June 24, 2022
Dear Ones,

This morning, the bishops of the Episcopal Church received an advisory from Canon C. K. Robertson of the presiding bishop’s office regarding the impending release of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade.

“We have received information from federal authorities of credible security threats against clergy and churches around the potential release by the US Supreme Court of its abortion decision,” he wrote. “There is concern that clergy who have advised parishioners about abortion access and their reproductive rights may face threats or violence.

“The guidance we are hearing,” he continued, “is for religious communities to encourage peaceful responses to the decision when it comes—in the days following the decision and also in weeks to come –while remaining vigilant about potential security threats.” 
The court’s decision has now arrived, and as leaders of a church that has long supported the right to an abortion, we must consider the steps necessary to protect our congregations and our people. I am grateful to have a variety of resources we can draw on in this work.

The White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships recommends the following steps:
1.    Sign up for HSIN (Homeland Security Information Network): Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) | Homeland Security (dhs.gov).

2.    Explore the resources of the US government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) Protective Security Advisors program: Protective Security Advisors | CISA.

3.    Sign Up for National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletins: National Terrorism Advisory System | Homeland Security (dhs.gov).

The Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships, a branch of the U. S Department of Homeland Security may be a useful resource. The contact in our area is Bruno Dias who can be reached by phone at 763-344-3057.

In addition, the United States Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS) is facilitating two webinars next week for faith-based leaders and community members on how to prevent and respond to hate crimes against places of worship.

Dates and Registration

Monday, June 27
12:00 -1:30 p.m. ET

Wednesday, June 29
12:00 -1:30 p.m. ET

Some of you may be asked about your views on today’s ruling by members of the media. If you would like to respond to such requests, I encourage you to contact our communications consultants, and to study this useful summary of General Convention resolutions on abortion and reproductive health care from the Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations.

We live in challenging times when it is more important than ever to be able to speak of the faith and the hope that is in us. Please avail yourself of these resources. Know that you are in my prayers. And let us work together to continue shining the beacon of Christ’s love in a time when it is more necessary than ever.

Bishop Jennifer