VIDEO - Public Witness, Reflection, and Prayer
On Monday, June 8th at 1pm, the clergy and leaders from the Monroe and Rochester Districts of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester gathered on the steps of The Episcopal Church of St. Luke and St. Simon Cyrene. The gathering in downtown Rochester was a public witness, reflection, and prayer, in response to the death of George Floyd.
You can watch the gathering HERE
Here is a statement from our clergy:
We, the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, New York, joined by members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, gather in the sacred memory of George Floyd and of countless other people of color who have been brutalized, imprisoned, and murdered. But we do not gather simply to remember and to honor. Today, those of us with white bodies renew our commitment to advocate for, defend, and protect those of us with black or brown bodies.
We gather in front of the Episcopal Church of St. Luke and St. Simon Cyrene to proclaim the two great commandments of Jesus, the commandments that the great leaders of our country have sought to follow, and which form the highest calling of our Church: to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We gather in deep sorrow, God’s and our own, that the leader of our nation desecrated these commandments by using military violence to forge a path to get to a church and pose with a bible before the media. We gather to denounce the increasing militarization of our police departments, and our government’s use of military violence against its own citizens. We gather to call for an end to the violence.
We gather today as a Church to proclaim ourselves first and foremost repentant. We gather in deep sorrow, God’s and our own, that we, the church, have desecrated the two great commandments.
The Episcopal Church, its clergy and its members -- we are among those who have benefited from the violence done to black and brown bodies at this nation’s conception and the systemic racism upon which this country was founded: violence and racial injustices that have plagued us ever since. Today, we publicly confess our complicity in the sin of racism and the reign of white supremacy. We call on our government to do the same.
Today, we re-commit our ministry and our lives to becoming the church God calls us to be: unwavering followers Jesus, healers of the nations, and repairers of the breach.