I’m sure you’re aware of the important events that are happening on and/or around the state Capitol grounds in the upcoming days: protests are planned for Sunday, a gun rally on Monday, and protests of the presidential inauguration on Wednesday. All of these events have the potential of drawing numbers and numbers of people.
I wanted you all to know that the St. Paul’s staff, in cooperation with our Bishop and officials at the state Capitol, are in discussion about these events and how they may impact St. Paul’s. We are exploring security measures that will ensure the safety of our property and our staff. While we are called to be a strong Christian witness during these times and amidst these discussions, we also want to do this in a way that is prudent and responsible, not reckless.
How will we be a presence? Of particular interest to you may be the banners that just arrived. We plan to hang them along the perimeter of our property. We ordered them many weeks ago, before the political temperature of our nation rose to such a dangerous and terrifying degree. They come from two different people:
From the prophet Micah, when asking what God requires . . . Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. (Micah 6:8)
From Jesus, when asked about the greatest commandment(s) . . . Love God. Love Neighbor. (Matthew 22:37-39)
When so many people are wondering what we can do in the face of such division and anger and fear, I think of these two prophets and their simple instructions. Ancient words with very relevant meanings. They are simple instructions, but not always so simple to put into action. The mission of St. Paul’s is to proclaim Christ from the heart of the city. I can certainly feel, now, what it means to be in the heart of the city. May Christ’s heart beat strong from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. And may our sermon, now, and forever, be one of love, peace, justice, and humility.
While we don’t yet know what Sunday will look like, we will still gather online this Sunday at 10:00 a.m. for Morning Prayer and will welcome to our service the Rt. Reverend Susan Goff, Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia.
Pray that these upcoming days will be peaceful, and pray for all of those who are working to maintain the safety of our nation and our city.
Almighty God, kindle, we beseech thee, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with thy wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquility thy presence may increase till the earth is filled with the knowledge of thy love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.