Dear Friends in Christ,
Like all of you, we are heartbroken and angry about the killing of George Floyd. This horrific act of violence reveals deep racial injustices that continue to be present in our common life. Many of you saw the Bishop-elect’s initial statement on Tuesday, which can be found here.
We are grateful for and fully supportive of the lay and ordained leaders who are joining those protesting this injustice, and keeping vigil in its aftermath. This afternoon, we had a conversation with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who shared the following:
“This crisis reflects deep sores and deep wounds that have been here all along. In the midst of COVID-19 and the pressure cooker of a society in turmoil, a man was brutally killed. The basic human right to life was taken away. His basic human dignity was stripped by someone charged to protect our common humanity. And perhaps the deeper pain of this is the fact that it’s not an isolated incident. The pain of this is that it’s a deep part of our life. It’s not just our history. It is American society today.
We are not, however, slaves to our fate … unless we choose to do nothing.”
We hope that, as the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, we will choose to do something, and commit again to the work of racial reconciliation and justice. We are writing to ask all Minnesota Episcopalians to join us, as a start, in taking the following actions:
- Call elected officials to demand justice.
- If you can, donate to organizations working on the front line of these issues: Black Visions Collective, Reclaim the Block, Minnesota Freedom Fund, CTUL, COPAL, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, NAACP Minneapolis, Voices for Racial Justice
- Donate to the family of George Floyd.
- If you are a white person, we invite you to find ways to amplify the voices of those who are not being heard. We invite you to continue to learn, to engage in dialogue and to move beyond your comfort zone to understand your privilege. We’ve curated many resources over the years that you can find here.
- Donate to the Lake Street Council.
Finally, we recognize that this work needs to be ongoing for a long time to come. The systemic racism revealed in the killing of George Floyd is not limited to police precincts, it is also present in our own church. The work of repentance and reconciliation is work we hope that we can all hold one another accountable to in the years to come.
While there are no easy answers to everything unfolding around us, as followers of Jesus, we always have a clear question: what does love look like?
We pray that we might walk the way of love, witness to the way of love, and join with the Holy Spirit in turning the nightmare our world can be into the dream that God longs to bring about.
Bishop Brian N. Prior
Bishop-elect Craig Loya
The Episcopal Church in Minnesota
You can read an initial statement from Bishop-elect Loya here.