Statement Against Systemic Racial Violence

Statement Against Systemic Racial Violence

Statement Against Systemic Racial Violence

As an historically African-American church, the struggle for social, economic, and racial justice has been the daily experience of our congregants at St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church. We stand with those who are protesting the death by police of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many other black and brown persons who have been unjustly victimized and murdered by those who serve or served in law enforcement. Such violence has touched our parish family: a grandson of a long-time parishioner was shot in the back by a Portland Police officer, who continues to be employed as an active officer of the PPB, and we continue to mourn his death. 

Protests are meant to challenge and change the systemic racism built into our governing and ‘peace’-keeping organizations. Alongside protests, real change to policies and practices is required. To that end, at the city-level:

  1. We support the long-standing demands made by the Albina Ministerial Association, Portland Jobs with Justice, the Portland chapters of the Urban League, the NAACP, and other civic and faith organizations regarding police oversight and the renewal of the Portland Police Association contract. 
  2. We support the defunding of “Special Units” from the PPB. With the support of Commissioner Hardesty, we request that the City Council cut funding for so-called “special units” that have been shown to be ineffective in the long term, target low-income communities and communities of color for over-policing, and are part of the school to prison pipeline. 
  3. Finally, we reject the use of militarized force and chemical weapons of any kind within our city.

At the State level, we support the three actions requested by The People of Color Caucus in the Oregon State Legislature:

  1. To prohibit the lessening of disciplinary action against law enforcement officers who have committed misconduct (Senate Bill 1567).
  2. To require the attorney general to investigate and prosecute any death or injury that results from law enforcement action.
  3. The creation of a bipartisan work group to recommend changes to state law regarding the use of physical force by law enforcement.

We believe that brown and black lives matter. In the face of ongoing persecution and lynching, God stands in solidarity with them. As Christians, we sing with Mary that our “Lord has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly” (Luke 1:52). As followers of Jesus, a man of color executed by the state, we stand with God in solidarity with those who are oppressed. We stand troubled and emboldened by the Spirit, not just to cry out for justice but also to work for systemic change. God loves all; love requires us to practice justice so that we can live in a world where all can flourish without fear.

As a community of faith we invite our fellow faith-practitioners to actively support concrete change by contacting your City Commissioners and state representatives directly and through their staff:

Click here to search for your local state representative

You may download a PDF of this statement to share with your community leaders.

If you would like to let us know that you are acting to stop systematic racial violence, please fill in the form at the bottom of the page. You may also read more about the background of work to stop police violence in Portland.

