We condemn the mass shootings in both places because they arise out of the same root of systemic racism and bigotry.
As a community of faith leaders who are committed to standing as witnesses for love, justice, and unity - we continue to pray for the victims, their friends and families, and for an end to this senseless violence.
While we firmly believe in the power of prayer, we recognize that our varied faith traditions also compel us to act upon our beliefs and we acknowledge that we too have a part to play in making those prayers a reality. Therefore, we do hereby re-commit ourselves to the following actions:
- We will continue to engage our local congregations and faith communities in the work of personal repentance, social transformation, reparations, and embracing all people as part of one human family by teaching our communities to respect the differences in God’s creation and the value of love, understanding, and acceptance.
- We will work to prevent or reduce gun violence, hate and bigotry.
- We will work to connect with, and support, those who are directly impacted by gun violence.
- This includes using our time, talents, finances, and physical presence to create a community in which all people feel welcome, safe, nurtured, and fully included in our common life. It also includes supporting local and national efforts to draw attention to the issue of gun violence.
- We will continue to make the prevention of gun violence a regular part of our conversations and prayer times.
- This includes educating ourselves and our respective congregations about a comprehensive theology and ethic of life that rejects violence of all kinds and offers an alternative solution to our society’s challenges and fears.
- We will continue to listen and learn from African-American, Jewish, and other oppressed communities, in how we can support and join them in addressing racism, anti-Semitism, and other ways we systemically oppress and ignore vulnerable peoples here in Charlottesville.
Rev. Dr. Susan A. Minasian, Sojourners United Church of Christ
Rev. Liz Hulme Adam, Tabor Presbyterian Church
Rev. Deborah Lewis, Wesley Foundation at UVA
Rev. Diana Brawley, Counseling Ministry of Charlottesville, Westminster Presbyterian Church
Christina Rivera, Unitarian Universalist clergy
Rev. William T. Bray, Elim International Church, Charlottesville President, O.S. Mission, UVA
Rev. Seth Wispelwey, United Church of Christ
Rev. Michael Cheuk, Charlottesville Clergy Collective
Rev. Dr. Eugene T. Locke, Parish Associate, Westminster Presbyterian Church
Rev. Dr. Jill Duffield, Cove Presbyterian Church
Dr. Alvin Edwards, Senior Pastor Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church
Rev. Maren Hange, Charlottesville Mennonite Church
Rev. Emily Rowell Brown
Gail Hyder Wiley, elder, Westminster Presbyterian Church
Rev. Will Brown, University Baptist Church
Rabbi Rachel Schmelkin, Congregation Beth Israel
Rev. Carol Carruthers Sims, Episcopal Priest, Retired
Rev. Dr. Jim Bundy, retired, United Church of Christ
Rev. Liz Forney, First Presbyterian Church
Rev. Dr. David K. Garth, Westminster Presbyterian Church
Adam Slate, President, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church-Unitarian Universalist
Rev. Sandra J. Wisco - Lutheran (ELCA)
Rev. Rabia Povich, Inayati Order
Rev. Marilu Thomas
Rev. Cass Bailey
Susan Kaufman, Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville
Rev. Isaac Collins, Lead Pastor, Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church
Rev. Don Lansky, Unity
Sharon Beckman-Brindley, Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville
Ann Marie Smith, MDiv, Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville
Dr. Elizabeth Emrey, New Beginnings Christian Community
Rev. Allison Jackson, Hospice Chaplain
Rev. Robert Lewis, Hinton Avenue UMC
Rev. Joshua T. Andrzejewski, Chaplain, VCU Health
Elizabeth Shillue, Charlottesville Friends Meeting
Rev. Karen Lewis Foley, retired, Unitarian Universalist
Pastor Sarah A. Kelley, Faith, Hope and Love Int’l Healing and Deliverance Center
Rev. Neal Halvorson-Taylor, Grace Church, Red Hill
Rabbi Tom Gutherz, Congregation Beth Israel
Rev. Dr. Harry Kennon, Pastor Emeritus, First United Methodist Church
Rev. Dr. Gay Lee Einstein, Scottsville Presbyterian Church
Manouchehr Mohajeri, Member of the Baha'i Community of Albemarle County
Rev. Nicholas Deere, Broadus Memorial Baptist Church
Sheikha Latifa Till, Sufi Ruhaniat International
Rev. Brenda Brown-Grooms, New Beginnings Christian Community
Rev. Dr. Jeanita Richardson, Congregate Charlottesville
Rev. Phil Woodson, First United Methodist Church