St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Bolivar, Missouri

Monday, May 16, 2022

Murder in Eastertide
Racism that kills Politics is a Christian endeavor

How are white Christian leaders responding to the racist murders in Buffalo?
Well, sadly, most of them aren’t responding publicly at all. I spent a long time this afternoon looking at official denominational websites and Facebook pages to see what they were saying. I am deeply proud of our own Presiding bishop and many Episcopal Church leaders who, along with Jewish congregations, are speaking up and asking for prayer and action. It is not at all Christian to be neutral when racism poisons the church as well as the state.

Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry
My heart is heavy with the news that a white supremacist gunman took the lives of ten children of God in Buffalo on Saturday. I grew up walking distance from the scene of this hateful crime, and my friends and I used to ride our bikes around the neighborhood. Buffalo’s Black community raised and formed me. I grieve with the city and people I love.
The loss of any human life is tragic, but there was deep racist hatred driving this shooting, and we have got to turn from the deadly path our nation has walked for much too long. Bigotry-based violence – and bigotry at all – against our siblings who are people of color, Jewish, Sikh, Asian, trans or any other group is fundamentally wrong.
As baptized followers of Jesus of Nazareth we are called to uphold and protect the dignity of every human child of God, and to actively uproot the white supremacy and racism deep in the heart of our shared life.
Please join me in prayer for the shattered families in Buffalo. Please also join me in expressing profound gratitude for the intervention of Buffalo police that; likely saved many other lives. Even amidst tragedy, even when manifestations of evil threaten to overwhelm, let us hold fast to the good. It is the only way that leads to life.

At the other end of the Christian spectrum, former Baptist, Pastor Greg Locke of Global Vision Bible Church in Mt Juliet, TN, told the people in his Tennessee Church on Sunday, “You cannot be a Christian and vote Democrat in this country!” He later threatened Democrats watching him: “You ain’t seen insurrection yet!”
Where are the others?
I don’t know. While it is not true that all individual Evangelicals support the “great replacement theory” espoused by right-wing radio and TV, a large percentage of them apparently do, according to several surveys. They believe that somehow it is a calculated effort of liberal Democrats to replace white Americans with brown and black ones, and to replace Christians with people of other religions. This is an idea invented long ago and used against Jews before WWII; against brown immigrants: Republicans in California used it in the last election; and far earlier in the 1870’s it was explicitly employed against the possibility of Blacks gaining the vote; it is why we cannot manage to re-authorize the Voting Rights Act. While it is true that America is diversifying, not only racially, but religiously and in terms of gender there is no “plot” to make that happen, and most of us believe it is in any case a good thing.
It is inexcusably un-Biblical to fear the loss of white Christian majority and power, and it exposes a deep vein of racism that is yet to be acknowledged, let alone resisted in many parts of the Church.

Some Really Good News

Many of you will remember Tobi Barta who worshipped with us while she was a student at SBU. She has just graduated from the University of Kansas with her Advanced Standing Clinical Master of Social Work degree. She has done some really fascinating work during this program that will make her a valuable member of any entity that is lucky enough to hire her. She will soon take her board licensure exam and then look for a job with Hospice, where her heart is. I am very proud of her indeed, as I know you also are!

Thanks so much to Louise Ritter for bringing peonies from her garden to church last Sunday. Anyone is always welcome to bring whatever is blooming in your yard to grace the altar on Sunday. With slightly cooler weather and slightly drier weather as well, we really need to get the garden going, and to clean up the front of the Church where the weeds are growing like mad between the daylilies and in other places. Anyone who has some time to spare is welcome to come and help.

We received a quote from Polk County Glass to replace the large window in the north side of the sanctuary that has gotten rain/moisture between the two panes and is now practically opaque. We do have money to get it done, but we will need to ask for contributions to replace the money we will need to take from the revolving loan/building repair fund. If you are able to make any contribution towards this expense, we would be deeply grateful.



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