Hammond Street Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, has stood at the top of Hammond Street hill in Bangor since the 1830s. Our sanctuary is noted for its beautiful stained-glass windows, but the two large windows nearest the entrance are clear glass — an intentional decision — so that the church would never lose sight of the community and the church’s responsibility to all people.

Hammond Street is an open and affirming church. We extend an extravagant welcome to all, regardless of denomination, background, race, age, marital status, orientation, income. Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey, you are welcome.

In reaction to the ongoing racial injustice in our country, Hammond Street Church adopted the following statement on Justice for Black Americans. We have distributed this statement to other faith groups, social action groups and civic leaders. We have asked them to join us in speaking out and to notify us of activities and events related to social justice, so that our members can act together with others in our community to seek change leading to social equity and justice for all. Anyone who is interested in working with us can contact the church at hscc@midmaine.com.

Our church adopted this statement on justice for Black Americans on July 6:

The people of Hammond Street Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, are saddened and outraged at the anti-Black racism in our country that has led to the senseless deaths of many people in the custody of police, the murder of people engaged in everyday activities like jogging, the killing of people worshipping, arson of churches, and many other acts — large and small — of hatred by white Americans against our Black brothers and sisters. We are dismayed at the toll these acts take on Black people, including poverty, lack of health care, unemployment and living with fear and despair.

Our faith compels us to speak out plainly and loudly against all racism. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated this moral imperative, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” and “there is a time when silence is betrayal.” King told us that “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

Hammond Street Congregational Church affirms the worth of all persons and acknowledges God’s love for all people, as Jesus taught us. We commit to working to find ways to combat anti-Black racism and all forms of racism, standing with, working with and listening to people of color; holding white people accountable for their actions, and nurturing and encouraging feelings of love and respect.

Let us not be silent but raise our voices and our best efforts to replace oppression and violence with love and respect. We invite people of good will from all faiths to join in efforts to end racism.

Rev. Dr. Mark Allen Doty is pastor of the Hammond Street Congregational Church, United Church of Christ and Donald Spencer is moderator at the Hammond Street Congregational Church, United Church of Christ.