Washington — The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral, made the following statement on Sunday, during worship services at the Cathedral, regarding the situation unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri.
As Canon Gina Campbell said in her sermon, there are a lot of humanitarian disasters on our hearts as we come together this morning. And if you have my job, you receive letters on a daily basis wanting to know when you’re going to say something about Iraq, about Gaza, about the crisis at the border, about ebola, about Ferguson. I want to say that these are all extremely important issues, and Bishop Mariann Budde and I have been having long conversations about how the diocese and the Cathedral should respond to all of these issues.
“But this morning I do want to say, speaking for myself and I believe for the Cathedral, that given this nation’s history of racial injustice, the issues and concerns in Ferguson really ought to be at the top of our prayer list and action agenda as a faith community. We here at the Cathedral are quick to point people to the Canterbury pulpit and remind them that Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his final Sunday sermon here. We’re quick to appeal to Dr. King’s legacy and to claim a piece of it for ourselves. If we’re really serious about claiming that legacy, it seems to me, we will not only pray for peace in Ferguson, but we’ll also pray for justice. And so, as we go forward as a nation, I add my voice to the many faith leaders who are saying, ‘Yes, we appeal for peace, we appeal for calm, we appeal for healing in Ferguson, but we also appeal for answers’—so that the killing of Michael Brown and its aftermath will not be just forgotten in the next sweep of events, but will call us all into facing continually into God’s invitation to us to break down those boundaries that Canon Campbell talked about and to ensure that all people find life safe, meaningful and abundant.
“So on behalf of the Cathedral and on behalf of all who serve and worship here, I call everyone to prayer and action for not only the people of Ferguson, but for our nation as we continue to live into trying to understand what these events mean, and we pray that justice will be done and that peace will prevail.
SOURCE: Washington National Cathedral