If you hear one sermon about America’s Trayvon Martin moment, let it be this one. Pastor Howard-John Wesley of Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va., preached this powerful message on Sunday, July 14, the morning after a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of Martin’s death. “I have a racial consciousness that lets me know that in situations like this it typically does not work out in our favor,” he preaches. “This is not the first we’ve had to learn to live with a verdict that hurts.”
Wesley tells TIME:
My Christian faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ assures me that an unjust verdict is never the end of the story and the saga of divine grace and justice. I place my faith and surrender my anger to the Lord and then I’m grabbing my shoes and marching with others to the Departments of Justice around this land demanding that the story of Trayvon Martin continue.
For more on how Wesley and other pastors around the country are rallying their congregations to push back against the verdict and the state of race relations in America, read this week’s cover story.