On Tuesday January 6th, the Feast of Epiphany, the 12th Day of Christmas, our countries Capitol Building was attacked by its own citizens. Epiphany is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation (theophany) of God incarnate as Jesus Christ. In western Christianity, the feast commemorates principally (but not solely) the visit of the magi to the Christ Child, and thus Jesus’ physical manifestation to the Gentiles.
The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., is a symbol of the American people and their government, the meeting place of the nation's legislature. The Capitol also houses an important collection of American art, and it is an architectural achievement in its own right.
Rioters scaling the United States Capitol, marching with Confederate flags and riot gear. Lawmakers scurrying off the floor of the Senate, ducking for safety.
Capitol Police officers standing near a barricaded door with guns drawn, guarding the House chamber. These are among the stunning images from a historic day on which a mob of people loyal to President Trump broke into the Capitol to try to prevent lawmakers from certifying the Electoral College count to confirm President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.
The chaos, which lasted more than three hours and was viewed around the world, was another reminder of the challenges Mr. Biden will inherit in another week: an extraordinarily divided country, its political fabric frayed by an economic crisis, a deadly pandemic and four years of Mr. Trump’s incendiary governance.
America saw “Trump Supporters” climbing walls and the steps to the Capitol Building and breaking into the building and destroying parts of it. Some noticed on that day the “Two America’s”. One that is based on White Supremacy and the other that is lived in by Black and Brown people.
Therefore, as the United Missionary Baptist Association, we stand on the Word of God and hold tightly to the belief that righteousness will prevail (Amos 5:24).
Let it be known that the United Missionary Baptist Association, comprised of over 75 churches located in New York City and Westchester County representing people of the African Diaspora, understand that the actions of some is not the actions of all. Therefore, we will continue to pray, be led by the Holy Spirit, and act in a manner that makes our Savior proud.
We will pray for our country and its leadership - present and immediate future and those that seek our demise. “But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” (Matthew 5:44 KJV)
We will be led by the Spirit in how we stand against adversarial circumstances so that the Body will not suffer loss.
We will show love and respect to others regardless of their views, however not be foolish in our dealings with them. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35 ESV).
Pastor Keith W. Roberson. I, MDiv.
Commissioner of Social Justice for UMBA
Pastor Anthony Lowe, DMin.
Moderator, United Missionary Baptist Association
Dear Pastors and all Clergy persons,
The Social Justice Commission has been established by Moderator Rev. Dr. Anthony Lowe to keep the United Missionary Baptist Association apprised of all things within the confines of our Association and New York City at large that we need to take positive action on and advocate for the residents and people that we minister to.
The Commission is comprised of Pastors and Associate Ministers that have a strong desire to seek justice for our people in the areas of housing, education, the judicial system, voters rights and the like. With that said, the Commission is established to inform the Association’s Pastors and churches of the posture that we must have so that we can be a voice to the elected officials and invoke change in the above areas and make sure that elected officials do not take Black people for granted in the decisions that they make.
Luke 4:13-20 is Jesus’ platform as He came to deal with the social ills of his day. This gives us our prophetic voice as we engage to the powers that be for the people at large seeking mishpat, sadiqah and hesed. Mishpat = justice, Biblical justice is the establishment or restoration of fair, equitable and harmonious relationships in the society. Sadiqah = righteousness. Hesed = steadfast love (unfailing, unending love).
The Social Justice Commission cannot make these things happen by itself. Therefore, the attached letter is asking for your support so we can be a voice of one that can speak for thousands of people in Manhattan, the Bronx and West Chester County. It is easy to complain but it takes more energy to do something about what we complain about.
We have seen that it does not always matter whether the people in power are Democrats or Republicans, some of them (or most of them) seem to serve their own interests which leave us on the short end. I am asking that you read the following letter and sign it as a show of your support of the UMBA Social Justice Commission as we advocate of you, your church family, the Body of Christ and the people at large.
Thank you in advance for your attention and cooperation to this urgent matter.
Forever in His Service,
Pastor Keith W. Roberson I, M.Div.
Commissioner of Social Justice Commissioner for UMBA