Dear Clergy with Standing Rock
Find the light, lift the light. At our best, this is what people of faith do when the world appears to be stuck at midnight and hope seems a faint flicker. For many, the water protectors of Standing Rock have been and continue to be a source of light. As clergy joined in solidarity with Standing Rock, we have the opportunity to help amplify that light. Biblical scholars note that when Jesus declares, “You are the light of the world,” the “you” refers to a community. In this moment, we have the opportunity to be part of a larger community of light. In this spirit, we invite you to join in this collective effort in three ways:
- Respond to the call of indigenous leaders to take action and stand with Standing Rock on November 15th. Throughout the country, actions are being planned for the Army Corps of Engineers District Headquarter offices. Look to see if there is an action near you.
- Engage your congregation in activities of reflection and repentance in considering the Doctrine of Discovery, a legal concept arising from church documents that authorized and, indeed blessed, Christians to kill non-Christians and possess their lands and resources. The repudiation of this doctrine served as a central point of focus for the clergy who gathered recently in Standing Rock. Denominations such as the Episcopal Church , the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church , and the Mennonite Church have developed materials to assist congregations in addressing the destructive legacy of Christianity that continues to impact the world today as Standing Rock amply demonstrates.
- Let the light shine by sharing this graphic on social media. For those stuck at midnight, you have the opportunity to point them toward hope and the action that produces hope.
We invite you to sign up for future updates and opportunities for action regarding Standing Rock.
Kindred in Christ,
Rev. Byron Buffalo
Rev. Marlene Whiterabbit Helgemo
Rev. Rebecca Voelkel
Rev. Brooks Berndt