Open Letter From Area Church Leaders

At the Voice of Muscatine, we received this Open Letter signed by several area pastors.

We, the faith community leaders in Muscatine are concerned about the events happening in our
country, our state, and our communities in recent days. We stand firmly united in opposition to hate,
discrimination, violence, and the excessive use of force we have witnessed in these past days. We are
saddened and angered regarding the needless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor,
Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, and others, along with the riots and looting that have
been triggered by these murders.

We stand firmly in support of anyone who works for the peace,
justice, and freedom of all people. We take heart from the ways people have gathered to peacefully
remind the world that black lives matter and to peacefully protest what they know to be injustice and
sin. We also take heart from the ways that the law enforcement community has shown their support of
peaceful protesters, confirming what we always knew, that the overwhelming majority of them wish to
serve the common good.

In all the major faith traditions, peace is a central tenet, as is love of others. In that spirit we give thanks
for the community of Muscatine and call our friends and neighbors to continue to be a community
where differences are embraced, all voices are heard, and neighbors reach out to neighbors.
For our part we will pray with you, walk with you, and work with you to build a community where every
human being knows their dignity and worth.

Vicar Katie Anderson, Zion Lutheran Church
Rev. Dan Baldwin, Grace Lutheran Church
Rev. Susan Bantz, Chaplain, Lutheran Living Senior Campus
Rev. Mike Biklen, retired clergy United Methodist Church
Rev. Joseph Blay, Chaplain, Tyson Foods
Rev. Steve Cauley, Zion Lutheran Church
Rev. Ryan Downing, Faith United Church of Christ
Rev. Aleese Kenitzer, Shepherd of the Cross Lutheran Church
Rev. Martha Lang, retired priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa.
Rev. Kathleen Milligan, Trinity Episcopal Church
Rev. Brian Oliver, Wesley United Methodist Church
Rev. Troy Richmond, Pastor, Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic Church
Rev. Dr. Pamela S. Saturnia, First Presbyterian Church