Church issues statement against racism and in support of Black Lives Matter

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BENNINGTON — The leadership of Second Congregational Church UCC, located on Hillside Street, issued a statement on June 19 stating they stand "in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and members of our community who have been, and continue to be, traumatically impacted by the virus of systemic racism that has sickened and killed Black and Indigenous people throughout our history and continues to infect us today."

The statement notes that the "Scriptures are clear that humanity is created in the image of the Divine" and that through Scripture God calls for justice.

"Again and again in the Biblical narrative God seeks to liberate the oppressed. We have a responsibility to God and to one another to stand against marginalization and dehumanization which means we have an obligation as a church to resist racism and dismantle white supremacy."

The statement acknowledges that the Christian church has been complicit in the foundation and spread of white supremacy. "Our words are not enough," the statement continues. "Even our pledge to do better is not enough, considering the long silence of white people while Black and Brown people have been shouldering the dehumanizing effects of racism for hundreds of years in our own communities."

The statement concludes, "On behalf of our church we commit our congregation to be supporters of Black Lives Matter, to be a

welcoming place to our community, to be an ally in the continued battle against racism, and to be among the many outstretched hands of love to all those who feel marginalized in our world and our community as we strive to follow the call of the prophet Amos to "let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."

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