Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart and especially the hearts of the people of this land, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Collect for Social Justice
The Book of Common Prayer
, p. 823
We write to you with heavy, but hopeful hearts. Our community and our country are in anguish and unrest. And yet, we can see that thousands of people are lifting their voices and organizations are engaging in peaceful, meaningful action to ensure the life of George Floyd and countless others are not lost in vain.
As Bishop Curry wrote this morning
, in the upcoming days and weeks, we will unite as a church community to follow the path of love and to channel this anguish into concrete, productive and powerful action.
Given the recent media coverage of the protests, you may be concerned about our beloved church and parish house. We are fortunate that the damage to the buildings is limited. There is some exterior graffiti, and the protective glass over one of the more modern stained-glass windows on the north side of the narthex has been broken (the stained glass itself is unharmed). Thankfully, there is no damage inside either of the buildings. This morning we secured, as best we could, our most valuable items.
As you know, today is Pentecost, one of the church’s primary feasts. If we had been in church, we would surely have sung
Sweet, Sweet Spirit
, a St. John’s favorite. You know the words: "There’s a sweet, sweet spirit in this place, and I know it’s the spirit of the Lord. Sweet holy spirit, sweet heavenly dove, stay right here with us, filling us with your love.” Hymn 120,
Lift Every Voice and Sing, II
. It’s hard to imagine a more appropriate prayer for the place in which we as a nation find ourselves.
We promise to keep you up to date on any developments over the coming days. When it is possible, we will repair the physical damage to our church. Please pray that our country can heal the wounds laid bare by the tragic and unnecessary death of George Floyd.
We are proud to be a church that welcomes all and champions the path of love.
The Rev. Rob Fisher, Rector
Paul Barkett, Senior Warden
Jeff Hanston, Junior Warden