Episcopal Diocese of Washington

To draw people to Jesus and embody his love
for the world by equipping faith communities,
promoting spiritual growth, and striving for justice

Bishop's Writings

Called to Hope

January 14, 2021

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that with the eyes of your heart enlightened,  you may know what is the hope to which he has called you.
Ephesians 1:17-18

Called to Hope is the theme for Diocesan Convention on January 29-30, and indeed, for all of 2021. 

Hope is not optional for followers of Jesus. It is the approach to life to which he calls us. 

Christian hope is not to be confused with wishful thinking or naive optimism. Nor does it allow us to turn away from the brokenness in our lives and our world. Rather this hope is rooted in a firm persuasion--and sometimes a leap of faith--that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ, and that through Christ, God is always on the side of life and love.

Christ calls us to hope, and gives us hopeful work to do. Where there is despair, we pray in the words attributed to St. Francis, let us sow hope. Thankfully, the hope to which we are called doesn’t depend on us alone, but the Holy Spirit at work within and among us. 

A journalist recently asked me to offer a word of hope after the events at the Capitol on January 6th. First, I said, we must grieve what happened and see it for what it is. For as James Baldwin famously said, “Only those things that are faced can be changed,” and we have much to face in our land. Yet I am hopeful for our future, I continued. The self-corrective capacity in our nation is real and has been activated. There are people across the country with love in their hearts who are determined to make things better. Yes, there are others who must be held accountable for their actions and dangerous movements that must be contained. But we are called to hope. 

The hope to which I feel called inspires me to persevere as your bishop. I refuse to lose sight of the vision with which God has blessed us. January is a pivotal month for us. At our annual convention, your leaders and I will present our final accounting of the work we committed to accomplish last year and our stewardship of diocesan resources. Equally important, we will cast our gaze to the future and set forth specific goals for 2021. We do this work in prayerful, collective discernment. 

I am mindful of the hardships many have endured and how exhausting ministry has been. Yet there is a contagious spirit of determination, adaptation, and courage evident across the diocese. For some, this year has borne great fruit; for others, holding on was a triumph. The outpouring of generosity for those in greatest need has been awe-inspiring. And by grace we accomplished many of our goals, even in a ministry context that changed overnight. You can find a full account of diocesan ministry in the 2020 Annual Report. Read and be inspired. 

We’ll dedicate the Friday evening of Convention, January 29, to our goal of partnering in ministries of equity and justice for greater impact. After the events of this summer, the overwhelming diocesan consensus was to collectively address racial equity and justice. Together we commit to bravely uncover, understand, reckon with and act to dismantle racism within ourselves, our faith communities, the Diocese and our localities. 

We’ve invited Bishop Eugene Sutton to speak to us about the Diocese of Maryland’s comprehensive study of its legacy of slavery and racial segregation--a legacy we share. Maryland’s efforts culminated in the decision to establish a Diocesan Reparations Fund. We’ll also hear from our own Reparations Committee and have time for questions and discussion in small breakout groups. Please come to learn from others and share stories from your congregation’s history. Registration is required to participate or you may choose to watch the live stream

On Saturday morning, January 30, our focus will be our strategic goals of revitalizing our churches to build the Jesus Movement and inspiring all people to grow in faith and equipping  our leaders to lead well. Eligible participants have been emailed registration information. All who wish to follow the proceedings online may watch the live stream.

I look forward to highlighting the strategic initiatives for 2021. These include the launch of Tending Our Soil, a Lilly-Foundation funded 5-year initiative supporting our congregational revitalization work; further development of the School for Christian Faith and Leadership; and how we’ll take up the proposal put forth from the Taskforce for Diocesan Stewardship and Congregational Vitality. 

At Convention we’ll also celebrate the ministries of three beloved diocesan staff members: Ms. Cheryl Wilburn and the Rev. Sarabeth Goodwin, who are retiring; and Canon Paula Clark, Bishop-elect in the Diocese of Chicago. (Here’s more on how we’re saying farewell and how you can participate)

Their gifts to us have been immeasurable. How we will miss them! 

Thanks to those who have expressed concern for the remaining diocesan staff, given this month of transition. We appreciate your support. At the Convention I’ll describe how we as a team are facing the future with hope. With staff transitions also come opportunities, and our collective commitment to diocesan ministry is strong. 

