July 9, 2016
Dear People of St. John’s,
This has been a difficult and troubling week in our nation. Tomorrow we will gather, as we do every Sunday, to praise and thank God for our lives, and to pray.
Recently there have been calls to stop praying because prayer has been seen as empty sympathy or an avoidance of reality and the need to act.
I believe our prayers are important because as Christians we pray for the victims and the perpetrators. We pray for the innocent and the guilty. We pray for families and friends of victims and perpetrators. We pray for those who uphold the law, those who break the law, and those charged to make and enforce our laws. We pray for ourselves, others, and our whole nation. The act of prayer is a political statement; we claim that God is more powerful than us, more powerful than our earthly rulers, more powerful than evil, more powerful than death.
I believe that prayer is important because prayer changes us. Rarely does prayer change reality (miracles do that). Prayer forces us to speak the reality, to open a pathway for God to speak to us, to change our hearts, and to guide us into action.
We will pray on Sunday, and then what?
We at St. John’s can do something about violence, about racism, about the state of our laws and those we choose to govern us. Let us pray for guidance, and then let us work for change. Let us work to prove to the world that death and fear do not have the last word.
I pray that you are not overwhelmed by hopelessness and fear. Let us decide what we are called to do and we will do it.
Prayers and blessings,
A message from our Bishop and our Presiding Bishop are below: