A Message from Dean Thomason
Stretching Out Our Arms of Love
Dear friends,

This Friday, June 5, at noon, a group of Seattle clergy will gather on the terrace and steps of our sister cathedral of St. James to say prayers. The hour chosen is intentional, as it was at that hour that Jesus Christ (in the words of the Book of Common Prayer) “stretched out his arms of love on the hard wood of the cross, that everyone might come within the reach of his saving embrace…”
The location for this prayer vigil is intentional as well: beneath the twin towers of a cathedral whose bells mark the hours with their clarion call to peace across the city, and also toll with resonating spirit to mark the occasion of one’s death, reminding us that no one is an island entire of itself. Every human is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…”

We will gather outside St. James Cathedral, masked and socially distanced (per Governor Inslee's directives), in earshot of several hospitals where health care workers murmur caring words, and families grieve their separation from loved ones who lie inside in need of the healing balm of human touch during a pandemic of isolation. 

We gather on a hill where we will catch the echoes of protesters lamenting, “How long, O Lord, how long?!” And we will join our voice of lament with theirs—a lament for a nation broken by its infidelity to its moral values, a lament for a nation whose leaders have failed us in moments of crisis, a lament for a nation which has marginalized and oppressed in the name of progress. How long, O Lord, how long?!

We gather there to reach forth our hands of love to hold a city which is hurting. 

We gather there to reach forth our hands of love to the police and National Guard, that they may serve and protect all the people of this city, and to our civic leaders who strive for peace and justice for all. 

We gather there to reach forth our hands of love to those who are rioting, who long for a nation’s conscience to be roused to new ways of dwelling on this continent together.

We gather there, above all, to reach forth our hands of love to all those for whom white privilege and white supremacy are not mere concepts worth discussing, but very real and very deep-seated realities of life with oppressive consequences that pervade the whole of life. We gather to claim our nation’s need to repent of its sins, to recognize our own complicity in those sins, and to make a commitment to work for another way.

And then we will descend into the city in silence, a procession of solemn prayer that, as former things are passing away, something new might arise, clothed in the Spirit of truth and mercy and justice and peace and love. 

That is our hope. We are people of hope. And hope is what we have to offer this world. 

The event will be livestreamed, and we encourage you to participate fully that way, as you have each Sunday for worship. We will share the link as we approach the hour.

In the meantime, I bid your prayers for us all in this nation. Resist despair and cynicism, reach out your arms of love to others, remain connected. Learn, and be open to change. Look for the new dawn, and hold on to hope as we unfold into what is yet to come.

I am, with abiding affection,
Your Brother in Christ,
The Very Reverend Steven L. Thomason
Dean and Rector
Antiracism Resources
Information, Organizations, and Actions

Many of you have asked about resources to become better informed, to better respond. Cathedral staff members have compiled some resources which you can read here . Please remember: this is not a sprint; we did not come to this fateful moment overnight; we will not heal from it quickly either. 

The clergy will also share in the coming days plans for us to engage more fully the important ongoing work of dismantling racism as a cathedral community. We encourage you to engage that as well.