Baltimore Faith leaders gathered at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in downtown Baltimore June 3, 2020 to call for justice, peace and prayer. Bishop Sutton and Bishop Ihloff were among those gathered with Archbishop Lori of the Archdiocese of Baltimore
and Bishop Gohl of the ELCA, Maryland-Delaware Synod

[Archdiocese of Baltimore] As leaders of diverse faith communities throughout Baltimore, we condemn unequivocally the tragic death of George Floyd, along with every unjust killing of an unarmed black man or woman at the hands of those entrusted with protecting us. Every loss of life through an act of violence tears apart our bonds as a human family, and strikes at the heart of the foundational principles that define who we are as communities of faith, and as a City, state, and nation.

We applaud and stand with all who are raising their voices in protest against this latest injustice, and the entrenched, systemic racism in our society that it reflects. We most especially applaud all those on our streets and in our communities who are refusing to join individuals – often not from our own communities – who would cause the safety of our people, neighborhoods and institutions to be torn asunder by reckless violence.

Watch the Facebook live video of the prayer service
June 3, 2020

We owe our gratitude as well to the women and men in law enforcement who abide by their duty to carry out their responsibilities with compassion and justice, and who continue to risk their own lives to keep us safe.

We ask all to join us Wednesday, June 3 at 6:00 pm at an outdoor gathering at St. Vincent de Paul Church to demonstrate our commitment to justice, to healing and to peace, and to pray together for the safety and renewal of our City.

Let us take comfort in our shared dependence on the love and grace of God, and in the truths that will never fail us. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.”

For more information, visit the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s website.

A Prayer for the End of Racism

offered by the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton

O God of Justice and Compassion,

As we gather today in remembrance of those who suffer from violence, injustice, and systemic racism, we understand that we struggle not merely against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities in high places – those institutions and systems that keep racism alive by perpetuating the lie that some members of our family are superior to others.

 Create in us a new mind and heart that will enable us to see brothers and sisters in the faces of those divided by our racial categories.

 Give us the grace and strength to rid ourselves of racial stereotypes that oppress some of us while providing entitlements to others.

 Help us to create a city, state and nation that embraces the hopes and fears of all people in our communities, as well as those around the world.

 And finally, in the words of that great hymn of faith that has sustained the black community for generations
(“Lift Every Voice and Sing”):

 God of our weary years
God of our silent tears
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light
Keep us forever in the path, we pray
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee
Shadowed beneath Thy hand
May we forever stand
True to our God
True to our native land