The Grace Episcopal Church community condemns racism in any form
Grace Church and its members abhor the cause of the Confederacy – the bondage of children of God.
However, during the Civil War, the world was a very different place. In 1864, the rector of Grace Church coordinated the exhumation and consecration of the remains of the 17 Confederate soldiers who were killed in an unsuccessful attack on Fort Stevens. Their remains were buried in nearby fields but were moved to a single grave on the grounds of the church.
The Grace Church Community strongly rejects the institution of slavery for which these Confederate soldiers fought. We recognize and respect that these soldiers received a Christian burial in consecrated ground.
We believe in a just God who forgives those who both repent and seek to reconcile divisions between God and each other. We cannot know how God judged the actions of those dead buried in that single plot.
But we know our actions are judged based on how we repent and how we reconcile with God and our neighbors. It is in this context that we dedicate ourselves to learn from our past, and to truly seek reconciliation through Christ. Let this memory be a reminder of our painful past of slavery and division and how far we have often fallen from God’s plan for us.
We strive to be that “City on a Hill” where people of all races and cultures come to build their relationships with God and others. We center our outreach of our vibrant, diverse parish on social justice and building the Beloved Community.
Recent events of vandalism have toppled the grave marker. And, although we dislike the thought of vandalism, Grace Church has no intention or desire to replace the marker.