The Rt Revd Mariann Budde
Episcopal Diocese of Washington
Episcopal Church House – Mount St. Alban
Washington DC 20016-5094

Let justice roll down like water, and righteousness like an everlasting stream.
Amos 5:24

Dear Bishop Budde,
Dear sister in Christ,

With growing concern, the people of the Lutheran Church in Great Britain and I have been following the news of events unfolding in the US. The image of the White House being obscured from view by the billowing smoke of the protests on the other side of the fence, is deeply disconcerting, and even frightening, because of the powerful symbolism it conveys: the seat of power, the centre of Western democracy from where justice and righteousness are supposed to reach the whole nation remains dark and silent.

I do not pretend to know the heart of Mr Trump nor the contents of his faith, but his latest action Monday in front of St John’s Church made me shake my head in disbelief. These were not the words nor the actions of a President meant to unify his country.

Justice is not a stream where we lose ourselves, lose our lives, in callous threats and flippant remarks about violence. On the contrary, as the prophet assures us, it is the place where all of us are revived to accomplish our calling as human beings, namely to find freedom both for our souls and for our bodies.

I try to stay optimistic however, when on social media I also see other photos that deeply move me, of protesters and police officers coming together, often kneeling together, marching together for the common good. This is my prayer for you and the people in your diocese, that you are able to keep those striking images of reconciliation before you and not lose hope.

Please be assured, dear sister, of the respect and support of my church and of your fellow bishop.

Pax et bonum,

+Tor

St John’s Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C. Photo: Michael Day