During the 2015 GC Session, Alvin Kibble, vice president of public affairs and religious liberty, learned that a symbol of hate — the confederate flag — would be removed from the South Carolina Capitol, following the massacre of nine African American worshippers by a white supremacist at a Charleston church. Kibble stood at a delegate mic in the Alamodome and waited for a chance to speak. God had impressed on his heart to call for a moment of silence for the men and women killed less than a month prior. When he was finally granted permission to speak, he asked the chairman if the body could observe a moment for the victims. The response? Kibble was told he was out of order and the request was denied.
After relating this experience at the North American Division Year-end Meetings on Sabbath, November 3, 2018, Kibble then said:
Sabbath - Sabbath - Worshippers - Midst - Worship
“A Sabbath ago there were 11 Sabbath worshippers, who were taken down in the midst of worship, there at the Tree of Life in Pittsburgh. And my heart grieves, because that could have been us. When we get to be too important to take up the cause of others, we lose our authority to be able to preach hope and wholeness to anybody….We lose our credibility if we don’t have the courage to say ‘this is wrong. This isn’t right.’ And so this morning as we prepare for our worship, our prayer of intercession, I would hope that we would have a moment of silence — and nobody’s going to call me out of order — for those 11 who were cut down. They were the stalwart members of that religious community...and they are without life today because somebody thought they would prefer to have their space than their presence.”
Bonita Shields, newly appointed director of Stewardship,...
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