Reaffirmation of Our Values and Our Commitments

Here’s the statement we signed and a picture of all of us. Blessed to work with these amazing people.

By: Evanston Interfaith Clergy and Leaders

Whether we live, work and/or worship in Evanston, we are inextricably bound to one another and the common ideals upon which our diverse faith traditions are founded. We understand that many in our midst, regardless of their political affiliations or preferences, have experienced those common ideals being placed at risk, especially since the 2016 election.

The coronavirus pandemic has added to our anxieties and further exposed injustices in its disproportionate toll on communities of color, the elderly, and the under-resourced. The 2020 election, still not fully complete, reflects a nation seriously divided in its national priorities. We stand in solidarity with those in our midst who are frightened, feel marginalized or disrespected. We who are representatives of faith communities in Evanston are resolved to stand in mutual solidarity with those groups who may be exposed to undue suffering in these tense and turbulent times. Thoughts and prayers are insufficient and empty without acts of justice. We will stand, lock arms, listen to and speak with, struggle and, if need be, suffer to protect the rights of those in our community and nation. We will commit human and financial resources to help ensure and realize these rights.

We are committed to making Evanston a safe and welcoming place for all people and to right the wrongs of history that we have inherited. We are committed to healing. We not only respect the differences in how we exercise our religious beliefs, but we embrace the diversity of religious beliefs and customs present in all who live, work, study, pray/worship or serve in Evanston; and

We embrace one another’s race, ethnicity, family background, heritage, language, economic status, and culture; sexual orientation and gender identity; and all abilities and special needs. We welcome immigrants and refugees.

We call on all in our community to treat one another with respect, to recognize the dignity of all fellow human beings, to speak and act from a foundation of love for one’s neighbor, and to bring out the best in one another. A concrete way we can do this is to protect one another, our essential workers, healthcare providers, and first responders by committing to uphold all necessary protocols that will slow the new wave of the pandemic.

We commit to act with courage, to stand up to hatred, bigotry, violence, and irrational fear, and to build bridges and find common ground despite our country’s deep divisions and the divisions in our own community.

We commit to providing resources, protection and safe spaces for those who are targeted because of their religion, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ethnicity, immigration status, skin tone, language, culture, or health.

We commit to living and working so that justice, peace, and love prevail for all people in our community and across our country.

We invite our community members to reach beyond their own traditions to take advantage of our current virtual worship reality by attending services and/or engaging in conversations with neighbors and communities of different faiths.

We call upon all of us to hold our faith communities accountable to these solemn commitments.