The magnitude of the layered implications of the traumatic events of January 6, 2021 will most certainly be analyzed for decades to come. The questions of who, why and how will be processed and filtered through many different leading to myriad of interpretations. While the GNOICC recognizes this to be true, we also celebrate our unified voice in the wake of these atrocities.
Indeed, much will be gained from processing this event. For today, we face the fallout of yesterday’s violent attack and begin committing to repair. My faith tradition as a follower of Christ characterizes such work in Isaiah 58:12 by saying “ you will be called repairers of the breech”.
“The United States Capitol has been breached”. These were but a few of the disturbing words that were broadcast throughout the world yesterday. Tragically, the events that occurred before and after the physical breach of our nation’s Capitol led to 52 citizens being injured and the loss of life of four others. These people were mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and friends. The GNOICC considers their lives to be of great worth and collectively grieves their loss and the events and attitudes that led to it. The mantle we now wear mandates that we acknowledge a Godly appointment to be “repairers of the breach” in the face of a nation left in ruin.
The Capitol and the areas surrounding it were swept for explosives yesterday. Trained and skilled workers methodically and cautiously searched for volatile devices in order to disarm them and prevent further harm.
The essence of the work of the GNOICC and what we believe should be the work of all humanity is to prevent further harm of all of God’s creation. The “breach” did not begin yesterday. This brokenness has been occurring long before yesterday’s riot. Like many systemic breakdowns, this has become more visible with time while the gaps widen and demonstrate critical situations that must be immediately addressed and repaired. The cracks in our nation reveal fundamental defects in our systems caused by injustice, racism, inequity and a failure to care for creation. We must not deny the stark and jarring images of ruin on the earth from almost every angle. Denial will only lead to delay in a commitment to repair the breach.
Therefore, GNOICC will continue to proceed with care and caution in the midst of this fragile and volatile world. We will utilize the intangible yet powerful resources of love care and respect for all of creation. We will and we must walk with a renewed hope and determination to dismantle racism in every manifestation and to unite as brothers and sisters who have been called to be temporary stewards of this earth. Let each man and woman make a moral commitment to pick up the broken pieces, not to throw at one another, and not to further destroy, but to examine, learn and rebuild. While the breach may seem irreparable, it can be repaired. And so, let our faith be our guide and our love for God and our neighbors define our path to a new vision of what we can be.
The GNOICC extends our deepest condolences and sympathies to the families and fiends of all whose lives were lost yesterday.
With bold hopefulness,
Rev. Gregory T. Manning
Yesterday we saw an attempted coup formulated by our President and carried out by his followers. They, at times, were aided by those supposedly protecting the spaces. At the same time select senators and representatives were augmenting this coup as they protested the legitimate election of Biden and Harris.
This is something I never thought I would see in our country. We resembled a third world country.
Now some enablers of the President are mouthing platitudes and reasoned statements as if they never supported him.
How should I think about this and what should be my reaction. Immediately I thought of impeachment or the 25th amendment and how to remove the enablers from office. Yet, on a deeper level I wondered how this country could be so divided and we could devolve to the violence we saw yesterday at the Capitol. What do we need to do, what can we do, how do we do what ever we decide to do? Listen. Talk. Discuss. This way we may be able to understand why this happened.
But we need to do this in peace, not anger. We need to listen, not disparage. We need understanding that only a peaceful mind can bring. We all are brothers and sisters, part of this same country, state and city.
I pray for this blessing.
George D. Bond, II