Dear Members of the Tuxedo Community,

In my most recent “From the Rector” column in St. Mary’s weekly newsletter, I wrote of my experiences here in China of finding our common humanity despite the barriers of language, culture, and religion. Imagine my shock when the same day I read a vicious and cowardly anonymous email sent to hundreds of recipients from someone calling themself “Tuxedo Park Watch,” in which a long time local family were attacked and accused of being “gossip mongers” and “social climbers.” First, to the sender of the email I would say, “physician heal thyself.” Second, I would say that this is not who we are. In fact, the family who were targeted by this hatred were among the very first to welcome and embrace me and my family when we moved to Tuxedo two years ago. Tuxedo is a tight knit community in which we all come together despite differences in religion, politics, or economic status. And speaking on behalf of St. Mary’s, I want it to be abundantly clear to everyone that we are about building up and not tearing down; gathering in and not casting out. Especially at this time of great division and distrust in our world, we must work to make our home a haven of blessing and peace. May God turn the hearts of those who would do otherwise.

Blessings, Father Rick