetrated against Asian-Americans, particularly against women of Asian and Pacific Island descent.

We discussed the fear that emanates from these attacks, the ways in which Asians in the United States have been confronted and irrationally blamed for the pandemic, and the wider racial tensions in our city. We talked about our plans to partner with other clergy and congregations to raise awareness, and to hold each other and our elected leaders accountable for making this city and this world a safe place for all. Finally, we prayed for New York and for those members of this city most affected by this upsurge in hateful words and hateful acts.

We are committed to confronting the scourge of Anti-Asian sentiment and violence in our city. As members of the Judeo-Christian tradition, we proclaim that all people are made in the image of God. As followers of Jesus, we remind each other that Christ’s clearest command was to “love God and love your neighbor.” This principle guides the church’s pastoral staff in conversations with partner religious organizations, law enforcement officials and civic leaders.

Dismantling racism, of course, is a responsibility that rests on all the faithful, and we are truly grateful for this congregation’s courageous engagement in this work. Together, let us renew our resolve to build a society that better reflects God’s peaceable kingdom. Let us dedicate ourselves, as disciples of Jesus, to exorcizing the demons of bigotry that corrupt people’s minds. Let us take every opportunity available to us to deepen mutual understanding and model compassionate living. Finally, let us resolve to confront public and private prejudices not with rancor, but with a compelling vision.

We all belong to God

With confidence in the vision Christ calls us to embrace,

Reverend Scott Black Johnston
Reverend Werner Ramirez
Reverend Jonah So
Reverend Sarah A. Speed