Episcopal responses to the events in Baltimore

Weeping for Baltimore: A Statement by Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton
“‘According to data stretching from 1999-2011, African Americans have comprised 26 percent of all police-shooting victims. Overall, young African Americans are killed by cops 4 ½ times more often than people of other races and ages.’ (quote from the Daily Beast, Nov. 26, 2014)

We need to remember these statistics, because each of those black lives mattered – if not to all of us, then at least they mattered to God. Those of us who regularly attend an Episcopal church renew our baptismal vows several times a year. At the renewal, the presider asks this question: “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?”  To which the people respond, “I will, with God’s help.” (Book of Common Prayer, pgs. 292-294) That’s one of the most difficult vows for all of us to keep in a nation that has struggled with the sin of racism since its inception.”

The Rev. Gayle Fisher-Stewart
“As I look at what is occurring in Baltimore in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray while in the custody of the Baltimore City Police, it’s time to call police officers and members of the community together to discuss both cultures. Where are the police learning how they view minorities, and how are members of the minority community learning their attitudes about the police? It’s also interesting that those being killed and those doing the shooting are the same generation. It’s not “senior” police officers killing young, black males. How can we explain that? We need to start the conversation now because, unfortunately, there will be a next time. The church has always been on the forefront of social justice and this cries out for the reconciling hand of the church.”

EDOW Blog: Listening to the Silence
The Rev. Canon Kim Baker
“At a prayer service in Baltimore on Tuesday, young people who live in areas afflicted by the recent uprising rose to tell their stories. “No one is listening, no one cares,” was the ubiquitous lament present in each story. Over and over again, we were told that no one was listening to their pleas for the hope that comes from education, employment, and empathy.”

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