My personal commitment has never been stronger. God willing and with your consent, I hope to continue serving Christ and this diocese for years to come. Together we are called to hope, as we follow Jesus, draw others to him, and embody his love for the world.

 

Llamado a la Esperanza

January 14, 2021

Pido que el Dios de nuestro Señor Jesucristo les dé el Espíritu de sabiduría y de revelación, para que lo conozcan mejor, sean iluminados los ojos del corazón para que sepan cuál es la esperanza a la cual los ha llamado.  
Efesios 1:17-18

Llamado a la Esperanza es el tema de la Convención Diocesana del 29 al 30 de enero, y de hecho, para todo 2021.

La esperanza no es opcional para los seguidores de Jesús. Es el enfoque de la vida al que somos llamados.

La esperanza cristiana no debe confundirse con el pensamiento ilusorio o el optimismo ingenuo. Tampoco nos permite apartarnos del quebrantamiento en nuestras vidas y en nuestro mundo. Más bien, esta esperanza está arraigada en una firme persuasión--y a veces un salto de fe--de que nada puede separarnos del amor de Dios en Cristo, y que por medio de Cristo, Dios siempre está del lado de la vida y el amor.

Cristo nos llama a la esperanza, y nos da trabajo esperanzador que hacer. Donde hay desesperación, oramos en las palabras atribuidas a San Francisco, sembremos esperanza. Afortunadamente, la esperanza a la que estamos llamados no depende de nosotros solos, sino del Espíritu Santo que trabaja dentro y entre nosotros.

Un periodista me pidió recientemente que diera una palabra de esperanza después de los acontecimientos en el Capitolio el 6 de enero. Primero, dije, debemos lamentar lo que sucedió y verlo por lo que es. Como dijo James Baldwin, "solo las cosas que se enfrentan pueden ser cambiadas", y tenemos mucho que enfrentar en nuestra tierra. Sin embargo, tengo esperanzas para nuestro futuro, continué. La capacidad de autocorrección en nuestra nación es real y se ha activado. Hay personas en todo el país con amor en sus corazones que están decididos a mejorar las cosas. Sí, hay otros que deben ser responsables de sus acciones y movimientos peligrosos que deben ser contenidos. Pero estamos llamados a la esperanza.

La esperanza a la que me siento llamada me inspira a perseverar como su obispa. Me niego a perder de vista la visión con la que Dios nos ha bendecido. Enero es un mes crucial para nosotros. En nuestra convención anual, sus líderes y yo presentaremos nuestra contabilidad final del trabajo que nos comprometimos a realizar el año pasado y nuestra administración de los recursos diocesanos. Igualmente importante, echaremos nuestra mirada al futuro y fijaremos metas específicas para 2021. Hacemos este trabajo en discernimiento orante y colectivo.

Soy consciente de las dificultades que muchos han sufrido y de lo agotador que ha sido el ministerio. Sin embargo, hay un espíritu contagioso de determinación, adaptación y valentía evidente en toda la diócesis. Para algunos, este año ha dado grandes frutos; para otros, aferrarse fue un triunfo. La efusión de generosidad para los más necesitados ha sido impresionante. Y por gracia logramos muchas de nuestras metas, incluso en un contexto de ministerio que cambió de la noche a la mañana. Puedes encontrar un resumen completo del ministerio diocesano en el Informe Anual 2020. Lee e inspírate.

Dedicaremos la noche del viernes de la Convención, el 29 de enero, a nuestro objetivo de asociarnos en ministerios de equidad y justicia para un mayor impacto. Después de los acontecimientos de este verano, el abrumador consenso diocesano fue abordar colectivamente la equidad racial y la justicia. Juntos nos comprometemos a descubrir, comprender, contar y actuar con valentía para desmantelar el racismo dentro de nosotros mismos, nuestras comunidades de fe, la diócesis y nuestras localidades.

Hemos invitado al Obispo Eugene Sutton a hablarnos sobre el estudio integral de la Diócesis de Maryland sobre su legado de esclavitud y segregación racial, un legado que compartimos. Los esfuerzos de Maryland culminaron en la decisión de establecer un Fondo Diocesano de Reparaciones. También escucharemos de nuestro propio Comité de Reparaciones y tendremos tiempo para preguntas y debates en pequeños grupos. Por favor, ven a aprender de otros y comparte la historia de tu congregación. Es necesario registrarse para participar o puedes elegir ver la transmisión en vivo.

