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Churches make anti-racism statements:

1. Normandy Park UCC's statement is in a silent march

Amy Hitchins, pastor at Normandy Park UCC in Seattle, her spouse Shannon Thomas, and Steve and Nancy Allen participated in in a Silent March and Black Lives Matter Vigil in Normandy Park on June 12. Photo courtesy of Nancy Allen

About eight members of Normandy Park UCC joined about 400 others in a silent march held on June 12.

The march was organized by a church member at John Knox Presbyterian, a neighboring church with which Normandy Park UCC has partnered.

“It was a good first step for the community of Normandy Park,” said Amy Hitchins, pastor.

“The city had had rules excluding people of color in its not too distant history,” she said.

Normandy Park is a community that developed after World War II.

For information, call 206-824-1770, email info or visit




2. Walla Walla church speaks on racism, supremacy

As people of faith and disciples of Jesus, our community at First Congregational Church of Walla Walla stands with those struggling for racial justice who are speaking out about racism and white supremacy in our culture and institutions.

We declare that Black lives matter.

We share the grief over the violent death of George Floyd, a fellow Christian dedicated to peace, and over the many other unarmed Black, Brown, and Indigenous people who have died at the hands of those we entrust to provide fair and equal protection under the law. Our faith compels us to confront racism as a false idol and a force that crucifies.

We know that God’s grace, as a gift, is free, but it is not cheap. It calls us to a change of heart and of actions, seeing clearly the role of sin in ourselves and our society. We are humbled to acknowledge the sin of racism and White supremacy in ourselves, in our institutions, and in our country’s living history. We seek, with God’s help, and with the confidence that nothing truly separates any of us from the love of God, to do our part to overcome racism and heal the injustices in our society.

To that end:

• We are committed to better understanding our own White privilege and racism, for those of us who are White, and to address its subtle and overt manifestations in our church culture. To aid us, we will use small group curricula developed by our national leadership in the United Church of Christ, such as “White Privilege - Let’s Talk: A Resource for Transformational Dialogue.” We invite others in our community to this work, and gladly will share these resources.

• We are committed to supporting and responding to the leadership of Black and Brown people in our city and state who are developing policy measures that can reduce the risk of police violence and increase democratic oversight and accountability.

• We are committed to finding appropriate ways as a church to help bring our local police and political leaders into conversation with the Walla Walla Black Lives Matter movement, as well as the Walla Walla Immigrant Rights Coalition, as they request, to discuss meaningful reforms and reconciliation.

• We are committed to peace and nonviolence in our ways, knowing all people are fellow children of God. We will do our part to reduce the level of violence in our society overall. This requires attending to larger injustices in our nation, largely impacting People of Color. This also requires attending to the seeds of violence in ourselves. A less violent society will reduce the level of risk and stress for all, including those who serve as police officers.

• We are above all committed to following the Way of Jesus with integrity, confronting the forces of violence and racism with love in our hearts and with our trust centered on the God of resurrection at work through history and beyond.

Rev. Nathaniel Mahlberg, pastor; J.R. VanSlyke, moderator; Jen Rickard, Vice-Moderator; Dana Taggart, chair, Board of Trustees; Judy Chacon, chair, Board of Deacons; Heidi McFarley, chair, Mission & Social Concerns Committee, and Dot Willis, chair, Christian Education 

For information, call 509-525-8753.


3. University UCC adopts a statement for dismantling racism

In response to the murder of George Floyd and in solidarity with those protesting, University Congregational UCC in Seattle has written a statement that it has posted on Facebook and the church website, and shared with the UCUCC congregation via email. 

The church offers it as a model of a formal statement churches may want to make,” said Kyna Shilling of UCUCC.

She offered an article with more thoughts on crafting a statement:

A Statement and a Call 

In solidarity with those protesting the murder of George Floyd;  we call for the dismantling of systemic racism in our country.

Last year our congregation adopted a resolution calling for us to be a Racial Justice Church. In that resolution we acknowledge that there are many ways in which we, as a congregation, take part in the systemic racism that exists in our society and our church. In addition, we declare that as people of faith and followers of Jesus, we are called “to work in ways both in and outside the church to change those systems and ourselves.” 

In these last months the depth of systemic racism and its cost in human lives have been on full display. As a result of a long history of oppression and economic injustice, the impact of this global pandemic has been felt disproportionately in communities of color. And in these last months, the deadly pandemic of racism has also claimed other victims. We add the names of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and George Floyd to the unbearably long list of those who have been killed because we have allowed systemic racism and white supremacy to continue in this country.  
We recognize that silence in the face of such injustice is complicity. We stand with people of color in our congregations and in our communities who are threatened and exhausted by ongoing injustice. We stand with those who are placing their bodies on the front lines of protest in order to confront and to change this country.   

Therefore, as people of faith, we proclaim that we stand with those who are speaking out against racism and white supremacy culture. 

 We have witnessed elected officials of our city, our state, and our nation call for a response of domination toward those who are crying out for justice.  

Therefore, we call on the elected officials to take action: disavowing violent retribution and partnering with protesters to enact meaningful change. 

We have witnessed police use pepper spray, rubber bullets, and other escalation responses against non-violent protestors, including journalists, bystanders and our clergy colleagues.    

Therefore, we call for a de-escalation of police response, and a commitment from policing groups to disavow acts of provocation and violence, and engage in police reform.  

We have witnessed an over-anxious concern for property that diverts attention from humans who are suffering from systemic racism and the lives that have been lost because of it.  

Therefore, we call for a continued focus of attention and a devotion of needed resources to dismantle the deadly racism that has gripped us all for far too long. 

Our faith calls us to the urgent work of justice, as God’s hands and feet in the world. We bear witness with our siblings in Christ who are Black, Indigenous, Immigrants, and People of Color to the suffering and death they experience at the hands of police, in prisons, at our border, and disproportionately from coronavirus. These interconnected injustices come from systemic racism.  

Therefore, we will not be silent, and we commit ourselves anew to this ongoing work.  
 The statement is signed by on behalf of the church by: the Rev. Catherine Foote, minister of care and outreach; the Rev. Amy Roon, minister of 2orship and Christian education; the Rev. Todd Smiedendorf, minister of vision and stewardship; Terry Moore, moderator, and Ed Coleman, assistant moderator.

For information, call 206-524-2322, email, or visit



Pacific NW Conference United Church News - Copyright © Summer 2020


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