A Statement on Racism from the Clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark

צדק צדק תרדף
Justice, justice, you shall pursue.
(Deuteronomy 16:20)

These words appeared on a framed print in the office of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died on September 18. The failure of charges to be brought against the police officers who murdered Breonna Taylor as she slept in her home in Louisville last March is a clear indication that justice has, once again, been denied a Black person in this country.

We, the members of the clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, believe that our faith requires us to stand on the side of the marginalized and the oppressed, to respond to injustice when it occurs, and to relentlessly work to eradicate the racism that plagues our country.

The highly publicized killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and the disproportionate number of Black persons killed at the hands of police, reveal a system that is unable to heal itself, unable to carry out its responsibility to serve all people with equal justice and dignity.

We believe our Christian faith calls us to meet this moment, and that in order to do that, each one of us must engage in a practice of prayerful discernment to uncover and repent of the racism we all harbor within our minds and hearts. We call on those of other faith traditions or no tradition at all to join us in this act of repentance.

We believe that fewer resources are needed to militarize police departments and more resources must be devoted to community services, including social workers and public health personnel, affordable housing
and first-rate schools.

We say with one voice that racism is a sin, that Black Lives Matter, and that we are committed to ensuring the rights to safety at home, when out for a jog, or going about the business of daily life for those who currently are treated with suspicion because of the color of their skin. All of these privileges that white people mindlessly and effortlessly enjoy must be equally and fully available to all of our neighbors.

We follow the One who stood with the powerless and weak against the might of empire, and we have all promised in our baptism to “strive for justice and peace” among all people. We promise to use our
voices, our dollars, our votes, and our bodies to prevent the continued violence against Black people in this country, and to create a more just society where we all may flourish.

