Seeking Freedom from Violence

Photo Credit: UPI.com

Photo Credit: UPI.com

Dear Members of St. John the Baptist Church,

No doubt you are concerned about the terrible loss of lives from mass shootings in our country, especially the recent killings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. I am with you in your heartfelt prayers for the victims, their families, the injured, and even for the troubled persons who plan and carry out such violence.

As Christians, we are not about hatred or revenge. We do not condone attacking people who are different. We suffer when innocent families are torn apart by misguided violence. We are especially angry and confused when little children are killed or made parentless because of some senseless act.

What can we do as a church family? We can pray for all whose lives have been shattered. We can pray that violence ends and that common sense and unity overcomes the hatred we see so often in our nation. In our local community, we can listen to young people who may feel alienated or disillusioned by the chaos they see in the world. We can offer a different perspective, one of kindness, peace, and understanding.

If we want peace and harmony, we must become living examples of peace and harmony. As one Episcopal Bishop has said, “Never forget, my friends, that our ultimate hope lies not within ourselves or even our country but in the way, the truth, and the life of Jesus Christ. We dream for a world free from violence precisely because this dream is not originally ours: it was first and always the dream of God for all humanity.”

Pray for God’s guidance, protection, and love. Pray that we may love as Jesus loved, and that we may find the courage and will to follow him.

Peace and Blessings,

Fr. Dave

Welcoming

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,

Thank you so much for welcoming me as your Priest-in-Charge with a BBQ last Sunday. Mary and I were truly touched by your warm hospitality. Thank you to all who worked tirelessly to prepare and cook food, provide the plates, cups, and flatware, and for talking with newcomers and our friends from the Wakefield Congregational Church. Finally, to those who stayed to clean up after the festivities, thank you for your time and effort.

As I thought about the warm welcome that you gave to Mary, myself, and the many visitors who dropped by, I was reminded of the mission of St. John the Baptist Church: The Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist proclaims the gospel of Jesus Christ in worship, fellowship, and outreach. We nurture our church family in body, mind and spirit, we bring children to know the ways of the Lord and we reach out in love to the community and the world. The church doors are open and we welcome ALL people. Come and break bread with us. Come pray with us. Come stay with us.

Then I watched last night’s news and also read the morning paper, only to see the heartbreaking photograph of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria found Monday. They had drowned in the Rio Grande while seeking refuge in the United States.