On this Good Friday, as we remember the public execution of Jesus of Nazareth, we pray for Patrick Lyoya, who was recently killed by a police officer in Grand Rapids, and his family. As Jesus prayed for those who crucified him and for the city of Jerusalem, we also pray for the Grand Rapids Police Department and for the city of Grand Rapids. As our nation once again feels the pain and anger surrounding the death of an unarmed Black person at the hands of the police, we pray and patiently wait for a peaceful, independent, and transparent investigation. 

The continued occurrence of these tragic events throughout our country highlights the mistrust, division, systemic racism, and fear that inflicts and infects our neighborhoods, communities, and society. Therefore, we look to Jesus to bring peace, justice, reconciliation, and new life. As Christ’s body in the world, we commit as a Church to peacefully and prayerfully participate in Jesus’s own work of reconciling and restoring all things to God through our solidarity, advocacy, and civic engagement.

The Rev. Craig Alan Satterlee, Ph.D., Bishop