El sábado por la mañana, 30 de enero, nuestro enfoque será nuestros objetivos estratégicos de revitalizar nuestras iglesias para construir el Movimiento de Jesús e inspirar a todas las personas a crecer en la fe y equipar a nuestros líderes para liderar bien. Se ha enviado por correo electrónico la información de registro a los participantes elegibles. Todos los que deseen seguir los procedimientos en línea pueden ver la transmisión en vivo.

Espero destacar las iniciativas estratégicas para 2021. Estas incluyen el lanzamiento de Cuidando Nuestra Tierra, una iniciativa financiada por la Fundación Lilly por 5 años que apoya nuestro trabajo de revitalización congregacional; desarrollo adicional de la Escuela para la Fe y el Liderazgo Cristianos; y cómo tomaremos la propuesta presentada desde el Grupo de Trabajo para la Administración Diocesana y la Vitalidad Congregacional.

En la Convención también celebraremos los ministerios de tres queridos miembros del personal diocesano: la Sra. Cheryl Wilburn y la Reverenda Sarabeth Goodwin, que se retiran; y la Canóniga Paula Clark, Obispa-electa de la Diócesis de Chicago. (Aquí hay más sobre cómo nos estamos despidiendo y cómo puedes participar)

Sus regalos para nosotros han sido inconmensurables. ¡Cómo las vamos a extrañar!

Gracias a los que han expresado su preocupación por el resto del personal diocesano, dada la transición de este mes. Agradecemos su apoyo. En la Convención describiré cómo nosotros, como equipo, estamos enfrentando el futuro con esperanza. Con las transiciones del personal también vienen oportunidades, y nuestro compromiso colectivo con el ministerio dioceano es fuerte.

Mi compromiso personal nunca ha sido más fuerte. Si Dios quiere y con su consentimiento, espero seguir sirviendo a Cristo y a esta diócesis durante los años venideros. Juntos estamos llamados a la esperanza, a seguir a Jesús, a atraer a los demás hacia él y a encarnar su amor en el mundo.

 

Know That You Are Loved

January 10, 2021

Bishop Mariann preached this sermon to the congregation of St. Mary Magdalene. 

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”  
Mark 1:4-11

Friends of St. Mary Magdalene, I’d like to begin by telling you something that you already know: Your rector, the Rev. Dr. Sarah Lamming, loves you. She loves you truly and deeply. Not only does she love you, she delights in you, and she is fiercely protective of you. 

Rev. Sarah loves to tell others about you--how wonderful you are, how brave and kind. She describes how creative and resilient you have been in this challenging year; how attuned you are to one another and supportive of each other; and how you continually give generously to assist others in the wider community.   

From time to time, priests in the diocese will write to me about their congregations. I hear from Rev. Sarah regularly. Dear Bishop, she’ll begin--or actually, Dear Bishops, because she always includes Bishop Chilton Knudsen--and then she’ll give a warm update about your annual meeting, or Veteran’s Day celebration or some other event. She’ll tell me about a parishioner who has done something remarkable, or send--as she did last month--a screenshot of your Zoom coffee hour. All this and more she communicates with love and pride infusing in every word. When we are together in clergy gatherings, Rev. Sarah always begins by saying how blessed she is to be rector of St. Mary’s. 

I also know of your love for Rev. Sarah. It’s evident in everything you say and do, and how you have supported her in this most challenging year. I’ve seen the affection between you when I’ve been blessed to be in your physical presence. I hear it in every conversation. I see it now in your faces. The bond between you is among the strongest and most affectionate I have seen between a priest and congregation. And what a gift that is. It gives you a glimpse into the wondrous, amazing unconditionality of God’s love. 

When Jesus went to the Jordan River to be baptized, he was still an unknown figure. We have no record of his adult life prior to his baptism. John seemed to know that there was someone greater than he on the horizon, and there’s indication that he knew Jesus and was even related to him, but as yet, Jesus hadn’t done anything noteworthy or remarkable.

That’s what makes what the voice from heaven said to Jesus so revealing. Jesus hadn’t done anything to earn God’s love. “You are my Son, the beloved. With you I am well pleased.” God loved Jesus for who he was, not for what he had done, or was about to do. 

