Downtown Senior Clergy Statement, April 14, 2021

The world is watching to see if justice will be done in Minneapolis.

As the murder trial continues for the police killing of George Floyd, we, the Minneapolis Downtown Interfaith Senior Clergy, now also mourn the police killing of Daunte Wright. We underline our cry for justice and our condemnation of racism and white supremacy culture in the strongest terms. We call for transparency and accountability in the handling of the facts of both of these cases, and we stand in solidarity with those actively and peacefully working to dismantle the racial injustice that continues to permeate our communities.

We just celebrated Passover and Easter, and are observing Ramadan. Our traditions call us to move from degradation to dignity, death to life, and sin to mercy. Our religious teachings are clear on this point: all human beings are siblings. Every person has a spark of the divine. Every life is precious. All must breathe free. We invite our neighbors to join us in prayer for hearts and lives broken by violent systems.

Firmly rooted in our faith traditions, we stand united in our call for love and justice because, as Black theologian Cornel West phrases it, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” We know that a just society is always a work in progress – but helping create a society where all may live, grow, and flourish is our calling.

We are committed to finding hope in even the most hopeless of circumstances. We know that many people, especially people of color, are traumatized and hurting. We are committed to healing in our congregations, our community, our nation, and our world.

Together, we echo the words of Isaiah:

You will rebuild the ancient ruins,
raise foundations from ages past,
and be called “Repairer of broken walls,
Restorer of streets to live in.” (58:12)
In solidarity and in faith,

Rev. Elijah McDavid III, Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church

Imam Makram Nu’Man El-Amin, Masjid An-Nur

Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman, Temple Israel

Rev. Dr. DeWayne Davis, Plymouth Congregational Church

Rev. Dr. Tim Hart-Andersen, Westminster Presbyterian Church

Rev. Jia Starr Brown, First Covenant Church

Rev. Dr. David Breeden, First Unitarian Society

Rev. Kevin Kenney, Saint Olaf Catholic Church

Rev. Judy Zabel, Hennepin Avenue United Methodist

Imam Dr. Hamdy El-Sawaf Islamic Community Center of Minnesota/Masjid Al-Imin

Rev. Dr. Laurie Pound Feille, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rev. Peter Nycklemoe, Central Lutheran Church

Rev. Jen Crow, First Universalist Church

Rev. Justin Schroeder, First Universalist Church

The Very Rev. Paul J. Lebens-Englund, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral