The City of St. Petersburg in shock at the tragic death of Arnieceia Milton. We’ve been sent a crushing blow at our tragic and violent innocent death, and we must proclaim, “Enough is Enough” As we marched for Black Lives Matter, and sought change, we too must be a voice for this fine young women. To loose her at such a young age is a travesty. This is clearly not God’s design or will for her life. John 10:10 Jesus says
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.“
The direction for our life is one of blessing and abundance and this young life has been stolen from us. Her being taken from us is painful for the entire community of St. Petersburg as so many mourn her loss. This is not God’s design for us. 1 Peter 1:3
The life of Arnieceia Milton must become a catalyst for the resurrection and transformation of our city. That violence and death cannot be the answer to conflict. We must form our young people to see that the power of a community coming together can change transform our “Chaos to Community” MLK.
As we marched for Black Lives Matter, so to does Arnieceia’s life matter and all our young people, we cannot go on killing our own sisters and brothers. But we must come together, praying together, working together, reaching out together, building bridges together, valuing life, seeing all of us a sacred. All lives of our Black Lives must matter.
See in the sister or brother next to you and on the street as your sister or brother. We ask How can I help you? How can I be there for you? Is there anything that you need? Can I support you? We need to claim our youth and young people back, no matter how rough it is. Let them know that they matter, and teach them to move from violence to peace. From shouting and shooting, to talking and loving. We’ve got to stop this, Enough is Enough, our eyes must be open to valuing our young people. Let us walk our streets embracing our youth and guide them.
Each one touch one, claim our young people from the guns and violence. Claim them back as our own. Only when we come together can we survive. There are two little children who no longer have their mother and they will be traumatized the rest of their lives. They have been forever altered and forever changed. Let’s create this new community where we are all valued, we all matter and we are all loved.
May the Divine Word of God lead us and guide us through this tragedy.
Rev. Stephan Brown, SVD