I can hear Rev. Sarah saying to each and everyone in this congregation that you are her beloved. With you, she is well pleased. And I can hear you say those words to her, and one another: you are my beloved. It’s not as if you don’t know each other’s faults and blind spots; it’s not as if your love keeps you from being human with one another--which is to say, imperfect. It doesn’t mean that you feel loving toward one another all the time. But that doesn’t take away the reality and the depth of your love. 

Let me read to you perhaps the most famous description of this kind of love from St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. We read this passage most frequently at weddings, which is understandable, but the kind of love Paul was actually referring to is love in community. 

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

To experience something of that love is what inspires us to share it, to be the kind of person that can love like that, love like Jesus, all the time. 

Gregory Boyle is a Jesuit priest in California who has dedicated his entire life to a ministry of rescue, recovery and rehabilitation of gang members in Los Angeles. Reading about his work, it’s clear how much Father Greg, as he’s called, loves the young men he calls his Home Boys. He sees them in all their pain and struggle and mistakes-- and they have made and continue to make dreadful, costly mistakes. But he loves them, and they love him back. 

Boyle’s ministry flows from his core conviction that no one, even the most notorious gang members, is beyond God’s love, God is too busy loving us, Father Greg says every chance he gets, to be disappointed in us. 

We are forever fretting over things we think ruffle God’s feathers. God is not feathered, though. . . We are always trying to “make a good impression,” but God is not so interested. Dressed for a job interview, a home boy once told me: “I just want to make a good expression.” That’s more like it. Our lives, fully expressive of God’s pleasure, delight, and loving-kindness.

But what do we do, then, with our disappointment with one another, our disappointment in ourselves? What does God do with disappointment? Surely God must be disappointed in us when we fail to love, when we harm one another, when in mean-spiritedness, petty cruelty, or violence we act in the exact opposite ways God would want? Think of how God must have felt on January 6 as the events unfolded at the Nation’s Capitol. Or how God must feel when taking in the countless ways we fall short of this call to love. 

This is what Father Greg has to say about God and disappointment: 

Disappointment is not the foot God puts forward. There is instead only a redoubling of God’s loving us into kinship with each other. If we truly allow that tenderness to reach us, then peace, justice, and equality will be its by-product. . .“There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,” the old hymn proclaims. In order to experience this mercy and love, we need to accept that there is room for us in it.  This can only come when I know that I am accepted especially at my worst.1

For a lot of people--and I include myself here--it’s a struggle to believe and to feel that we are loved--not for what we’ve accomplished or earned, or look like or say, but for who we are, as we are. That’s why the love you share with one another and Rev. Sarah is so powerful and transformative. Being loved by another helps us imagine the possibility of God’s love. 

Yet there is a hard truth that lies alongside the gift and blessing of this love. We are loved but not spared from suffering, disappointment and loss.

My 89 year-old mother lives with us now. She has always been healthy and independent. But last year she had a relapse of a terrible illness, and was so sick that my sister and I had to assume control of every aspect of her life. She’s adjusted as well as any of us could expect, and she is stronger now, but not able to live on her own and never will again. She still struggles to accept that truth. 

Yesterday I asked her if I could do anything for her before I started my work. Yes, she said. “Make me well and strong, so that I have my life back again.” I wish I could, I told her. “Pray to God that it will happen,” she said, only half-joking. I smiled and said okay, that would be my prayer, and it is, although I know the physical wholeness she longs for will not be hers on this side of heaven. And it’s hard. 

This has been a hard week for all of us in this country as we try to absorb what happened at the Capitol on January 6. Those of you who have experienced such attempts to interrupt and overturn the basic functioning of government know far better than others what the consequences of such actions are. Those of you who have been on the receiving end of mob violence and racial hatred know how overwhelming it is, and how otherwise peaceful people can get caught up in it. We have a lot to absorb and respond to in civic society as well as our personal lives. 

It’s been part of my spiritual practice for years to spend time each January with the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as our nation prepares to honor his life next weekend. Indeed, in times of struggle--both personal or societal--I often turn to his writings. So I’d like to close this morning with a passage from a sermon King preached at Ebenezer Baptist Church (the same church that the newly elected Senator from Georgia, Raphael Warnock, leads today).

King preached this sermon on a Sunday in 1966. It wasn't for a big public meeting or in preparation for some event that we now consider historic. It was for a Sunday morning worship service in his community. And it’s clear that King was trying to help members of his community deal with disappointment, hardship and loss.

