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A Statement from the Trinity Vestry

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

Monday, July 27, 2020

As a religious institution, Trinity Cathedral, a member of the Episcopal Church in the USA, has much to repent of. We acknowledge that white privilege, an attitude of racial superiority, and the denial of true equal access to education, health care, housing, and jobs to nonwhite individuals, have perpetuated our sin and impaired individuals of color from full participation in the rights and life they deserve. We also acknowledge that the Cathedral stands on land that has for many generations been under the stewardship of the Multnomah and Clackamas peoples.

Through the actions and negligences of our forebears, we have directly and indirectly benefited from participating in structural racism, and we have reinforced it on many levels. We have seen but failed to speak out or act in the face of redlining, mass incarceration, and repeated instances of police brutality at the local and national levels. We have failed to examine the implicit biases expressed in our music, liturgy, and ministry programming. Among our own congregation’s early leaders and prominent members were those whose public advocacy and participation in government helped set in place laws, policies, and practices that shaped Oregon’s troubled and troubling racial history. They argued in favor of slavery, supported exclusion laws, held membership in the Ku Klux Klan, and in various ways promoted discrimination. We have inherited this legacy.

We cannot forget our history, but we can work to ensure that our future is shaped by our values. We strive to follow Jesus of Nazareth, who began his teaching with these simple words, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Of all these sins—“things known and unknown, things done and left undone”—we repent.

Drawing upon the language of the Book of Common Prayer, we grieve and humbly repent of all that we have done and that which we have left undone. True repentance requires us to set aside our privilege, explore the impact of our sins, engage the demands of our historical moment, take responsibility for the harm we have caused, and, where possible, make amends.

In this posture of repentance, we return to the Core Values of Trinity Cathedral, adopted in 2008, to guide us as we strive for a more just community:

  • Respect: We will respect the dignity of every human being

  • Compassion: We will love our neighbor as ourselves

  • Integrity: We will proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ

  • Justice: We will strive for justice and peace among all people