A Statement of Commitment and Action Saint Mark’s Cathedral Parish

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RENEWING OUR COVENANT:

A Statement of Commitment and Action
Saint Mark’s Cathedral Parish

St Mark's Cathedral - SeattleSaint Mark’s Cathedral Parish reaffirms its commitment to respect the dignity of every human being, strive for justice and peace among all people, and seek and serve Christ in all persons. We are concerned about the increase in statements and actions in our nation that target particular groups of people based on their skin color, their religious affiliation, their gender or orientation, their disabilities, or their country of birth. These are artificial divisions that we vehemently denounce as discriminatory and disrespectful. We believe our nation can do better, and we pledge to work toward that better vision here and now. We commit to being a network of activists, in God’s name, joining others who similarly pledge to actively pursue justice. Here’s how we will engage this work:

1. We will go deeper in faith.
We commit to read, study, and live the words of Jesus. The prophet Micah’s words provide a mantra for us as people of faith: “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” We must seek both courage and humility as we respond.

2. We will listen.
We will listen to those with whom we may disagree as we seek safe and sacred spaces for hearing each other’s stories, pains, fears, and hopes. We will foster such dialogue so that our children might learn the meaning of the diversity and pluralism that is America’s best future.

3. We will lift up truth.
We will strive to replace fear with facts when it comes to public discussions about immigrants, refugees, Muslims, racial diversity, and national security. Our times require a moral compass, and truth-telling is an important part of this.

4. We will reject White Nationalism.
We will name racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia as sins. We believe all people are made in God’s image, and we affirm diversity as a gift, blessing, and opportunity for our nation.

5. We will love our neighbors by protecting them from hate speech and attacks.
We will identify, report, and confront hate speech and behavior — against all ethnic and religious groups, women, LGBTQ people, immigrants, people with disabilities, and all marginalized groups. Our church stands as a sanctuary and safe haven for people threatened by those who would attack them.

6. We will welcome the stranger, as our Scriptures instruct.
We will advocate for immigrants and their families, and we will block, interfere, and obstruct the mass deportations of immigrants who are members of our communities.

7. We will expose and oppose racial profiling in policing.
We will join with other local faith communities in monitoring the relationship of our police to our communities, calling out racial injustice when we see it.

8. We will defend religious liberty.
We embrace Muslims as fellow Americans and stand with our local mosques in congregational solidarity. We will denounce the defamation and banning of Muslims, and will seek to disrupt any attempt to require registration of Muslims.

9. We will work to end misogyny that enables sexism and a culture of sexual violence.
We will work to replace misogyny with mutual respect. We will name sexual assault for what it is—a sin and a crime. Gender fairness and equality must be fundamental principles in our workplaces, schools, and political systems.

10. We will fight for climate justice and protection of our environment.
As stewards of our land, air and water, we will stand with others in broad coalition to preserve these precious resources while working to reverse the troubling trends of human-caused climate change.

11. We will protest with our best values.
We will defend constitutional values and workplace fairness, striving to respect the dignity of every human being. Whether in our streets, with our schools or in our workplaces — we will protest with dignity, discipline, and non-violence, not with hate for hate.

12. We make these commitments to you, and with you.
The days and weeks and years ahead will surely require much of us. Saint Mark’s Cathedral will be here to provide sustenance for the journey, resources for learning, safe space for dialogue, and opportunities for prayerful resistance and action. Join us as we engage this work, as community, in God’s name.

Adopted unanimously by the Vestry of Saint Mark’s Cathedral Parish
Seattle, Washington
December 20, 2016

Main photo is from threesheetsnw.com. The second photo is from sarahtude at flickr.com.

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3 Responses to "A Statement of Commitment and Action Saint Mark’s Cathedral Parish"
  1. A stirring declaration. The difficulty, as I see it, is in balancing #2, and (in breadth) #4. To wit, "Listening to you, I hear 'Make America Great Again'. But I name the practical reality of what you say, as 'racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia'".

    God bless, St Mark's, as you live into your commitment. May we all look for ways to renew our baptismal covenants also.

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  2. This is a great idea. It covers the very things that the United States should stand for. Unfortunately for the United States Trump got elected and he is not only not qualified for the office, he is not able to understand what St. Mark's has written! Hopefully many people from all walks of life and backgrounds will note St. Mark's stand and do what they can in their own lives to share these statements. Yesterday they said that Trump's first agenda is to do away with the Affordable Care Act and undo medicaid and medicare and the Republicans are excited to do so, so people like my family and me will be back where we were with no medical coverage. I admire St. Mark's for their brave stand, but Trump and his gang are out to undo most of what helped the regular citizen of America, so it's a very helpless and hopeless life for the "little guy" right now in the U.S.

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    • Dear Anne,
      I hear you. The fears you express are legitimate. The threat is real. You are not alone in your experience of helplessness and hopelessness.
      When I was hopeless and helpless, something I never imagined possible happened: my faith community stepped up and held hope for me. They helped me. They kept and nurtured faith for me until the time when I could reclaim it--a thing I thought, at one time, could not ever happen again.
      I will never admonish you, or anyone else, to bootstrap hope. You and I have never met, but this is my pledge to you: I will hold your hope for you. As your sister in Christ, I will help, and hope, for you and on your behalf, for as long as you need. I am able to make this pledge not through any strength or virtue of my own, but because the Body of Christ has done it for me.
      I will stand up and speak out. I will rock the boat and make waves and flip tables. I will disrupt the nihilistic narrative by blessing those who curse us and praying for those who would harm us. I will love outrageously. And I will hold your hope for you.

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