Signed:
The Rev. Hilario Albert, Priest-in-Charge, Grace Church, Union City
The Rev. Mariano Gargiulo, Rector, St. James Church, Ridgefield
The Rev. Thomas M. Murphy, Rector, Church of St. Paul and Incarnation, Jersey City
The Rev. S. Elizabeth Searle, Vicar, Church of Our Saviour, Secaucus
The Rev. Deacon Jill Singleton, Church of St. Paul and Incarnation, Jersey City
The Rev. Willie James Smith, Rector, Trinity Church, Cliffside Park
The Rev. Elaine Ellis Thomas, Rector, All Saints Parish, Hoboken
The Rev. Laurie Jean Wurm, Rector, Grace Church van Vorst, Jersey City
The Rev. Diana L. Wilcox, Rector, Christ Church in Bloomfield & Glen Ridge
The Rev. Rose Cohen Hassan, Interim Priest-in-Charge, South Orange
The Rev. Canon Robert Griner, Rector, Christ Church, Newton
The Rev. Dr. Peter Savastano, Priest Associate, St. Luke’s, Montclair
The Rev Fr Kevin PJ Coffey, SCP, a/CSJB, Rector, Atonement, Fair Lawn
The Rev. Jon M. Richardson, Rector, St. David’s Church, Kinnelon
The Venerable Peter Jackson, Archdeacon
The Rev. Jill Williams, Curate, Christ Church, Ridgewood
The Rev. Sharon Hausman, Flanders, NJ
The Rev. Raul E. Ausa, SCP, Priest-in-Charge, Trinity Church, Allendale
The Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Kaeton, retired, Diocese of Newark.
The Rev. Lauren Ackland, retired
The Rev. Dr. Franklin Vilas, retired, Diocese of Newark
The Rev. Elizabeth M. Edman, Diocese of Newark
The Rev. Paul Yoon, Priest-in-Charge, Saint Agnes Church, Little Falls
The Rev. Nathaniel K. M. Darville, Rector, St. Peter’s Church, Essex Fells
The Rev. E. Michael Allen, retired, Diocese of Newark
The Rev. R. Grant Mansfield, Rector, St. George’s Church, Maplewood
The Rev. Ally Brundige
The Rev. Lorna Erixson, Rector, St. Mark’s Church, Mendham
The Rev. Canon Michel Belt, retired, Madison
The Rev. Dr. Debra Brewin-Wilson, Rector, St. Mary’s Church, Sparta
The Revd Sylvester Ekunwe, Vicar, St. Andrew’s Episcopal church, Newark
The. Rev. Audrey Hasselbrook, St. James Church, Upper Montclair
The Rev. Cynthia L. Black, D.D., Rector, Church of the Redeemer, Morristown
The Rev. Anne E. Kitch, Rector, St. Luke’s, Phillipsburg
The Rev. C. Melissa Hall, Rector, St. James, Upper Montclair
Rev. Philip Wilson, retired
The Rev. Robert L Shearer, Priest-in-Charge, Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Fort Lee
The Rev. Diana Doyle Clark, retired
The Rev. Michael Gerhardt, Christ Church and St. John the Divine, Hackensack
The Rev. Dr. Ellen Marie (Sister Helena) Barrett, OSB, St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow, Scotland
The Rev. Susan Saucedo Sica, Rector, St. Gregory’s Church, Parsippany
The Rev. Margaret Reinfield Haridis, retired
The Venerable Diane Riley, Archdeacon
The Rev. Paul V. Olsson, Rector, St. Paul’s Church, Morris Plains
The Rev. Susan Chrystal
The Rev. George C. Wong, Rector, The Church of the Saviour, Denville
The Very Rev. Dr. C David Williams, Trinity and St. Philip’s Cathedral, retired
The Rev. Dr. K. Christine Pae, Denison University
The Rev. Ellen Kohn-Perry, Assistant Rector, St. Paul’s Chatham
The Rev. Dr. Shane Phelan, Companions of Mary the Apostle
The Rev. Laura R. Matarazzo, retired
The Rev. Geoff Curtiss
The Rev. William Guthrie, Retired, Diocese of Newark
The Rev. Gregory A. Jacobs, Retired
The Rev. Bowie Snodgrass, Priest-in-Charge, Christ Church in Short Hills
The Rev. Dr. Jane Tomaine
The Rev. Deacon Sun-Hwan Spriggs, St. George’s, Maplewood
The Rev. Tristan Shin, Assistant Priest, Christ Church in Short Hills
The Rev. William Cruse, Priest-in-Charge, St. John’s Memorial, Ramsey
The Rev. Anthony Puca, Jr., Rector, Grace Church in Westwood and Holy Trinity Church in Hillsdale
The Rev. Mark R. Collins, Rector, All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Glen Rock
The Reverend Deacon Erik Soldwedel, St Paul’s Paterson and St. Clement’s, Hawthorne
The Rev. Michael Gerhardt, Christ Church and St. John the Divine, Hackensack
The Rev. D. Andrew Olivo, Rector, St. Elizabeth’s, Ridgewood
The Rev. Tom Mathews, Rector, Christ Church, Ridgewood
The Rev. Robert Corin Morris, Calvary Church, Summit
The Rev. Elizabeth Wigg-Maxwell, St. Peter’s, Livingston
The Rev. Robert F. Solon, Jr., Saint John’s Passaic
The Rev. Susan R. Ironside, Rector, Grace Church, Madison
The Rev. Asa David Coulson, Associate, Grace Church, Madison
The Rev. Michelle D. White, Vicar, Christ Church Teaneck
The Rev Thomas C. Lincoln, Retired
The Rev. Archie M. Palmer, Jr., Diocese of Newark
The Rev. Elizabeth W Myers, Christ Church, Budd Lake
The Rev. Maggie Gat, Retired
The Right Rev. John Selby Spong, 8th Bishop of Diocese of Newark, Retired
The Rev Virginia Dinsmore, St. Dunstan’s, Succasunna
The Rev. Sheelagh Clarke, Church of Holy Innocents, West Orange.
The Rev. John A. Rollins, Retired
The Rev. Joan F. Conley, Rector, St. Mark’s, Teaneck
The Rev. Dr. Howard W. Whitaker, Retired
The Rev. Daniel LaRue Gross, Associate Rector, St. Peter’s, Morristown
The Rev. Deacon Kenneth R. Boccino, Deacon, The Church of the Saviour, Denville
The Rev. Michael Muller, Rector, St. Peter’s, Mountain Lakes
The Rev. Canon Wade A. Renn, Diocese of Newark
The Rev. Canon Sandye A. Wilson
The Rev. Mary Davis, Rector, St. Paul’s, Chatham
The Rev. Dean Weber, Rector, All Saints, Leonia
The Rev. Lynne Bleich Weber, Rector, Atonement, Tenafly
The Rev. Dr. Diana Lee Beach, psychoanalyst, retired
The Rev. Victoria Geer McGrath, Rector, All Saints’, Millington
The Rev. Deacon Virginia Jenkins Whatley, Good Shepherd, Fort Lee
The Rev. Margaret Otterburn, Rector, Messiah Chester

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