by Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey
President-Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church

Grace and Peace to you, Sisters and Brothers in Christ.  These are challenging times that we live in. The continued rise of COVID-19 infections and deaths around the world, the attack on the US Capitol last week, and the undeniable expressions of racism, white supremacy and systemic inequity in our communities have provided a sobering start to the new year. And yet, I find that the upcoming commemoration of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Inauguration Day in the US provide us, in the midst of turmoil, with much needed opportunities for reflection and rededication.

The images of insurrectionists storming the hallowed halls of the Capitol cannot be unseen.  For the first time in history the President of the United States has been impeached for the second time.  The deployment of thousands of National Guard troops to Washington, DC for the inauguration appear as scenes from a movie.  As one who sits in a state capitol preparing for further disruption, I grieve for America, for democracy and for our Christian witness.

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