In stark contrast to the reckless and divisive actions of the “grievance industry” out to exploit the death of Trayvon Martin for political gain, a group of black and white pastors and other Christian leaders came together on Wednesday for a racial-reconciliation forum.
The meeting was held at the offices of Charisma Media in Lake Mary, Fla., just a few miles from where Martin was killed, to draft the Sanford Declaration with hopes that it will spread across the nation, according to Charisma News.
The effort is the result of 15 months of relationship-building between pastors of different denominations and races.
While much of the media anxiously warned of racial discord in Sanford should George Zimmerman be found not guilty in the death of Martin, the resulting calm was in large part a result of the work of Sanford Pastors Connecting, an organization that formed shortly after the shooting.
“God has given grace to Sanford, and we’re challenging the country to tap into this grace,” Jeff Krall, senior pastor of Family Worship Center in Sanford, said on Thursday. “Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers.’ We can all receive this grace if we return to God because the grace is there, and it’s available.”
Former state representative Scott Plakon, a board member of Christian Life Missions, which is assisting the effort with logistical support, told BizPac Review, “We know that according to Romans 8:28 that with God, some good can come from this terrible situation that happened in our community.”
“Bringing people together from diverse backgrounds to encourage better understanding of each other is always good,” Plakon continued.
In all, there were about 30 Christian leaders in attendance Thursday, including pastors from Atlanta, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., as reported by the Orlando Sentinel.
Initiatives within the Sanford Declaration include pulpit exchanges between churches, joint leadership and family retreats and cross-cultural projects in the local metropolitan areas to assist in lifting families out of generational poverty and motivating at risk youth.
“We have to deal with racism as a whole,” Dominion International Church pastor Derrick Gay told CF News 13. “And I believe one of the ways to do that is by the church and its leadership, and I believe once its leadership is unified we can make an impact on the culture.”
It’s unfortunate that the so-called Rev. Jesse Jackson rejects these productive efforts in lieu of furthering the racial divide.
The short documentary below — Sanford: The Untold Story — details the results of the pastor’s forum in April, 2012 to improve race relations.
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