Don’t imagine that there’s something wrong, he said. Failure is as much a fact of life as success; disappointment as likely as fulfillment. Take your burden, he said, look at it, don’t run from it. Say this is my grief and I must bear it. Look at it hard and ask, “How can I transform this liability into a blessing?”2 

He went on to describe the power and the presence of God in those times. 

God doesn’t say that you’re going to escape tension; God doesn’t say that you’re doing to escape disappointment; God doesn’t say that you’re going to escape trials and tribulations. But God has the power to give you a kind of inner equilibrium through your pain. So let not your hearts be troubled, Jesus says. . .Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden. Come to me all who are burdened down. Come to me, all that are frustrated, with clouds of anxiety floating in your mental skies. I will give you rest. And the rest God gives passes all understanding. The world doesn’t understand this kind of rest, because it’s a rest that makes it possible for you to stand up amid outer storms and yet maintain inner calm.3

After his baptism, Jesus knew that he was beloved of God, and he felt called to spend the rest of his life helping other people that God loved and delighted in them, too, particularly those whose life circumstances suggested that they were farthest from God’s blessings. Jesus lived and died so that we all might hear God call us by name, know God, and live with all the confidence and courage that God desires. 

I am convinced that God longs for us to know that we are beloved, that we are blessed, not for anything we accomplish or accumulate or look like. From that blessing, God wants us to go where we most need to go and where we are most needed. God wants us to receive the peace that passes understanding that allows us to maintain inner calm in the midst of outer storms, to persevere in faith, which Martin Luther King, Jr. once described as “taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” 

So hear once again, God’s words to Jesus, and know them to be true for yourselves, and for those you love, and those you struggle to love. Hear them, and believe, and then go and live, as best you can, so that others might know that they, too, are beloved of God:

