E-Newsletter For Sunday, August 25, 2019

Subject: Commemoration of the First Slaves, SJE Crisis Meals, Acolyte Trip, Parish Picnic… https://mailchi.mp/fe792c0b3620/ey7eu7o5mr-1499241

From the Rector 
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP

Dear Parishioners,

Four hundred years ago this Sunday, the first enslaved Africans landed in English Norther America. 

Our Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, has invited every Episcopal Church to join in a moment commemorating this event by tolling the bells of our churches at 3:00pm on Sunday afternoon.

As Bishop Curry says in his video call to action,

I’m inviting us as The Episcopal Church to join in this commemoration as part of our continued work of racial healing and reconciliation. At 3:00 pm we can join together with people of other Christian faiths and people of all faiths to remember those who came as enslaved, who came to a country that one day would proclaim liberty. And so we remember them and pray for a new future for us all.

I would encourage to watch the entirety of the video that the Presiding Bishop has put out. His call is an important one for us to hear.

Other bishops have also spoken out calling for solidarity in our church at the anniversary of this day when the sin of slavery began in English North America. For example, the Bishop of Southern Virginia, the Rt. Rev James Magness, wrote, saying, 

The 2019 commemoration of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to North America is for me a highly personal occasion,” said Magness. “As a descendent of slaveholders, and as a white male who came of age in the racially polarized south during the 1950s and 1960s, I am painfully aware of my own complicity in furthering and perpetuating the subjugation of my African American brothers and sisters.  At a time when the racial divide in this country seems to be growing rather than diminishing, we are in dire need of a moment, an event when we can stop and take stock of our responsibilities to bring the races together, perhaps in a new manner that truly is an embrace of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

This call to action was called for by the National Parks Service and is one that we will be participating in at St. John’s on Sunday. You are invited to join us in the All Souls’ Chapel at 3:00pm on Sunday, where we will toll our church bell for one minute. I will then lead those gathered in a Litany of Penitence.

There are other important things happening this Sunday, of course. We will have the “dunk the rector” tank after the 10am liturgy to raise funds for the Acolyte Trip to Washington, DC. That evening, at 5:00pm, we’ll be gathering at the Elks Campground on Lake Michigan in Muskegon for a special end-of-summer parish picnic, also to benefit the Acolyte trip. And, this Sunday will mark the end of our Silent Auction—currently open for bids on items with a value of over $3,000 in the Timberlake Hall!

All of those events on Sunday are good and worthy. But I would encourage you to join me for this moment in the middle of the afternoon on Sunday, so that we might remember the ways in which our church has failed in the past, be renewed in our commitments to greater faithfulness in the world, and be reminded why we are investing so much time and energy in our Acolytes going to DC in the first place—so that they may be a force for love and justice in this world.

I’ll see you on Sunday.

Through Grace,

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, August 25, 2019 https://mailchi.mp/fe792c0b3620/ey7eu7o5mr-1499241

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