There are moments these days—long, agonizing moments—when it seems like what St. Paul called the powers and principalities may overcome the saints of God and take us under. Yet my hope is founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the many, many examples of bold witness offered by so many of brave and humble Episcopalians throughout our history and across our diocese who are tirelessly working to bring God’s peace and transformation to a wounded world.
Earlier this evening, Bishop Mariann Budde of the Diocese of Washington expressed the outrage many Episcopalians and other Christians felt when peaceful protestors in front of the White House were tear gassed to clear the way for President Trump to walk across the street to have his photo taken holding a Bible in front of the parish house of St. John’s Episcopal Church. There are too many things wrong with this scenario to recount here, but because we value “standing with the vulnerable and marginalized to transform systems of injustice” the events of today and this past week have left my soul deeply troubled.
I am grateful for Bishop Budde’s leadership and her proclamation of what our church stands for. In part, she wrote, “In faithfulness to our Savior who lived a life of non-violence and sacrificial love, we align ourselves with those seeking justice for the death of George Floyd and countless others through the sacred act of peaceful protest.” As I was writing this brief message, I received word that the protests in Indianapolis in front of the Governor’s mansion—just a few blocks from my home—ended peacefully with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police joining the protesters in an act of solidarity. Let us all pray for more moments of reconciliation as we continue to do the long and hard work of bringing an end to police brutality, violence, economic injustice and racial strife. Stay strong in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. And to quote another mentor, the Rev. Canon Ed Rodman, “Let there be peace among us, and let us not be instruments of our own or other’s oppression.”