From Bishop Marc to diocese: Thank you for your presence — in numbers and in spirit

Posted on August 29, 2017

Dear Friends in Christ,

This past weekend, Sheila and I had what must have been a nearly unique view of the Bay Area’s responses to the planned rallies of far-right groups here. We took part in the Interfaith Peace Shabbat at Temple Emanu-El of San Francisco Friday evening, the service Saturday at Grace Cathedral that highlighted the visions of peace and justice of three elders of those historic movements, the Civic Center gathering Saturday afternoon, and the peace march and rally in Berkeley on Sunday.

I need to say, at this moment, two things have emerged for me at the end of this remarkable weekend. First, the Diocese of California was a strong presence — in numbers and in spirit — at all the events I’ve noted above and at other gatherings, especially the demonstration at Alamo Square on Saturday. Many hundreds of laypeople and clergy showed up to demonstrate their support of peace and resistance to hate. I was once again very proud of our diocese, of you.

Secondly, marching with the people from All Souls’, Berkeley and from CDSP — a big group that joined an enormous interfaith coalition — I saw for myself that we who adhere to a non-violent path have a great deal of work to do. I am committed to non-violence and to structural change in our great country that will lead to the more-perfected democracy and justice for all that is our common goal. As I wrote in my statement following the Charlottesville protests, we will create opportunities in our diocese for deepening our understanding and practice of non-violence. Some offerings are already being made, and I’m searching out more resources and partners for the future.

With gratitude,


Friday Interfaith Gathering Against Hate at Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco

Photo: The Rev. Nancy Pennekamp


Photo: The Rev. Debra Low-Skinner


Saturday Interfaith Gathering for Peace at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

Photos: Lynn Aylward


Sunday Interfaith Response to Alt-Right Rally in Berkeley

Photo: Angel Rivero


Photo: Laura Eberly

To see more photos from this weekend, go to our Embodied Justice Facebook album.