Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA, has issued a pastoral letter regarding the verdicts concerning the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. “​In response to the verdicts in the trial of Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William Bryan in Brunswick, Ga., for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, we offer a word of prayer and healing,” the letter read, in part.

“We pray for Arbery’s family because no verdict can ease the pain and suffering of the murder of their loved one. As a church concerned for all, we pray also for the defendants, that God’s grace may transform their hearts.”

The letter continued: “God has created all of us with inherent dignity, value and worth. Racially motivated hate crimes deny this to Black and Brown people. The sin of racism distorts so many aspects of life together. The ELCA’s social policy resolution ‘Condemnation of White Supremacy and Racist Rhetoric’ states: “As persons called to love one another as God has loved us, we therefore proclaim our commitment to speak with one voice against racism and white supremacy. We stand with those who are targets of racist ideologies and actions.”

Read the full letter.

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