You are my Son. You are my daughter, my Beloved. With you, I am well pleased.

~~~

Gregory Boyle. Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship. Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition, (p. 25-27)
Martin Luther King, Jr., “Guidelines for a Constructive Church,” in A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Clayborne Carson and Peter Holloran, editors, (New York: Warner Books, 1998), 108-09.
3 Ibid.

A Very Present Help in Trouble

January 07, 2021

The Lord is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved 
and though the mountains be toppled into the depths of the sea 
Though its waters rage and foam, and through the mountains tremble at its tumult.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Psalm 46

Dearly Beloved of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington,

With heavy hearts, we are all still absorbing what happened on January 6 in our nation’s capital, and for many of us, our home city. We find ourselves reaching out to those we love, no matter where they are, and receiving calls of concern from around the country. It’s an understandable response, given what’s happened. 

That is my purpose for writing today: to let you know that I am here, praying for you and your loved ones; and in particular, for your well-being and physical safety. 

I am praying for all whose work requires them to be in public spaces in the midst of the pandemic and continued unrest, and for those experiencing homelessness in our city, with few options for safe haven. I am praying in gratitude for all in our diocese who are first responders, who serve in the federal workforce; for hospital personnel, social workers, and teachers. I know that we are united in prayers for our nation.   

Washington, DC is no stranger to civic protest. Members of our congregations are among the first to offer hospitality and welcome, even to protesters with whom they disagree. We cherish the political freedom enshrined in our US Constitution guaranteeing the right of all Americans to express dissenting opinions in the public square. 

That is not what we witnessed on January 6. We saw an attempted insurrection and desecration of the United States Capitol and what it symbolizes, encouraged by the President himself. We also witnessed a notably different response on the part of law enforcement as compared to the way protesters last summer were treated. Had the majority of yesterday’s gathering been people of color, there is little doubt that the outcome would have been much different.  

A word of profound thanks to diocesan clergy and lay leaders who virtually gathered their communities in prayer last evening. Please continue to offer such opportunities. As the Church, we need to be together in prayer. 

For our part, Dean Randy Hollerith and I will offer a brief prayer service from Washington National Cathedral each evening at 5:00 p.m. from now until Inauguration Day, January 20. We will be joined by interfaith leaders across the diocese. If you’d like to join in these prayers, please follow this link.  

Among the more disturbing images of the last few days has been the grievous misappropriation of the Christian faith. It must be said by all who claim to follow Jesus as Lord that there was nothing Christian about what happened at the US Capitol. Those who claim the mantle of Jesus for such deeds and the worldview that justified them do great damage not only to themselves, but the witness of the Christian faith. 

We are called to show another way, the way of love, to so embody love that others may see in us something of the mercy and goodness we have known in Jesus. May God’s love so fill your hearts, so inspire your minds, so gently touch your wounds with healing grace that you may know, without a doubt, that you are precious in God’s sight. 

And may God grant us all wisdom and courage for the living of this hour.

Faithfully yours in Christ,

Bishop Mariann  

 

Una ayuda muy presente en el problema

January 07, 2021

Dios es nuestro amparo y fortaleza, nuestro pronto auxilio en todos los problemas. Por eso no tenemos ningún temor. Aunque la tierra se estremezca, y los montes se hundan en el fondo del mar; aunque sus aguas bramen y se agiten, y los montes tiemblen ante su furia. ¡Con nosotros está el Señor de los ejércitos! ¡Nuestro refugio es el Dios de Jacob! 
Salmo 46

Queridos hermanos de la Diócesis Episcopal de Washington,

Con corazones pesados, todos seguimos absorbiendo lo que sucedió el 6 de enero en la capital de nuestra nación, y para muchos de nosotros, nuestra ciudad natal. Nos acercamos a aquellos que amamos, sin importar dónde estén, y recibimos llamadas de preocupación de todo el país. Es una respuesta comprensible dado lo que ha pasado.

Ese es mi propósito al escribir hoy: para que sepan que estoy aquí, orando por ustedes y sus seres queridos; y en particular, por su bienestar y seguridad física.

Estoy orando por todos aquellos cuyo trabajo requiere que estén en espacios públicos en medio de la pandemia y el continuo malestar, y por aquellos que sufren de falta de vivienda en nuestra ciudad, con pocas opciones para un refugio seguro. Estoy orando en gratitud por todos en nuestra diócesis que son los primeros respondedores, que sirven en la fuerza laboral federal; por el personal de los hospitales, los trabajadores sociales y los maestros. Sé que estamos unidos en oraciones por nuestra nación.

La ciudad de Washington, DC no es ajena a las protestas cívicas. Los miembros de nuestras congregaciones están entre los primeros en ofrecer hospitalidad y bienvenida, incluso a los manifestantes con quienes no están de acuerdo. Apreciamos la libertad política consagrada en nuestra Constitución de los Estados Unidos que garantiza el derecho de todos los estadounidenses a expresar opiniones discrepantes en la plaza pública.

Eso no es lo que presenciamos el 6 de enero. Vimos un intento de insurrección y profanación del Capitolio de los Estados Unidos y lo que simboliza, alentado por el propio Presidente. También fuimos testigos de una respuesta notablemente diferente por parte de las fuerzas del orden público en comparación con la forma en que otros manifestantes fueron tratados el verano pasado. Si la mayoría de los participantes en la protesta de ayer hubiera sido gente de color, no hay duda de que el resultado habría sido muy diferente.

Una palabra de profundo agradecimiento al clero diocesano y a los líderes laicos que virtualmente reunieron a sus comunidades en oración anoche. Por favor continúe ofreciendo tales oportunidades. Como Iglesia, necesitamos estar juntos en oración.

Por nuestra parte, el Deán Randy Hollerith y yo ofreceremos un breve servicio de oración desde la Catedral Nacional de Washington cada noche a las 5:00 p.m. desde ahora hasta el día de la Inauguración, 20 de enero. Nos unirán líderes interreligiosos en toda la diócesis. Si desean unirse a estas oraciones, por favor sigue este enlace.

Entre las imágenes más inquietantes de los últimos días se encuentra la grave apropiación indebida de la fe cristiana. Todos los que afirman seguir a Jesús como Señor deben decir que no había nada cristiano sobre lo que sucedió en el Capitolio de los Estados Unidos. Aquellos que reclaman el manto de Jesús por tales hechos y la visión del mundo que los justificó, hacen un gran daño no solo a ellos mismos, sino también al testimonio de la fe cristiana.

Estamos llamados a mostrar otro camino, el camino del amor, a encarnar el amor para que otros puedan ver en nosotros algo de la misericordia y la bondad que hemos conocido en Jesús. Que el amor de Dios llene sus corazones, que inspire sus mentes, toque suavemente sus heridas con gracia sanadora, para que así puedan saber, sin duda, que son preciosos a la vista de Dios.

Y que Dios nos conceda toda sabiduría y valor para vivir esta hora.

Fielmente suya en Cristo,

Obispa Mariann













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