On Feb. 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, was shot and killed by a member of a neighborhood watch in Sanford, Fla. Last week, the shooter, George Zimmerman, was found not guilty, in a verdict that has stirred debate and emotions nationwide.
This is not the time for usual pastoral letters indicating support for the aggrieved while being careful not to offend the white majority. The killing of black teenagers is rampant nation-wide, and is now legal in Florida.
Many took to the streets to protest the not-guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman, but many also went to their houses of worship to find peace and seek answers.
I am praying for people of the United Methodist Church in Sanford. I am praying that they will be an outward and visible sign of God’s peace , justice, reconciliation and healing in the days ahead. I am praying that they, and we, do not waste this teachable moment. — Bishop Ken Carter of the Florida Annual (regional) Conference.