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A Letter from the Rector
June 3, 2020

Dear friends,

We are living in beautiful and painful times.  

I have been hearing, and sharing, from and with you, our outrage about seeing President Trump stand in front of an Episcopal church in Washington D.C., holding a Bible.  We know that the President authorized tear gas and militarized officers to clear the area of peaceful protesters, including clergy and seminarians who were handing out masks and water, in order to stage this photo op.  We have a right and good gut reaction to this: to not being used, to not agreeing, to loving our sacred ground.  We are clear that this image does not belong to anything we agreed to in our baptismal covenant and it is a violation of what and who we are.  

In the midst of our rage and shock, it is a critical time to make sure that we keep our eyes and hearts focused not just on reprehensible images but on the desecration of human life that has been happening all around us, since the birth of this country on stolen land.  We promise to uphold the dignity of every human person: the murders of Black women and men at the hands of those meant to serve and protect tear at this foundational promise.  The Episcopal Church itself (ourselves) has been most often on the side of silence, quiet consent, and enforcement of institutional racism at all levels of our common life.  Isn't it lovely that God grants us this chaotic time to do something new?  To repent, and turn toward the new, toward love, toward health and wholeness?  

The photograph was a stunt.  Beloved children of God are still dead.  We must exercise our disciplined focus there, in the lament, in the grief, in the morgues, and also, equally, in the hope that Christ has given us.  In the fact that we are the ones we have been waiting for.  That this crisis can and must end.  That God's breath gets to remain in every uniquely created human form, and not just in the rich ones, the white ones, the comfortable ones.  That we will protect that breath with our very selves.  

Friends, there is so much to take heart from during this time.  Broad coalitions from all strata of society are coming together to say "no more."  Christ Church parents are talking with each other about how to tell our children when is happening, and helping them understand their place in building a new world.  Organizers from eras past are welcoming and mentoring a new wave of young people newly engaged in this fight.  We are seeing what Christianity calls kenosis - "self-emptying" - across this country, with people holding their own lives lightly to offer themselves to the common good.  Holy sacrifice abounds, and it is beautiful.  

This Wednesday evening, for Wednesday Night Live with Christ Church, I will be facilitating a conversation about this moment in our history.  There will be time for reactions, rage, confusion, hope, and faith.  Please let Cara know if you would like the link.  

I am working on a list of concrete ways to help, including being out at protests, but also the wide network of ways that we can all contribute to a piece of the healing for which our world cries.  That will be out soon.  

Until then, I am grateful for each of you, for your lives, for your courage, for your fight, for your fear, for your honesty, and for your love of Jesus Christ, our Savior, who couldn't breathe, on the cross.  

With great love,
All in-person operations are suspended at Christ Church until further notice during the outbreak of Covid-19 in order to keep the community healthy, including Sunday services.

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Christ Episcopal Church · 4548 Brooklyn Ave. NE · Seattle, Wa 98105 · USA

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