Christian Chronicle

A tragic death, a tough dialogue

‘Why are you even talking about it?’ some Christians ask in the year after George Floyd’s killing.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

WOODBURY, Minn. — A year ago, George Floyd’s killing sparked outrage around the world.

At the Woodbury Church of Christ, a predominantly White congregation about 20 miles east of Minneapolis, the Black man’s death under a police officer’s knee provoked difficult conversations.

Some church members in this fast-growing suburb, where new homes keep replacing cornfields and pastures, welcomed the ongoing dialogue on race and justice.

Others were not pleased.

RELATED: In city where George Floyd died, minister emerges as key champion for justice

“We’ve had some people say, ‘Why are you even talking about it?’” said Patrick Doherty, preaching minister for the Woodbury church, which averaged Sunday attendance of about 240 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

But he’s quick to add: “Most of the feedback about tackling the topic has been supportive. The bulk of members are aware that this discussion needs to happen.”

Even before fired Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin ignored Floyd’s cries of “I can’t breathe” on May 25, 2020, the Woodbury church had taken steps to bridge racial divides.

Those steps include annual unity services with the Minneapolis Central Church of Christ and helping with the predominantly Black congregation’s benevolence and food ministry.

But the aftermath of Floyd’s death exposed differences within the Woodbury church itself.

Read the full story.

This story appears in the June edition of The Christian Chronicle.

RELATED: Why the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement is so controversial to many Christians

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