A candlelight service organized by the Walla Walla University Office of Diversity was held on Friday, April 30, after vespers at the Jesus Among Us statue on WWU’s College Place campus. Students, faculty, and staff gathered for prayer, music, and reflection after a momentous week took place in the United States relating to the historic verdict that was announced for the Derrick Chauvin trial. The event saw about 70-100 WWU students and employees who gathered and stood together in solidarity and acknowledgment of recent social and racial injustices that have taken place across the country.
The group lit candles, shared testimonies, prayers, and sang songs, pledging to move forward as Jesus would, through service to those who are being treated unjustly, and with forgiveness toward injustice. Redarding the event, Pedrito Maynard-Reid, professor of biblical studies and missiology, said: “Here were people who were committed to justice. A diverse group of people committed as Christians to justice, fighting together to make sure justice is done not from a political standpoint but from a Jesus point of view.”
A part of the statement released by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists regarding the church’s response to racism supported taking a stand and acknowledging the ongoing problem. “We ask you to speak out against injustice and hatred, just as Jesus did when He was on this earth. We can make a difference for those who are marginalized and betrayed by others, and we must provide a forum for the voices of the victims of hatred and racism. Our actions can speak louder than words. We can lead by example in how we treat others and demand that all people be treated equally and fairly. As the most ethnically-diverse Christian faith in the United States, our voices represent nearly every community in this country. They must be heard as we serve to heal our broken communities with the love and compassion of Jesus.”
In 2020, the North American Division released a statement responding to racial turmoil in the United States. Read the full statement here. You can also read WWU’s statement here.
Posted June 6, 2021