June 5, 2020
To all the faithful of the Metropolis of Atlanta:
My beloved children in the Lord,
I greet you with love in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Like so many of my fellow citizens, and indeed, others around the world, I also join them in expressing the extreme pain and outrage for the senseless death of George Floyd. In the week that has followed, our country has seen a time of great unrest, discussion, and serious contemplation about the future. I echo the words of our venerable Archbishop of America, His Eminence Elpidophoros, who stated, "“The unjust slaying of George Floyd cannot be where America stands. Violence only breeds violence, but when such violence is perpetrated by those in authority, we must all stand up and say: ‘Not on our watch!’ We must stand against racism and stand for equality for all."

As Christians, it is our goal to live in peace with all our neighbors, in imitation of Christ Who is our Peace. Unfortunately, the brokenness of our human existence means that such a goal is often very difficult. Even so, in the face of evil and wrongdoings, we must continue to pray, as we do in the beginning of every Divine Liturgy, "For the peace from above and the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord."

In times like these, we must remember that we are all brothers and
sisters created in the Image and Likeness of our God, and we need to live in peace and harmony. As my Brother Hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco wrote:
"When we bring harm to another person, it is as if we are bringing harm directly to God. The tragic death of George Floyd and the deaths that have occurred as a result of the protests have transgressed this fundamental truth."

This is the spirit that exists in the Orthodox faith, and as we await the coming of

the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, we pray that the Counselor, the Spirit of Truth, will bring justice to the world, and protect those who cannot defend themselves, so that we may live in brotherly love which emanates from our Creator Himself. With this, I remain,

Yours with paternal love and blessings in the Lord,

+ AL E X IO S

Metropolitan of Atlanta