An Introduction to Saint Mark’s Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action

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On May 25, 2021, the cathedral Vestry unanimously adopted a Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action, a revised and expanded statement of principals for this community.

This document has been in the works for many months, and builds on the cathedral's 2016 Statement, titled Renewing Our Covenant—which for many years has been posted on the church's front doors—and A Covenant to Root Out Racism, created in Diocese of Missouri and adopted by the Diocese of Olympia at the 2020 Diocesan Convention.

Here is a brief (2-minute) video by Senior Warden Peter McClung, describing the documents origins and goals. A transcript of the video can be read below.

TRANSCRIPT

I am pleased to present on behalf of your Cathedral Vestry the Saint Mark’s Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action.

Over four-and-a-half years ago, the Vestry of Saint Mark’s articulated our commitments as a parish in the original version of this document, which after its adoption in December of 2016 became a banner and description of our work in our community and world. The commitments we made drove new and re-energized ministries and outreach, including deep engagement with the Sanctuary movement, refugees, and those in our community like Lowell Elementary School, just to name a few.

In October of last year, the Diocese of Olympia at our Annual Convention adopted Resolution Number 9, an Anti-Racism Covenant developed by Bishop Deon Johnson and the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, with a recommendation to adopt it within the parish communities within our diocese.

Since then, a subcommittee of the Vestry including Vestry members and clergy have reviewed these two documents to discern and align them into a reframed Saint Mark’s Statement. The result of that work has recently been approved by the Vestry, and it is delivered to you today in the Saint Mark’s Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action.

You will immediately notice that a large section of the Statement presented to you laments actions by the church and individuals, both currently and in the past. These laments are not only an acknowledgment of actions of the past but a current participation in the pain suffered by those within our community.

In addition to the laments, the Commitment to Action section is broader than previously stated, with greater inclusion of people, communities, and ministries tied directly to our three mutual ministry goals of our parish: Creation Care and Carbon Reduction, Restorative Justice and Systematic Change, and Innovative and Intergenerational Community.

All of us within your Vestry hope you take the time to read and reflect on this Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action and that upon your reflection, your soul is sparked to join together in the important work of our community.

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