We, the members of Portland Area Interfaith Clergy, feel grave concern over the growing number of attacks against Asian Americans across the country and in Maine. These heartbreaking violations against fellow human beings, due to their ethnicity, have deepened the dismay caused by a pandemic whose consequences to the health and livelihoods of people of color have been disproportionately severe. This has come to pass against a backdrop of longstanding racial injustice in virtually every aspect of American life. It is clear that racial prejudice is the most vital and challenging issue we face as a country.

To create a just society begins with recognition of the fundamental truth that humanity is one. But it is not enough simply to believe this in our hearts. It creates the moral imperative to act, and to view all aspects of our personal, social, and institutional lives through the lens of justice. It implies a reordering of our society more profound than anything we have yet achieved. And it requires the participation of all Mainers of every religion, race and background, for it is only through such inclusive participation that new moral and social directions can emerge.

Respectfully and faithfully submitted,

Rev. Carolyn Lambert, First Congregational Church of Buxton, U.C.C.

Parivash & Nasser Rohani, members of Portland Baha’i Community

Rev. Dr. Scott A. DeBlock, Interim Pastor, State Street Church U.C.C

Diane Dicranian, clerk, Midcoast Friends Meeting

The Very Rev. Dr. Benjamin Shambaugh, The Cathedral of St. Luke, Episcopal Diocese of ME

Rev. Dr. Myke Johnson, retired, Minister Emerita, Allen Avenue U.U. Church, Portland

The Rev. Peter Swarr, Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church

Khenmo Drolma, Abbess,Vajra Dakini Nunnery

Rev. Alyssa Lodewick, Pastor, Woodfords Congregational Church, U.C.C.

Rev. Jane Field – Executive Director, Maine Council of Churches

Rev. Sara Ewing-Merrill, HopeGateWay

Fritz Weiss, Portland Friends Meeting (Quaker)

Rev. Allen Ewing-Merrill, HopeGateWay and the BTS Center

Rev. Robert Levens, S.J.

Rev. Kevin Hughes, S.J.

Rev. Paul Sullivan, S.J.

Rev. Vincent Curtin, S. J

Rev. Reba Delzell, Williston-Immanuel United Church

Rev. Christina M. Sillari, First Parish Portland, Maine Unitarian Universalist

Rev. Donna Dolham, Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church