Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an everflowing stream . . .
While the trauma of George Floyd’s murder remains, today we give thanks that justice has been done.
The facts were never in doubt: former police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on George Floyd’s neck for over 9 minutes until he died. We saw it with our own eyes.
What we did not know until today was whether our criminal justice system would render justice in a case of a White officer taking the life of a Black man.
We pray for God’s mercy to surround George Floyd’s family and friends as they hold their private grief in the spotlight of an international movement demanding acknowledgement that Black lives matter as much as other lives. To them, and to all for whom there is so rarely justice, we pledge our continued commitment to the work of confronting racism in ourselves, our churches and the nation, including the racism present within policing in this country.
We also pray for all police officers, for their discernment when on duty and for their safety. We pray for those in civic leadership during this time of unrest and racial reckoning, that they will use their authority for the good of all.
George Floyd’s tragic death has prompted a national reckoning on racial injustice, and rightfully so. Because of what the world witnessed, the will and awareness needed to bring change — in our institutions, our culture, our politics and yes, our hearts — is on the rise, and we give thanks to God for this glimmer of light in the shadow of suffering.
Together we will find a way forward toward a more just society and God’s dream for us of beloved community. May God have mercy on us all, and order our steps in the ways of justice and peace.
The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Washington
The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith
Dean, Washington National Cathedral
The Rev. Canon Leonard L. Hamlin, Sr.
Canon Missioner and Minister of Equity and Inclusion, Washington National Cathedral
The Rev. Robert W. Fisher
Rector, St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square
(photo courtesy of Lorie Shaull/Flickr)