“We remain hopeful that the rally will not be besieged by hate groups or violence, but we feel that a relevant church must always be prepared to go wherever God’s people are hurting,” said the Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston, Bishop of Virginia. “Events like these make our Intercultural Summit all the more timely, relevant and needed.”
The song leader told us to sing loud enough for the neo-Nazis outside to hear. This church—my Episcopal church—normally a place of stiffness and Southern gentility, transformed into a loud celebration. We were stomping and pounding on the backs of pews, clapping our hands together like cymbals … with unencumbered joy, all ages and races and faiths together, trapped in a building with no particular urgency to leave each other. In that moment, we were unified, choosing joy in the face of an unknowable terror.
“I think it is the responsible thing for us to do,” Bishop Lawrence Provenzano said.
White people, speak out against white supremacy. It is we white people who must speak to white supremacists to make clear that we do not agree with them, that they do not speak for the “white race.” Our silence will be heard as complicity. – Bishops Johnston, Goff and Gulick
Episcopal bishops and faith leaders across the country have spoken out and named the dangerous racist ideology behind Saturday’s violence.