Vigil for Black Lives Matter

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It has been way too long since St. Paul’s has been able to gather in person, but we’ll be doing so this Tuesday, August 4, for a reason beyond our desire to worship together. We’ll be meeting on the front lawn of our church for a prayer service and vigil in support of Black Lives Matter.

Those attending the outdoor service, which will start at 7 pm on the east lawn of St. Paul’s (across the street from the Kiwanis Park) will be required to wear a mask and maintain recommended social distancing. According to Father Paul Moore, “The service is styled on evening prayer, but embellished with prayers from other sources, and will make a peaceful, quiet, reverential, and public statement about Black Lives Matter.”

The Tuesday evening prayer service will also feature a sermon from local African-American pastor, Vernon Washington.

“On its surface, the statement ‘Black Lives Matter,’ is self-evident,” says Father Paul. “It wants me to say that Brown lives matter…and Asian lives matter…and LGBTQ lives matter, and trans lives matter…and White lives matter — and that’s all true as well. But right now, ‘black lives matter’ is more than just an acknowledgment of the value of African-American lives at the exclusion of others.”

“I believe that what people in our country are really striving to say is that we have not paid attention to the stories of racial minorities. We have not let the minority stories among us as American citizens inform our national dialogue. We still tend to build society in our White image, and ‘black lives matter’ is a call to a deeper awareness of multiculturalism and inclusiveness. It just so happens that the largest minority among us is African-Americans, and they are the majority in some parts of our country. We need to include their story, and in so doing we can become more aware that the American Story is not just a White story.”

For our gathering this Tuesday we ask people to bring their own chairs and insect repellant… and an open and worshipful heart.

For those who cannot attend in person, we will be streaming it on Zoom, and the Zoom information will be posted at 6 p.m. on Tuesday evening.