Signatures

The Reverend Maria Gwyn McDowell, PhD, Rector, St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church
The Reverend Alcena E. Boozer, Rector Emerita, St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church
Faye Powell, Parishioner, St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church
The Right Reverend Michael Hanley, Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Oregon
The Very Rev’d Nathan LeRud, Dean, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland
Daniel W. Jones, MBA, President, Union of Black Episcopalians, PNW Chapter
Elizabeth Schroeder, Music Leader, St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church, Portland
Sarah and Willie Groshell, Parishioners, St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church, Portland
The Rev. Christopher Craun, Rector, St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, Portland
The Rev. Sara Fischer, Rector, Ss Peter & Paul/Ss Pedro y Pablo Episcopal Church, Portland
Aubrey Stevens
The Reverend Matthew David Morris M.Div., Video Resource Specialist, The Episcopal Diocese of Oregon
Mr. Alan Murray, Peace and Justice Coordinator Province VIII of The Episcopal Church
Ms. Anne Pardington, Parishioner, St Stephen Episcopal Church, Portland
Reverend Anthon Hutchinson, SCP, Ph.D., Rector, Trinity Parish Ashland, Ashland
Anna Zeigler, Parishioner, St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church, Portland
Reverend Joshua Dunham, Pastor, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Gresham
Laura C Minnick, Parishoner, St Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church, Portland
The Reverend Maureen-Elizabeth Hagen, Deacon, St Stephen Episcopal Church, Portland
Chaplain Catherine Windsor, AOJN, SCP, Commissioned Chaplain, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland
Reverend Brendan Barnicle Rector, St Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church, Wilsonville
Anne Morin, Parishioner, St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church, Portland
Ms Hana Rubens, Parishioner, St Luke’s Episcopal Church, Grants Pass
Barbara Millikan, Parishioner, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland
Miranda Powell, Parishioner, Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, Portland
The Rev. Stephen Schneider , City & Spire
Nancy Whitmore, Senior Warden, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Portland
Mira Ayala, Member, Leaven Community, Portland
Rev. Julia Nielsen, Pastor, Portsmouth Union Church, Portland
Reverend Andy Goebel, Pastor, Portsmouth Union Church, Portland
Mr. Pat Ell, Parishoner, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Portland
The Rev. Chris Hertlein, Rector, St James/Santiago, Lincoln City
Rev. Andria Skornik, Rector, All Saints Episcopal Church
The Reverend Dennis james Sagun Parker, MDiv, Priest Associate, St. David of Wales, Portland
Ms. Darcy Irving, Parishioner, BAC, Altar Guild, St. Thomas Episcopal church, Eugene
Penny Hummel, Parishioner, St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, Portland
Spencer Uemura, Leaven Community, Portland
The Ven.. Canon Carter Hawley, Canon for Administration & Archdeacon, The Episcopal Diocese of Oregon
Mr. Peter Sergienko , Parishioner, St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, Portland
Rev. Melissa Reed, Bishop’s Associate for Vital Leadership & Sacramental Organizing, Oregon Synod, ELCA
Dr. David Groff, PhD., Parishioner, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Portland
Ian Gallager, Member, Leaven Community Land and Housing Coalition
Mr. Paul La Croix, Parishioner, St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, Portland
Ms. Barbara Brecht, St. David of Wales, Portland
Katie Hogan, MD, Leaven Community, Portland
Susan Zall, Parishioner, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland
Joan C. Browning, Guest lay preacher/Freedom Rider,
Nina Portwood Shields, Parishioner, St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, Portland
Ms Pat lawson, Parishioner, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Portland
Sloane Lamb, Portland
Katharine Range, Parishioner, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland
Andrew Wright, Parishioner, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland
Rev. Dr. Caroline Litzenberger, Associate Priest, St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, Portland
William Gustafson, Parishioner, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Gresham
Deborah Stewart, Parishioner, The Evergreen Community, Beaverton
Clara Ell, Parishioner, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Portland
The Rev. Dr. Matthew Lawrence, Canon for Spiritual Formation, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland
The Rev Margaret McMurren, Vicar, Prince of Peace, Salem
The Rev. Dr. Gavin Shumate, Priest in charge, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Toledo
Mr. Kevin Sanford, Parishioner, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Oregon City
Rev. Jeanne Kaliszewski, Curate, Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, Portland
Sarah Carolus, Parishioner, Central Lutheran Church, Portland
Chris Bekemeier, Member, Central Lutheran Church, Portland
Ms. Paula Buchert, Parishoner, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Portland
Ms Linda Bergman, Musician, Portland
Noah Oyen
Dcn. Bonnie Beadles-Bohling, Deacon, Central Lutheran Church, Portland
Amy DeWallace, Parishioner, Leaven Community, Portland
Kimberly Lakin, Portland
Herlocker Family, Neighbor, Portland
Elizabeth O’Connell, Parishioner, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland
Rev. Dr. Amanda Zentz-Alo, Pastor, Central Lutheran Church, Portland
Ms Julie Golden, Parishioner, Ss Peter & Paul/Ss Pedro y Pablo Episcopal Church, Portland
Ms. Terriljoan Doherty, Jr. Warden, Ss Peter & Paul/Ss Pedro y Pablo Episcopal Church, Portland
Ms Maryn Thompson, Parishioner, Ss Peter & Paul/Ss Pedro y Pablo Episcopal Church, Portland
Judy Bishop, Friend & Former Parishioner, Ss Peter & Paul/Ss Pedro y Pablo Episcopal Church, Portland
The Rev. Deacon Marla McGarry-Lawrence, Parishioner, St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, Portland
Rev. William See, Retired Clergy ELCA, Parishioner, Ss Peter & Paul/Ss Pedro y Pablo Episcopal Church, Portland
Sarah Read, Vestry Member, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland
Rev. Carmen Goetschius, Parish Associate, First Presbyterian Church, Portland

I will act to stop systematic racial violence in my city…


If you have questions, please contact The Rev’d Dr. Maria McDowell (maria@stphilipthedeacon.org).