InCommon eNews
January 8, 2021
One Nation Under God
Like many of you, I have felt sick and betrayed over the events transpiring in Washington. But, unlike most of you, I have a different perspective on what we might think of as patriotism or nationalism. I grew up in 1970s-80s Britain, where hyper-nationalism was the preserve of the skinheads, racist thugs who readily used violence against Black Britons, British Pakistanis, foreign nationals and those who didn't belong to their "white tribe." Witnessing what happened Wednesday under the banner of hyper-nationalistic identity reminded me of those dark days in Great Britain...thuggish vandals using nationalism to justify their violence and violation of the nation's Capitol. It felt like a personal attack and a moral injury.
I thought about how I express my own version of American patriotism and realized it is a sensation that usually comes over me at times of mass unity, such as hearing the National Anthem at a sporting event. I am wondering whether that makes me a shallow person and a poor American. But I can attest that identifying with my country (I am a naturalized American) is an act of will, it was not a birthright. In 2013, I took a test, had an interview and swore my allegiance to the Constitution as an adult. I made a conscious, willful choice to become an American. For me, being an American is to be caught up in a bigger spirit of affirmation that doesn't fit into a narrow category and is not dependent upon my willpower or fervor. However, I do have my touchstones of what I think are authentic expressions of American patriotism. For example, I am very fond of the phrase, "God Bless America." I like it when Presidents declare this at the end of their State of the Union addresses. Politics is rightly subject to a bigger spirit of nationhood that transcends narrow concerns and makes a claim on Ultimate Concerns. The President, in that moment, personifies the ideals that I want to see in myself but, due to my petty concerns, I don't find. So, what is seemingly vague within me, suddenly is made clear in the institutional setting, when heroes are acknowledged and in the blessing of both parties finding common cause and giving voice to all our national concerns.
I know I am not alone in feeling this way; hence, my desire to write to you all with my own feelings of betrayal by the horrendous events of this past week.

I end with a prayer:
O God, I ask your blessing on our nation at this time of crisis. 
I ask your healing on all those who are suffering in body, mind or spirit.
I pray for the young people who found themselves caught up in violence,
The police officers overwhelmed and overcome,
The politicians disrupted in their work on our behalf,
And for those who lost their lives.
Lord, have mercy upon them and upon all of us. 
In the name of Jesus Christ, the ground of our being and the source of our hope. 


Worship Online
Sunday, 10:00AM

Please join us for a virtual service at 

In-person services continue to be suspended.

Following 10AM worship, we gather by Zoom for 
Meeting ID: 336 690 2686   
Passcode: 10533  
St. Barnabas Annual Meeting
January 24, 2021

Our annual meeting will take place via Zoom on Sunday, January 24 at Noon. The link to our 
Vestry Slate is available now for your review. Please plan to attend this important meeting in the life of our parish. 

Annual Report 2020
Call for Committee Reports

Sue Stanley has requested that committee reports be emailed to her before January 17, 2021. The Annual Report will be shared with parishioners electronically, prior to our Annual Meeting.

Please send reports to Sue at

The Bible Project

Morning Bible Study - Gareth leads Bible Study sessions three mornings a week using The Bible Project materials. You're welcome to join the meeting anytime. 
Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays, 9:30AM - 10:00AM

How to Read the Bible - Gareth leads Wednesday evening meetings about how the Bible's many different literary styles are used to convey the overall story of Scripture. 
Wednesday Evenings, 7:30PM - 8:30PM

Meeting ID: 336 690 2686  Passcode: 10533 
St. Barnabas Book Group - Date Change
The Saint Barnabas Book Group will now meet by Zoom at 7:30 on Tuesday, January 19, to discuss American Pastoral, by Philip Roth. 

All are welcome. If you'd like to get the Zoom link, or if you have any questions, please contact Lea Carmichael Richardson at
The Community Food Pantry for Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow
This local food pantry had 250 families coming on a regular basis prior to Covid. Recently, they had 700 families. If you'd like to help, you may make a contribution online here. Or send a check to:  
The Community Food Pantry, 43 South Broadway, Tarrytown NY 10591

Contact Barbara Mahoney ( with questions.
We hope you will keep St. Barnabas strong and resilient financially, as we navigate the ongoing challenges of the current environment. Please continue to make your pledges or contributions. Online payments may be made by clicking here, on our website under the "Give" section, or by mailing your check to St. Barnabas Church, 15 N Broadway, Irvington, NY 10533.

How to Fulfill Your Pledge with Securities or Wire Transfer
Please contact Cynthia Ferguson at 914-631-7188 or if you would like to pledge stock as your financial contribution to this year's stewardship campaign. Cynthia is also able to guide you through the process of wiring funds. 


To schedule a meeting with the rector, call the Parish Office at (914) 591-8194.

Office hours are Wednesdays, 1:00pm-3:30pm. 

The rector's Sabbath (day off) is Friday.

For pastoral emergencies, call Gareth directly, at (617) 930-3728.

If you have announcements to include in the InCommon weekly newsletter, please email the information by noon on Tuesdays. 
Sue Stanley


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