A Holy, Complex and Cruciform Moment
We are living through extraordinary times in the history of our country, the likes of which none of us has experienced before. Never have we been faced with such a public health challenge; and, at the same time, a challenge to the fabric of society as it relates to racial justice and inclusion for our black citizens, in particular, who descended from enslaved Africans. This is a truly holy moment in which we have daily to decide, "what we are going to do?" It is a holy moment in which the Holy Spirit is calling the Episcopal Church to speak prophetically for racial justice; and it is a holy moment for St. Barnabas to do likewise, as the Episcopal church here in Irvington. Having briefly reflected on this holy moment with our Vestry leadership, we are all agreed that this moment demands a response. How our leadership response is to be shaped is an on-going process of discernment filled with the hope and holy love of God.
This is also a complex moment as public health concerns and civil liberties make dual demands of our hearts, minds and bodies. This is a complex moment in which the prophetic movement of the Holy Spirit is operative in "the Public Square;" and a complex moment to "step out in Faith" metaphorically, imaginatively and in a literal sense, especially if one has had COVID-19 or is at a heightened risk of getting it.
This is also a Cruciform moment in which God's ubiquitous love and God's critical judgment are inextricably linked. God's judgment of the sin of racism stands before us in stark relief. God's love for those who are concerned about their health during a pandemic surrounds us as a healing balm. At the heart of this cruciform moment, we see both death and dying and signs of resurrection and emerging hope. It is a cruciform moment in which we stand and, by God's grace, one in which we move forward equipped by the resources of our faith, our own consciences and personal need to safeguard, as best we can, our health and that of others.
Having given you my theological and pastoral response to the moment we find ourselves in, let me extend a celebratory invitation to you: Kelli Scott, our interim Communications Coordinator and Chef/Owner of Orchestra X, has organized a "Juneteenth Emancipation Day Rally" at Main Street School parking lot, today from 2 to 6pm. It will be a socially- distanced rally with live music and dance, artists, some food options, notable speakers and a round- table conversation on racial justice. You are all welcome to attend this St. Barnabas- sponsored and supported event and also to stay home, if you have any health concerns that compel you to do so.
Onward in Hope,