Statement from the Bishops Council of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
This is a challenging time in the life of our nation, a time which demands the church of Jesus Christ, to live up to what it is called to do, to represent Jesus in His world, to be about the work of His kingdom on earth. Historically, the Black Church has been “the conscience of the nation.” It was the Black Church which called and moved the nation to live up to its words and creeds, to genuinely seek, “to be one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.”
Today the Black Church is again called to be “the conscience of the nation.” To speak to the nation about the rightness or wrongness of its policies and behavior. This is particularly important when the so called, “Evangelical Christians” appear to be the dominant voice for people of faith in this nation, supporting the nation’s leader who spouts racism, sexism, and repeatedly lies to the nation. They appear to be the dominant voice of people of faith in the nation, because the Black Church has largely been silent.
It is time for the Black Church to speak, our congregations and the nation need to hear us. Therefore, Black denominational and faith leaders have scheduled a “Call to Conscience – Day of Action” for September 5th and 6th in Washington DC, the nation’s capital. It is not only time for us to say something, we must do something. We must fight against, “spiritual wickedness in high places.”
In a word, we are at war. We are at war against racism, when the president pits and divides the nation according to race in – order to govern, and declares there are “some really good people among white supremacist, nationalist and the Ku Klux Klan.” We are at war against anti-immigration efforts, which is a disguised effort to set back and deport people of color in-order to maintain white privilege and the status quo. We are at war against efforts to pervert the criminal justice system in the name of “law and order” to profile and target Blacks, and fill the courts with judges who will turn back gains made during the Civil Rights Movement in the name of “Making America Great Again.”
In “calling the nation to its conscience” we will challenge not only the American people, but also the Congress on policies and legislation which are unjust, divisive and detrimental to the nation. “In today’s environment ideology has become more important than principle, and party more important than country,” said Bishop Reginald Jackson, President of the Bishops Council of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. “Conscience, and the rightness or wrongness of their actions, don’t seem to matter. The president lies and pits people against each other because it works to energize his base. We must remind the nation, that because something works, doesn’t make it right”, Jackson added.
Our coming together will also kick-off our efforts for the mid-term elections. Our priority will be to register, educate, organize and mobilize our people to vote in November. If Blacks turn out in large numbers, we will determine the outcome in a large number of races.
We are calling pastors, congregants, and citizens from across the country to join us in Washington DC on September 5th and 6th, as we call the nation to conscience. Additionally, Sunday, September 2nd is designated as “Social Justice Sunday.” We are asking every pastor to preach a sermon related to “social Justice.”
There are some who think the Black Church is weak and has little strength or influence. This thinking is incorrect. We are at war, and we call all soldiers to active duty.
“Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before
Christ the royal Master, leads against the foe, forward into battle, see His banners go
Like a mighty army, moves the church of God, people we are marching, where the saints have trod, We are not divided; All one body we: One in hope and doctrine, One in charity
Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before.”
For further information, please call (770)-220-1770.
Wednesday, September 5th
Reid Temple AME Church, 11400 Glenn Dale Blvd, Glenn Dale, Md.
9AM – Strategic Planning Session for Bishops, Denominational Leaders, Pastors, Attendees
12:30PM – Lunch – Reid Temple AME Church
2PM – Leaders Meet with Congressional Leadership – Pastors, Laity visit their Congressional Members offices
7PM – Worship Service – Reid Temple AME Church, 11400 Glenn Dale Blvd, Glenn Dale, Md.
Thursday, September 6th
9AM – Assemble, Lafayette Park – Across from White House
10AM – “Call to Conscience – Day of Action” – Lafayette Park
12:30PM – Lunch, Metropolitan AME Church, 1518 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.
2PM – Press Conference, Metropolitan AME Church, 1518 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.