Religious leaders to show solidarity

Snohomish County’s interfaith organization is calling on religious leaders to leave their pulpits Sunday to send a message.

They hope to fill to overflowing the Marysville church of Jason Martin, a black pastor who discovered a burning cross on the front lawn of his Arlington home early Wednesday morning.

"I think when somebody does an act like this, they’re not aware of the stir they’re going to generate," said Janet Pope, executive director of the Interfaith Association of Snohomish County.

"I want to show a presence of solidarity for Pastor Martin that this will not be tolerated."

The Rev. Kevin Bates of Advent Lutheran Church in Mill Creek suggested the idea, recalling a similar show of solidarity after a black church was firebombed in Chicago in the 1990s.

Bates said he knows what he’s asking. He has two services scheduled on Sunday, as well as two baptisms. He said he plans to leave during the second service and have a retired pastor complete it.

"Even if they were just at (Martin’s) church for the last 10 minutes, it would be a marvelous statement to say we’re unified," he said. "I think this is a way we can stand in solidarity, not only for what is right but to stand up against what is wrong."

In addition to leaders of local religious groups, congregation members are invited to attend Sunday’s 11 a.m. services at the Jesus Is Lord Life Tabernacle in Marysville, he said.

Tim Serban, director of spiritual care for Providence Everett Medical Center, said he, his wife and 4-year old will attend Martin’s service.

"We stand together against this act of ignorance and hatred," he said. "I appreciate what Pastor Martin said, that the community needs to come together and to transform this into an opportunity for change."

Rabbi Harley Karz-Wagman of Temple Beth Or in Everett said he planned to announce the call for support for the Marysville pastor during Friday evening services.

Beating back prejudice takes more than slogans, rallies, buttons and T-shirts, he said. "It takes serious time for students and anybody of any age to think through why it is that they have those kind of feelings."

The Rev. Tom Quigley of Mukilteo, acting executive minister of the Washington Association of Churches, said while it’s important for the community to gather in a show of solidarity, more must be done.

"We can’t just be there on Sunday without figuring out what the church and faith communities of that area can do to respond to this problem in our culture," Quigley said.

Karyn Zigler, who works as a diversity analyst for Snohomish County, agreed. She helped start small study groups that met to discuss racism and race relations in 1997.

Zigler was glad to see the rallying of support for Martin, and those speaking up and saying, "Not in our town, not in our community."

"We need those voices, not just when something like this happens, but every single day," she said.

"We all know there’s subtle racism," she added. "But to burn a cross into somebody’s front yard, give me a break. Are we 1955 in the deep South?

"When people feel like they can be that blatant, that is scary to me."

Reporter Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or

Talk to us

More in Local News

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against the clock on the high seas, an expanding international armada of ships and airplanes searched Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for the submersible that vanished in the North Atlantic while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)
A new movie based on OceanGate’s Titan submersible tragedy is in the works: ‘Salvaged’

MindRiot announced the film, a fictional project titled “Salvaged,” on Friday.

Craig Hess (Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)
Sultan’s new police chief has 22 years in law enforcement

Craig Hess was sworn in Sep. 14. The Long Island-born cop was a first-responder on 9/11. He also served as Gold Bar police chief.

Cars move across Edgewater Bridge toward Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edgewater Bridge redo linking Everett, Mukilteo delayed until mid-2024

The project, now with an estimated cost of $27 million, will detour West Mukilteo Boulevard foot and car traffic for a year.

Lynn Deeken, the Dean of Arts, Learning Resources & Pathways at EvCC, addresses a large gathering during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cascade Learning Center on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New EvCC learning resource center opens to students, public

Planners of the Everett Community College building hope it will encourage students to use on-campus tutoring resources.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett police chief to retire at the end of October

Chief Dan Templeman announced his retirement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He has been chief for nine years.

Boeing employees watch the KC-46 Pegasus delivery event  from the air stairs at Boeing on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Boeing’s iconic Everett factory tour to resume in October

After a three-year hiatus, tours of the Boeing Company’s enormous jet assembly plant are back at Paine Field.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

Woman killed in crash on Highway 99 in Lynnwood

Police closed off Highway 99 between 188th Street SW and 196th Street SW while they investigated.

Mike Bredstrand, who is trying to get back his job with Lake Stevens Public Works, stands in front of the department’s building on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Bredstrand believes his firing in July was an unwarranted act of revenge by the city. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens worker was fired after getting court order against boss

The city has reportedly spent nearly $60,000 on attorney and arbitration fees related to Mike Bredstrand, who wants his job back.

Most Read