Joint Anti-Racism Statement from Neighborhood Congregations

To the residents and friends of the Butler Tarkington Neighborhood:

As people of faith representing the congregations of our neighborhood, we feel that it is our duty to respond to the racism, hatred, and discrimination that exists and continues to resurface in different ways within our nation and even here at home. We were profoundly troubled to learn of racist comments and an act of racial intimidation in our Butler Tarkington neighborhood.

Collectively we are speaking out against any action, group, or ideology that demeans the unique dignity of every person that lives, travels through, or even visits our neighborhood and beyond. We condemn acts of racial intimidation in any form.

We recognize the systemic injustices that exist against the African American community and have a collective desire to act. We condemn groups like the Ku Klux Klan, all white supremacist groups, and all others that adopt their beliefs, recognizing that their roots are not found in any of our faith traditions. Every faith tradition values every life.

It is our common hope that our faith and goodwill will encourage everyone to seek understanding, peace, and reconciliation among all people. We are committing not only our congregations, but asking all people to join us in praying, if that is your tradition, and certainly acting in love toward others. We look forward to future engagements with the clergy, congregations, and neighborhood and future partnerships with the Butler Tarkington Neighborhood Association. We invite you into this journey of conversation, listening, acting, and supporting one another during this time.

Signed:

Rev. Ronnie Bell, North United Methodist Church
Rev. Jeff Bower, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Rev. Shawn Coons, Fairview Presbyterian Church
Rev. Steve Conger, Meridian Street United Methodist Church
Rev. Sarah Ginolfi, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Fr. Michael Hoyt, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
Dr. Philip Karl James, Pastor, Mount Zion Baptist Church
Rev. Matt Landry, Meridian Street United Methodist Church
Pastor Jim Matthies, Common Ground Church
Pastor Jeff Reichanadter, Common Ground Church
Jamie Hinson-Rieger, Worship Leader, Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis
Bethany Scott, Director of Family and Neighborhood Ministries, Meridian Street United Methodist Church
Rev. Darren Cushman-Wood, North United Methodist Church