- Images from the community
- Statements from Missouri's Bishop
- Missouri Episcopal response in the media
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Standing in the uncomfortable gap, after the grand jury announcement: Bishop Wayne Smith
[November 25, 2014]
...In the face of so much broken trust, the gospel demands for the ministry of reconciliation will require us to stay in that uncomfortable gap. That means that we can expect to become agents of Christ’s reconciliation. But it also means that, with our haunted pasts of racism and its current reality, we will ourselves need to be reconciled. That may prove the harder part. Full statement.
Now is a time to storm the throne of God, now is a time to renounce violence: Bishop Wayne Smith
[November 5, 2014]...As people of God, we do well [to anticipate these likelihoods] by preparing spiritually. Corporate and personal prayer become crucial in times like these, and I know that some congregations expect to open their doors to be places of prayer for their neighborhoods. Their doing so encourages me, and I hope that you will publicize these invitations broadly. Now is a time to storm the throne of God.
Now is also a time for the renunciation of violence—not just physical violence, but the violence of words. The spiritual discipline of guarding what we say, out of anger or hurt, becomes immeasurably important in times like these. This discipline allows us actually to become instruments of peace. Full statement.
The End of Racism Matters to the Church: Bishop Wayne Smith
[October 29, 2014]
...The end of racism matters to the Church because of the issue of justice, but it also matters because God’s intent, at the end of the age, is to build a new world from “every family, language, people, and nation.” (Rev. 5:9) The Church is to be a servant of that vision, despite our falling short of it, and any Church that does not inhabit the wild diversity of peoples that Revelation describes is incomplete.
We who are the Church do well to learn from the rage present in Ferguson and surrounding communities. That rage did not come from nowhere, and it has something important to tell us. We can also commit ourselves to honest and difficult conversation, in the presence of the racial wound in our community, for the community’s sake. And for the sake of Christ Jesus, himself wounded and risen for the whole creation. Full statement.
Initial statement by Bishop Wayne Smith:
August 13, 2014
The tragic death of Michael Brown and the ensuing events have laid bare the racisms, inequalities, and fears that ordinarily remain well hidden here in Saint Louis, often just under the surface.
I call upon Episcopalians and other people of faith, especially those whose race or culture gives innate privilege, to look upon what has been laid bare, to pray about these things, humbly to learn from them, and to yearn and work for responses that would bring justice.
the Rt. Rev. Wayne Smith
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri