Rebuild the Churches Fund ~ No Longer Accepting Donations
Thank you for your interest in contributing to the Rebuild the Churches Fund. The Fund has now been closed to further donations, and donations received will shortly be disbursed to the affected churches.
The following is the text of the letter that Bishop Dietsche sent on July 2:
A Call to Contribute
to the Rebuilding of
July 2, 2015
My dear brothers and sisters:
The shootings at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17th shocked the world and were a painful reminder of the ongoing presence of racist ideologies in our nation. The murders of the Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney and eight others have opened up an even deeper conversation among many, including those of us gathered in Salt Lake City for the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, about white privilege and systemic poverty. The Episcopal Church is at work to organize effective responses to these diseases which afflict our common life.
Since the killings at Mother Emanuel, seven predominantly African-American churches have burned. At least two of these fires have been determined, and others are suspected, to be the result of arson. Black churches have burned in Knoxville and Humboldt, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina; Macon, Georgia; Tallahassee, Florida; and Warrenville and Greeleyville, South Carolina. Whether all are proved to be arson or not, these fires are a sad reminder of years past, when burning and bombing were tactics of intimidation directed at churches which have long been the heartbeat of the black community. It is a testament to these communities of deep faith that the response to violence has been a spirit of forgiveness and an unshakable commitment to justice and opportunity for all.
I call upon the people of the Diocese of New York and our friends to join me in contributing to the rebuilding of these African-American churches whose buildings have been charred by hate. Over the course of the summer, I ask that each congregation of the diocese receive an offering for this purpose, and that every member of our diocese give generously as a tangible sign of our solidarity with these sisters and brothers. I also request your prayers for the ongoing work of The Episcopal Church and of this diocese as we seek to lift up a vision of the beloved community of all God’s people.
The Rt. Rev. Andrew M.L. Dietsche
Bishop of New York