Bay Area Episcopal bishop to visit Standing Rock Reservation: Joined by lay and clergy members of diocese of California

On Tuesday, November 1, the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, bishop of California, will travel to North Dakota to stand in solidarity with water protectors at the Standing Rock Reservation of the Sioux people. He will be joined by roughly a dozen lay people, priests, and deacons from the Diocese of California in demonstrating faith communities’ — and The Episcopal Church’s — opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Andrus the others are answering the call of the Rev. John Floberg, Episcopal missioner at the Standing Rock Reservation. Floberg hoped to gather 100 clergy from throughout the Church to be present and assist in keeping the peace between activists and police forces. The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, has suggested that the gathering and demonstrating at “Standing Rock may be the new Selma.”

On October 15, the Diocese of California passed a resolution expressing solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux and other Native Americans encamped at Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The resolution also called for “congregations, deaneries, and this diocese to find ways to support the protectors at Cannon Ball through the raising of funds to be sent through the Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota” and “Encourage this Diocese, its youth ministries, and congregations to consider pilgrimages to Cannon Ball and other Native American communities affected by [historic injustices visited upon Native Americans by the United States Government].”

Writing on his blog, Andrus said, “The dominant culture of the world – characterized by over-consumption and living off extractive industrial processes that depend on the objectification of people, other species and the planet itself – is imperiling the health of the Earth. May this pilgrimage to Standing Rock be not a one-off event, but a turning. Instead of marginalizing indigenous people let us learn to turn to them as sisters and brothers who have maintained family wisdom for us all.”