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Statement of Commitment and Action

Renewing Our Covenant:

A Statement of Commitment and Action Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral

With thanks to our sister Cathedral, St. Mark's in Seattle, WA for the example they have provided, we proclaim by word and example the gospel of Jesus Christ and we reaffirm our baptismal covenant: To respect the dignity of every human being, strive for justice and peace among all people, and seek and serve Christ in all persons. We are concerned about the increase in statements and actions in our nation that target particular groups of people based on their skin color, their religious affiliation, their gender or orientation, their abilities, or their country of birth. These are artificial divisions that we vehemently denounce as discriminatory and disrespectful. We believe our nation can do better, and we pledge to work toward that better vision here and now. We commit to being a network of activists, in God's name, joining others who similarly pledge to pursue justice actively. Here are ways that we may engage in this work with wisdom, discretion, compassion, and grace:

1. We will go deeper in faith.

We commit to read, study, and live the words of Jesus. The prophet Micah's words provide a mantra for us as people of faith: "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God." We must seek both courage and humility as we respond.

2. We will listen.
We will listen to those with whom we may disagree as we seek safe and sacred spaces for hearing each other's stories, pains, fears, and hopes. We will foster such dialogue so that our children might learn the meaning of the diversity and pluralism that is America's best future.

3. We will be truthful.
We will strive to replace fear with facts in public discourse. Our times require a moral compass that bends towards justice, and to accomplish this, truth-telling is imperative.

4. We will affirm pluralism, diversity, and equal opportunity.
We believe that all people are made in God's image, and we affirm diversity as a gift, blessing, and opportunity for our nation. We will name racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, White Nationalism, and xenophobia as sins. We acknowledge the role privilege plays in disrupting the wholesome effects of diversity. We affirm the importance of changing the structures of society that promote and exploit economic inequality and limit human freedom.

5. We will love our neighbors by protecting them from hate speech and attacks.
We will identify, report, and confront hate speech and behavior in all its toxic forms. Our church stands as a safe haven for people threatened by those who would attack them.

6. We will welcome the stranger, as our Scriptures instruct.
We will advocate for immigrants and all dislocated people and their families, and oppose the mass deportation of immigrants who are members of our community. We will explore how we may support the sanctuary movement and will provide food, clothing, and shelter as we are able for those with immediate needs.

7. We will expose and oppose racial profiling in policing.
While supporting the role of law enforcement in our community, we will join with other local faith communities in monitoring the relationship of our police to our communities, calling out racial injustice when we see it.

8. We will defend the religious liberty of our Muslim sisters and brothers.
We embrace Muslims as fellow Americans and stand with our local mosques in congregational solidarity. We will denounce the defamation and banning of Muslims, and oppose any attempt to require registration.

9. We will work to end misogyny that enables sexism and a culture of sexual violence.
Gender fairness and equality must be fundamental principles in our workplaces, schools, and political systems. We will work to replace misogyny with mutual respect. We will name sexual assault for what it is-a sin and a crime.

10. We will fight for climate justice and protection of our environment.
Those who suffer the most from the effects of climate change contribute the least to its causes. As stewards of our land, air and water, we will stand with others in broad coalition to preserve these precious resources, while working to reverse the troubling trends of human-caused climate change and seeking solutions that respect the dignity of all people.

11. We will lead with our best values.
We will defend the values of democracy and workplace fairness, striving to respect the dignity of every human being. Whether in our streets, our schools, our workplaces, or our houses of worship-we will protest with dignity, discipline, and non-violence, not returning hate for hate.

12. We will need each other.
With God's help, the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral will work to create a vibrant community to provide sustenance for the journey, resources for learning, safe space for dialogue, and opportunities for prayerful resistance and action. Join us as we engage this work in community, in the name of Christ.

June, 2017 

Last Published: October 6, 2017 11:02 AM