Today, we lift our voices in hopeful prayer for the members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and their families, that God may heal their broken hearts. And we know God is faithful and just, working through our anger and grief to build bridges across the chasm of racist hatred that seeks to divide us. As Martin Luther King Jr. said to the people of Birmingham fifty-two years ago, we now say to our brothers and sisters in Charleston today, “you do not walk alone.”
Last December, when thousands across the country had taken to the streets in protest and frustration, I said the following words from our pulpit, "What is going on in our world around us is nothing less than heartbreaking and it affects every single one of us. Wherever we are from, whoever we are, the conditions of society today make it dangerous for us, and we have work to do." And as the new Rector of Trinity, I promised that race would be one of the ministries.
Here at Trinity Church, we stand firm with people of faith everywhere against the violent racism that infects our country. We pledge to work to build peace and justice in our time. We will use all our power in this struggle and will not stop until all God’s children are free.
Join us. Join us in prayer. Join us in action. Join us as we mobilize God’s power to heal this broken world. We will be praying all weekend: on Saturday morning at 11am
as we welcome our new Vicar; four times on Sunday morning
and at a special Compline at St. Paul’s Chapel
on Sunday evening at 8pm to pray for an end to racism and the violence it showers upon all God’s people. Then, on Monday, we will roll up our sleeves and go back to work to end racism in all forms and all places.
Prayer by the Rev. Dr. Mark Bozzuti-Jones
To the people in South Carolina:
You do not cry alone
All our hearts are broken with you
We all weep for your children and weep for our children
You do not stand alone
All of us stand against the evil of racism
We condemn the hate and the fostering of violence
We stand with the non-violent and we stand for justice
You do not believe alone
We believe that love is stronger than hate
We believe that compassion and kindness will drown all hate crimes and all acts of injustice
We believe that God will wipe the tears of those who weep
We believe that hate crimes and death will not have the last word...
Tonight we stand, cry, seek forgiveness, commit to paths of peace and justice ...
Tonight we weep and shake our heads and feel ashamed and pray and seek forgiveness and ask that we commit to building a more loving and peaceful society ...
As we stand and weep together may this tragedy make us more committed to be one family of love, peace, and forgiveness.
We are sad and heartbroken together.
Let us build a city of love together.
Sermon: The Rev. Dr. William Lupfer
On December 7, 2014, the Rev. Dr. William Lupfer preached on the Eric Garner case.