[Diocese of Michigan] A great man has died; a true light of peace has gone out; a voice for freedom is now silent. We add our prayers to those of millions around the world as we mourn the death of Nelson Mandela.
We must remember! The true character of Nelson Mandela radiated forth because he refused to be held down by racism; because he refused to be consumed by hatred; and because he refused to settle for the shallow judgment of a person based solely on outward appearance at the expense of the person’s true being.
We must remember! How Mr. Mandela lifted himself from oppression and imprisonment to serve as the leader of his country and became an icon of reconciliation was nothing short of remarkable. His courage, grace and compassion were evident. He did not merely speak of equal and fair treatment for all. He expressed it through forgiveness, and by embracing his adversaries.
With the passing of Nelson Mandela, we must not settle for simply remembering his name; we must act! We must live the principles of true equality, forgiveness and reconciliation each day so that we, too, can be remembered as “having done our job on earth.”
May he rest in peace and rise in glory!
– The Rt. Rev. Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr.
10th Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Michigan