Statement Regarding the Capitol Insurrection
Racial Justice and Reconciliation Task Force
Diocese of Bethlehem
January 13, 2021


Like many Americans, the Racial Justice and Reconciliation Task Force is saddened and horrified by the riots at the Capitol last week. Our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry made a statement about the events, as did our own Bishop Kevin. We echo the sentiments of these and other leaders, and we stand committed to serving democracy, equity, justice, and reconciliation, especially in this season when we are fractured as a country.

Coded and uncoded symbols of hatred, some historic, others contemporary appeared with pride, used intentionally to instill fear and stoke chaos. These on their own are an act of terrorism. We reject such racism and White supremacy. We likewise denounce the Christian nationalism that fueled this insurrection. And at this time, we especially stand in solidarity with our Jewish siblings, and we actively denounce every root of anti-Semitism.

In Biblical tradition, we lament right now. We lament the use of violence. We lament the loss of life. We lament the spread of false information and conspiracy theories. We lament the unfair treatment protesters of color frequently receive while standing for equality, while a White mob stormed the Capitol illegally with minimal intervention. We lament that groups and institutions, including within the Christian churches, too often value stability and self-preservation over justice and righteousness. We lament the brokenness we see and feel.

In our lamenting, we turn our hearts to God.

God, we ask for the sending of your healing Spirit,
who came to us through Jesus, as he breathed upon his disciples.
This Spirit gathered your people,
to be warmed by the fire of divine presence.
By this warmth, may our land be healed and taken into your care.
Come, Holy Spirit, and heal all that is broken in our lives, in our streets, and in our world. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Enuma Okoro. Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010), 555.

Additional Statements from:
The Poor People’s Campaign
The National Council of Churches
POWER Interfaith

Signed by the members of the Diocesan Task Force for Racial Justice and Reconciliation

Ms. Sandy Milien & the Reverend Canon Dale Grandfield, co-chairs
The Reverend T. Scott Allen
Ms. Melissa Amator
The Reverend Rebecca Barnes
Mr. Paul Barnwell
Mr. Chuck Dickerson
Ms. Judie Dickerson
Ms. Megan Fox
The Reverend Arthur Jones
Ms. Jessica Lee
Mr. M. Enrique Molina
Ms. Cynthia Nortey Jones
The Reverend Elizabeth Hoffman Reed Dr. Elena FitzPatrick Sifford
The Reverend Christine Sutton The Reverend Andrew VanBuren
The Reverend John Francis