George Floyd and the Trinity
May 24, 2021
Dear parents and families,
This upcoming Sunday is Trinity Sunday. It has helped me to look at the Trinity in a new way. As opposed to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, I prefer to say God the Creator, God the Redeemer, and God the Sustainer or Sanctifier. It frames the Trinity differently and removes any preconceived notions of gender. God surpasses the labels we impose on ourselves and one another.
God the Creator created us in God’s likeness. God the Redeemer, fondly known as Jesus Christ, died so we may have eternal life. God the Sustainer breathed life into the apostles after the Ascension and remains with us always. All three elements of that perfect trinity are in our lives as anchors for hope, joy, nourishment, and above all, love.
Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of George Floyd's murder. This milestone is a painful reminder of our country’s white supremacist culture. God, who weeps with us and rejoices with us, lamented and cried when George Floyd’s life was taken far too early. So where is God -- Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer -- in all of this? God walks with us. There is no absence of God.
God the Creator wept and mourned when George Floyd was taken from this earth far too early. God the Redeemer entered humanity as Jesus: born in a stable and spending time in his life as a carpenter, Jesus was no stranger to living among the most vulnerable and oppressed in society. Jesus knew state-sanctioned death, and welcomed George Floyd into the Great Cloud of Witnesses. God the Sustainer is in the massive work for racial justice and repair that followed George Floyd’s murder and continues today. The Trinity fills our hearts with grace to hold the painful, heartfelt conversations, and leads us to the place where repentance, remorse, and resurrection intersect.
While we continue to fight for justice for all, it is important to find God’s presence. Is God nurturing you and supporting you through heartbreak? Is God empowering you to learn about racism, white privilege, and work to address the injustices that Black and Brown people face every day? Perhaps God is helping you discern just what to do. Maybe you are unsure of where God is or exactly what God is doing; that is more than okay. No matter what, God never abandons us.
To invite the Trinity into your conversations at home, or to offer some help in guiding conversations with children, here are some articles, books, and websites which may offer helpful information:
- Resources for families to help families talk about the "tough stuff"
- Talking to Young Children About Race and Racism from PBS
- Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing
- Faces: A Love Story by Roger Hutchison (family-friendly)
- Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham (family-friendly)
If you feel unsure, uncomfortable, or just defeated right now, you are not alone. We have resources on talking to your children about racism. The clergy and staff are here to provide pastoral support and guidance for families during challenging times -- myself included. Let us continue the good fight in the name of all of God’s forms: Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.