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Statement Regarding Rev. Mark Nakagawa

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Updated March 7, 2024, 12pm PST:

Our community was saddened to learn over the weekend about an incident in December involving one of our retired clergy and former District Superintendent, Mark Nakagawa. The California-Pacific Annual Conference does not condone any form of hate or discrimination. We are committed to loving our neighbors, fostering an inclusive and respectful environment for all, and nurturing interfaith relationships in our communities.

Rev. Nakagawa retired from active ministry in July 2023. He is currently in a supervisory process regarding this incident.

Relevant Resources: United Methodist Guiding Principles for Christian-Jewish Relations

Bishop Escobedo-Frank shared this statement on Wednesday, March 6, 2024:

To my community, 

On behalf of the California-Pacific Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, I reaffirm our commitment to antiracism, including fighting antisemitism. I am praying for peace and healing to those in our communities and beyond, who have been hurt by the recent actions of the Rev. Mark Nakagawa.   

The conference has begun a formal complaint process, and he has been brought under our supervisory process for accountability. I am fully aware that these actions caused anger, sadness, uncertainty, and fear, and this brings me deep sorrow.  

The impact is felt across our region. The actions shown on video are not representative of our work and commitment to interfaith community building, and I reaffirm that we unequivocally denounce antisemitism and discrimination of any form. 

As we do our work of the supervisory process, I remind us all that acts of hate and racism should not be a part of our response, particularly to Jewish communities and Japanese communities.  I pray for healing for all those impacted and call us to live in life-giving support for one another. 

We remain committed to stand with and be in service to all our neighbors. Please pray with us for all who are in pain. 

Grace y paz, 
Bishop Dottie Escobedo-Frank