First Presbyterian Church of Corvallis January 12, 2021
Special Meeting of Session
6:00 PDT via Zoom
The Session of First Presbyterian Church unanimously approved the following statement:
First Presbyterian Church of Corvallis implores people to choose peace.
Our leadership calls upon people of all political persuasions, whether Republican, Democrat or Independents, to firmly disavow the use or threat of violence to advance one’s
cause. Further we condemn the use or threat of violence to contest the peaceful transfer of power in the United States of America. We further implore all to acknowledge that the election has been certified, President Trump has conceded, and that the elections were free of any fraud or error to the point that the outcome would be changed.
The call for peace must be accompanied by a call for justice, therefore, we call upon our elected leaders and our justice system to swiftly bring justice to those who planned, incited, and engaged in the violent acts and those who continue to plan, incite, and engage in further violent acts. Further there must be accountability for those elected leaders, beginning with the president, for their role in inciting violence and sedition.
We affirm the political process and freedom to rationally work for one’s principles and encourage all that are dissatisfied with the results of the election to engage in civic life and work peacefully towards their goals.
We submit this Call and also add our voices to call released by the Office of Public Witness of the Presbyterian Church USA:
Wednesday, January 6, marked the day of Epiphany, Día de Los Reyes, as the end of the Christmas season. Sadly, on that same day, at 2:15 pm EST, the United States Capitol building was stormed by a mob of insurrectionists intent on disrupting the certification of Joe Biden as president of the United States. This was an alarming and sobering
reality of the divisions within our country and the danger posed by those who are guided by extremist ideology.
The chaos of the Trump administration, a term filled with lies and hateful fear mongering, came to a violent climax. Domestic terrorists attempted to intimidate our nation’s leaders in an attempt to halt the certification. Using guns, clubs, and other weapons, terrorists overran the police and broke into the Capitol Building. They broke windows, spray-painted walls, ransacked offices, and left threatening notes. Two pipe bombs were left outside of the DNC and RNC local offices. A cooler of Molotov cocktails was discovered in a parked car. Members of both houses were ushered into safe locations for their well-being knowing that their lives were at risk. Many are still shaken by what happened.
The Office of Public Witness mourns the loss of life that occurred and we pray for the five families now in mourning.
The PCUSA Office of Public Witness, as well as the Session and the Faith and Public Life Committee of First Presbyterian Church of Corvallis OR, strongly condemn the actions of President Donald J. Trump and those who condoned and/or participated in these events. These actions were not just an attack on the Capitol Building, but an attack on American democracy. There must be a demand for accountability on the part of the president, or else the rule of law means nothing. It cannot be applied to some, but not to all. This demand is being proclaimed around the country. Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger has called for invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office. Seven members of the administration have resigned. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has called for full prosecution of all responsible. Former Attorney General William Barr condemned the president’s role in the attack and accused the president of orchestrating a mob and called his actions a “betrayal of his office.” Senator Mitt Romney charged his fellow Senators who object to the election results as “complicit” to the riot saying, “What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States.”
Epiphany proclaims hope in the midst of despair. Let not the destructive events of January 6, 2021, derail the church from our goal of liberty and equity for all. No amount of resistance will quell our resolve to fight for freedom, justice, and democracy for all people.
Our country is changing and there is resistance, much of it through violent acts and rhetoric. But we will prevail because whenever you stand for justice, love and inclusion, you stand with God.
Edits indicated in red. Click for the original Statement from the Office of Public Witness of the Presbyterian Church USA
Download the Session’s statement here