A statement from Concerned Clergy of Olympia regarding the planned rally at the State Capitol

We call on public officials and citizens to join us in speaking out with one voice against bigotry and racism. This violence is not welcome in our community.

On Saturday, March 5, white supremacist groups are planning a rally at the Washington State Capitol. The rally, organized by March for Our Rights and dubbed “Government Resistance Impedes Tyranny” or GRIT, is focused on protesting the state’s COVID-19 response. The rally’s sponsors include the Washington Three Percent, Turning Point USA and The Family Policy Institute of Washington. In addition, the Oregon-based group Timber Unity, which has used truck convoys as an intimidation tactic in Salem, OR, has announced that they too will join the rally. These groups have a documented history of violent and threatening rhetoric, intentionally combining bigotry, disinformation, and conspiracy theories with tactics that include threats, intimidation and paramilitary presence.

Concerned Clergy of Olympia, rooted in our faith traditions and teachings, proclaim the inherent worth, dignity and safety of all persons. We call on public officials and citizens to join us in speaking out with one voice against bigotry and racism. We affirm that ideologies of white supremacy, hate, and oppression of those most marginalized are not welcome in our community.

A Letter of Support for Deschutes Parkway Encampment Residents

This letter was submitted to the Thurston County Commissioners ahead of their meeting on January 11, 2021.

To the Thurston County Commissioners and County Manager:

We, the members of the Concerned Clergy of Olympia, are writing to you today to voice support for the persons currently receiving shelter after being displaced from the Deschutes encampment in early December.  Currently there are over 70 people who are being sheltered in a regional hotel as a result of losing their places of residence from this encampment removal. 

We support the ongoing sheltering of these Olympia residents in the hotel through the winter months or until such a time when a humane and safe alternative is ready.

As faith leaders we are constantly looking for ways to help in the epidemic of homelessness in our region. Toward that end we believe that the County and City have unique roles to play, just as the faith communities do. One of the ways that we believe the County and City can garner maximum impact is by developing strategies for connecting people to services and continuing to develop safe and affordable housing and shelter options. This includes supporting needs related to start-up infrastructure (like microhouses) and ensuring adequate staffing support for such programs.

We thank you for your review of these points of endorsement and recommendation as you approach your January 11 meeting. We hope and pray for policies that uplift the humanity of all persons in our communities.

Submitted in hope and affirmation of the most vulnerable,
Concerned Clergy of Olympia

Response to the Death of Vaneesa Hopson

We, Concerned Clergy of Olympia, express our sadness at the death of Vaneesa Hopson on February 7, 2018, who died after being chemically restrained. We send our condolences to Vaneesa’s family and friends and offer our prayers of healing for our community.
“As a community, we recognize the inherent worth and dignity of all persons”, while facts continue to surface, this incident reminds us of our need to treat all of our neighbors with love, respect and compassion, an ideal put forth in our Charter for Compassion, which was presented to our community and adopted by our City Council in 2017. We hope, too, that a deeper awareness of our communal needs and responsibilities comes in the wake of this tragic loss. Together we must work to “create a society where all people are able to live into their best selves.” We invite you to join us in this collective work, a commitment expressed through signing on to the Olympia Charter of Compassion.