Only those who choose love instead of hate can change the world for better
Like so many of our brothers and sisters in the County, we watched in stunned horror and disbelief as a mob launched a violent assault on the Capitol Building in an unlawful attempt to overthrow an election. We believe that no amount of disappointment or frustration can justify such behavior.
As was the case this past summer, we acknowledge that pain and anger can bring people together in their constitutional right to protest, but we denounce all violence on society as an attempt to resolve differences. We also denounce behaviors that fueled this insurrection by individuals who attempted to manipulate people they were elected to serve.
We offer appreciation for the restraint of individual, overwhelmed law enforcement officers on the scene. However, it is important to our future together that we honestly examine why a similar strategy was not employed when police were confronted by protests that were more peaceful, as a whole, in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder.
And yet, beyond the shock and dismay, we still believe in the ideals of justice, mutual respect, and dignity which our founders declared; and, in the power of love to overcome all fear, despair and division. We believe that only those who choose to manifest love instead of hate can change the world for better.
The dream that is America cannot happen by wishing or simply praying for it. We cannot continue to ignore the lessons of history. To live into the promise of liberty and freedom requires individual commitment to each other and the ideals we profess. We can do this.
In that spirit, we think it appropriate to close this letter with a prayer from our tradition:
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, and especially the hearts of the people of this land, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace. (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 822)
The People of All Saints Episcopal Parish, Sunderland