Advent is a good time to take up the deep work of engaging racism and other issues that divide us. Advent is a time for waiting with hope. Christ was born in the midst of a divided and violent society.Statement from the Bishops of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut on 11/26/2014:
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:Two other perspectives worth listening to...
Once again we are witnessing turmoil in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. Here in Connecticut, we have seen peaceful protests in Hartford, New Haven, and on the campus of Central Connecticut State University calling for justice and racial reconciliation in our state. We give thanks at this holiday time for the freedom in our country to assemble peacefully guaranteed in our First Amendment. And yet we also acknowledge that the ongoing realities of racism, classism and other forms of oppression continue to alienate segments of American society including communities here in Connecticut.
We give thanks that all people, in our many and manifold differences, are created in the image of God. We hope and pray for an end to violence and injustice in our society. And we call on the people of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut to work for a “blessed community” where all are treated equally with respect and dignity. As we enter this penitential season of Advent when we prepare again for the coming of the Prince of Peace, we especially invite all Episcopalians in Connecticut to participate in the national Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath on Sunday, December 14th, the second anniversary of the Newtown tragedy. Resources for Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath can be found at Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence (http://faithsagainstgunviolence.org) and Bishops United Against Gun Violence (http://bishopsagainstgunviolence.org).
“Help us, O Lord, to finish the good work begun in our nation. Strengthen our efforts to blot out ignorance and prejudice, and to abolish poverty and crime. And hasten the day when all our people, with many voices in one united chorus will glorify your holy Name. Amen.” (From: “Thanksgivings for our National Life” BCP, page 839)
The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas
From NFL player Benjamin Watson's Ferguson post on Facebook
Reflections on Ferguson, by Bryan Berghoef
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. (BCP p. 823)