Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi issued the following statement today after violent events at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.
I collect crosses. There are crosses from all around the world in my office prayer corner. One of them is a simple cross made from repurposed wood that came from cabinetry in one of the U.S. Senate office buildings. That cross was given to me by a former parishioner who, before his retirement, was in charge of the ongoing maintenance of the Senate buildings. He fashioned the cross with his own hands. It is one of my most highly treasured crosses.
I thought of that cross and the man who made it as I viewed the violent destruction of the Capitol Building by criminals seeking to destroy our democracy. I remembered the pride this parishioner had in the work he had done for his country. While I don’t even know if he is still alive, I imagined the grief he would feel if he were viewing the same scenes that I was.
I also thought of the people I know who are U.S. Capitol Police officers. I imagined their horror and prayed for them by name.
I also prayed for those who lost their lives. Regardless of whether or not they were involved in the violence, it was my prayer that they experienced the grace of God in the final moments of their lives.
Our country is in a tenuous situation. The violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol Building was an act of treason. Yet, as our currency states, “In God We Trust.”
I am confident that all those who were responsible for the treasonous invasion of the U.S. Capitol Building will be held accountable. My confidence is supported by the fact that the leaders of both parties have condemned these acts. Further, they committed, and then found a way, to continue their Constitutional duties in spite of these acts.
I have faith that as a result of this violence, our country will grow more fully into the ideals of life, liberty, and justice for all. I have faith that we will find a way to put the interests of our entire country before our individual desire for power or control. I have this faith because in God I trust.
As a church, I implore us to trust God and use the power given to us through the Holy Spirit to resist all of the precipitating types of behavior that foster the kind of violence we saw taking place against our democracy. I implore us to resist demonizing or making enemies of those who do not agree with us. I implore us to resist the temptation to only listen to, or only accept as truth, information that comes from people with whom we generally agree. I implore us to resist engaging in sarcasm or veiled threats about others. I implore us to resist making off-the-cuff comments like, “Somebody ought to string him up.” I implore us to resist the temptation to allow bullying behavior to go unchecked because we are afraid of becoming the target of the bully.
As a church, I also implore us to trust God and use our power to pray for healing for all of those impacted by the violent occupation of the Capitol Building. Those who witnessed the violence, as well as those who perpetrated it, need healing. I will be praying for my former parishioner and all of those who keep the Congressional and Senate buildings running. I will be praying for those I know and don’t know on the U.S. Capitol Police Force. I will be praying for the members of Congress. I will be praying for the protestors, as well as the rioters. I will also be praying for those who engaged in criminal behavior. I will be praying for our current and future president. I will be praying for our country because in God I trust.