Local clergy release statement against racism

Dec 18, 2020

Our Highrock lead pastors joined with many other local clergy in issuing this statement in response to yet another explicit act of racism in our Acton community.

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December 18, 2020

We are all clergy, given the holy and awesome responsibility of leading our community in joy and sadness, in celebration and brokenness.  It is clear from the repulsive racist attack on the two Black members of our School Committee meeting on December 17th that there is brokenness in our towns.

Tragically, the use of hate speech and symbols is not new to our community.  This is not the first time that we have heard and seen uses of the n-word; incidents of graffiti have included swastikas, drawings of nooses, and the depiction of a yellow star of David and the Nazi-inspired word Jude in four-foot high letters; the daughter of one of the very School Committee members targeted last night was subject to an attack on her locker, including a note with the n-word written on it, for the “crime” of discussing kneeling NFL players.

Other people of color in our communities have reported discriminatory treatment by local law enforcement and education officials, as well as in issues of employment, housing, and financial services.

Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sources all teach that every human being is created in the image of the Divine.  There are no asterisks, no conditions, no exceptions.  It is clear that we must teach this, and teach it again, until the message resounds in every corner of our communities.  Regardless of our religion or denomination, as clergy we are unified in our condemnation of any hateful or discriminatory acts or speech.

The time has long passed for a concerted effort to confront this plague.  As clergy, we each pledge to work together with local leaders to create communities in which everyone is valued, everyone feels safe, and everyone is celebrated for the glorious reflection of the Divine that they are.

 

Rabbi Michael Rothbaum, Congregation Beth Elohim, Acton

Rev. Paulo Gustavo França, Acton Congregational Church, Acton.

Rev. Eleanor Terry, Church of the Good Shepherd (Episcopal), Acton

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum, First Parish Church of Stow and Acton, Stow

Rev. Melissa Buono, Former Interim Priest, Church of the Good Shepherd, Acton

Rev. Cindy Worthington-Berry, UCC Boxborough, Boxborough

Rev. Eric Sahlberg, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Acton

Rev. Dr. Bradley Johnson, Faith Evangelical Free Church, Acton

Rev. Amy Lunde-Whitter, South Acton Congregational Church, UCC, Acton

Revs. Dr. Will & Becky Manseau Barnett, Highrock Covenant Church, Acton

Rev. Jeffrey S. Archer, Apple Valley Catholic Community, Acton, Boxborough, Stow

Cantor Sarra Spierer, Congregation Beth Elohim, Acton

Rev. Jinwoo Chun, St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church, Acton