Church Members Turn Out for Women’s March on Sacramento

Church Members Turn Out for Women’s March on Sacramento

By Paula Schaap, Communications Director

After days of stormy weather in Northern California, the Women’s March on Sacramento started out under bright skies on Saturday morning.

The Sacramento march was one of more than 600 around the world that drew millions the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the U.S. President.

Church members – both clergy and laity – were there to bear witness to the power of those numbers.

“It’s about the power of community,” said the Rev. Betsey Monnot, co-rector of All Saints’, Sacramento. “There are people here exercising their First Amendment rights to say they’re not happy with the direction things appear to be going, and I want the Episcopal Church to be part of that.”

About a dozen church members from the Sacramento area met up by a sculpture in a park where marchers gathered before they walked to the state Capitol. Among signs that declared, “Love Trumps Hate,” and “Make America Kind Again,” the Rev. Anne Clarke held up a hand-lettered sign: “Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8.”

The Revs. Sarah Quinney and Anne Clarke before the start of the Women's March on Sacramento.

Many of the marchers wore the hand-knitted pink hats that have become the unofficial symbol of the movement.

When people began moving out of the park to begin the Sacramento march, church members took a moment for prayer, as the Rev. Sarah Quinney, Assistant Rector, St. John’s, Roseville, invoked the healing power of peace.

Church members from around the diocese, including from St. Mary’s, Elk Grove; Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento; Trinity, Folsom; Church of the Incarnation, Santa Rosa; Trinity, Sutter Creek; and Emmanuel, Grass Valley; as well as others, joined in a march that was dedicated to women’s and individual rights.

Mari Briggs, a parishioner at St. Martin’s, Davis, who marched with her son and daughter, said it was important to “speak up for the values we hold for human dignity.

“This is consistent with my faith and trying to follow Jesus’ teachings,” she added.

Church members share in a prayer, led by the Rev. Sarah Quinney, before the Women's March on Sacramento.

The march moved out of the park and onto streets clear of cars. “You’re beautiful,” a man shouted from the sidewalk before joining the marchers.

“Love, not hate, that’s what makes America great,” marchers chanted.

By the time the march reached the Capitol’s steps, police estimated that the participants numbered about 20,000, the Sacramento Bee reported.

More Episcopal church members attended local marches around the diocese, according to enthusiastic posts on Facebook and other social media.

As the marchers waited in front of the state Capitol building for the speakers to begin, Clarke said the march, for her, was about valuing women and the “dignity of every human being.”

Clarke also said that one of her seminary professors had taught his students that the Eucharist’s primary symbol is about “the people gathered.

“That,” she said, gesturing at the thousands around her, “is what this is about, too.”

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