The death of Ahmaud Arbery and the involvement of Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William Bryan is such a tragedy on many levels. Countless numbers of people's lives were changed forever on February 23, 2020. Last Wednesday, I stood with community pastors in Brunswick who prayed for the families of Ahmaud, the McMichaels and Bryan. A prayer for justice and peace rang throughout all those gathered.
Today justice has prevailed. A verdict has been reached and all three men involved in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery have been found guilty of murder.
Last month I called the South Georgia Conference to a deep place of prayer using the words from the prophet Amos: “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24 NRSV)
Friends, we have more work to do. But today I thank God that justice and peace have taken place.
I am thankful for the pastoral and lay leadership of our Brunswick-area churches who have sought to help people express themselves in a spirit of peace. Rev. Abra Lattany-Reed, who has been an advocate and a steady presence in the Brunswick, Ga. community, reminded me this afternoon that not only was justice known today but her community will never underestimate the power of prayer. We continue to join the community in prayer and healing.
May God’s grace reign as we all seek to move forward, and may we each do our part to change systems of injustice and help see the vision of the prophet Amos fulfilled.
Bishop David Graves