June 15, 2020
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We, the undersigned leaders of Christian denominations in the state of Iowa, are compelled by our shared faith to add our voices to those who rightly and firmly affirm that Black Lives Matter.
Silence in this time is unfaithful to our call as leaders in the Church. Silence in this time is complicity and violence against our beloved siblings in Christ who suffer under racist structures, policies, and institutions. We confess the ways the institution of the Church has implicitly and explicitly participated in perpetuating harm, including our blindness to the advantages provided by the majority of our Churches by white privilege. And we commit ourselves to lead as faithfully as possible with humility and perseverance to promote healing, freedom, and peace for all of God’s blessed children.
We celebrate the work of community organizations, faith communities, neighborhood groups, and more who are currently leading the way in our state to confront racism in all of its forms. We are particularly encouraged by the young leaders rising up in our communities! We encourage all Iowans of faith to find ways to join the efforts across our state, particularly in local and state legislative bodies, to create more just, equitable, and loving systems and structures that promote the well-being and flourishing of all Iowans.
In the greatest of hope,
The Reverend Brigit F. Stevens; Executive Conference Minister; IA, NE, and SD Conferences of the United Church of Christ
The Reverend Tim Button-Harrison; Northern Plains District Executive; Church of the Brethren
The Reverend John M. Richardson; Interim Regional Minister; Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Upper Midwest
The Most Reverend Thomas R. Zinkula; Bishop of the Diocese of Davenport
Elder Dr. Rebecca Blair, Stated Clerk, Presbytery of East Iowa
The Right Reverend Alan Scarfe, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa
The Reverend Jacquline L. Saxon; Executive Minister; Mid-American Baptist Church of Iowa and Minnesota (ABCUSA)