Friday, June 30, 2017

Summer of 2017: Standing Firm – Moving Forward Together

This is the official statement of the Charlottesville Clergy Collective, outlining the response(s) planned by many of the faith communities in C'ville.  (The list of signatories is at the end.)  Over the next several days I will post more information, both practical and theological.

The Charlottesville Clergy Collective is a gathering of faith leaders in the Charlottesville-Albemarle region whose mission is to establish, develop, and promote racial justice. We are committed to challenging the resurgence of groups promoting racist, white supremacist ideals this summer with prayer and action, galvanizing the community to act in a spirit of love and radical hospitality, respecting the dignity of every human being.

On July 8, the Charlottesville Clergy Collective will be present in and around downtown at events organized by the city and other community leaders in addition to hosting activities under our banner. The focal point of our activity will occur, and be launched from, First United Methodist Church

Our overall aim is to provide:

Action: Prayers begin in Justice Park in the morning and continue into the afternoon with a march from FUMC to Justice Park to bear witness as a faith community and to the Pavilion for a time of prayer, song, and celebration, surrounding the area with our presence.

Safe Space: First United Methodist Church, 1:00pm – 5:00pm, open for prayer, music, community-building, and conversation.

Accompaniment: Walking with those who might be hesitant to move around the areas between FUMC and points downtown.

Education: Training and conversation events leading up to July 8 and plans for ongoing witness in the days and weeks following.

As people of faith, we have been working together to address issues of justice and equality and to heal divisions in our region, and these events of July 8 are a continuation of that work. We have much to do to create a community in which all people feel welcome, safe, nurtured, and fully included in our common life.

We will Stand Firm in our pursuit of justice and the honoring of all peoples, and we will Move Forward Together as one community, united in our common humanity as beloved of God.


Pastor Daniel Xisto, Charlottesville Seventh-day Adventist Church
Pastor Winn Collier, All Souls, Charlottesville
The Rev. Erik Wikstrom, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church
The Rev. Michael Cheuk, Charlottesville Clergy Collective
The Rev. Rabia Povich, Inayati Universal Sufi Order
The Rev. Jeff Villio, First Christian Church
The Rev. Dr. Jill Duffield, The Presbyterian Outlook
Susan Beers, Charlottesville Friends Meeting
Adam Slate, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church
The Rev. Neal Halvorson-Taylor, Grace Church, Red Hill
The Rev. Pamela Philips, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church
Ann Marie Smith, Intern, Grace Church, Red Hill/Charis Community
The Rev. Dr. Jan Rivero, Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church
The Rev. Dr. Ken Henry, Westminster Presbyterian Church
The Rev. William Peyton, St. Paul’s Memorial Episcopal  Church
Apostle Sarah A. Kelley, Faith, Hope and Love International Healing and Deliverance Center
The Rev. Phil Woodson, First United Methodist Church
Sharon Beckman-Brindley, Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville
The Rev. Dr. Harry Kennon, First United Methodist Church
The Rev. Carol Sims, Grace Episcopal Church, Cismont
The Rev. Marilu Thomas, Christ Episcopal Church
The Rev. Josh Bascom, Christ Episcopal Church
The Rev. Dr. Susan A. Minasian, Sojourners United Church of Christ
The Rev. Alvin J. Horton, First United Methodist Church
Deacon Don Gathers, First Baptist Church – West Main Street
Pastor Brenda Brown-Grooms, New Beginnings Christian Community
Pastor Liz Emrey, New Beginnings Christian Community
The Rev. Robert Lewis, Hinton Avenue United Methodist Church
The Rev. Will Brown, University Baptist Church
The Rev. Dr. Louie Andrews, Rockfish Presbyterian Church
The Rev. Dr. David Garth, First Presbyterian Charlottesville
The Rev. Don Lansky, Unity of Charlottesville
The Rev. Seth Wispelwey, Sojourners United Church of Christ
Rabbi Tom Gutherz, Congregation Beth Israel
The Rev. Liz Forney, First Presbyterian Church
The Rev. Sandy Wisco, Charlottesville Clergy Collective
The Rev. Viktoria Halmágyi Parvin, St. Mark Lutheran Church
The Rev. Cass Bailey, Trinity Episcopal Church
The Rev. Emily Rowell Brown, St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church
The Rev. Gary Charles, Cove Presbyterian Church
Rev. Nicholas Deere, Broadus Memorial Baptist Church
The Rev. Dr. Jim Bundy, Sojourners United Church of Christ
The Rev. Dr. Alvin Edwards, Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church
The Rev. Dr. Lehman Bates, Ebenezer Baptist Church
The Rev. Elaine Ellis Thomas, St. Paul’s Memorial Episcopal Church

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