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Dear Saint Barnabas.

We have witnessed the horrifying, violent death of a black man, George Floyd, at the knees of white police officers. And we have heard and we know, this is just one of many. There are not words … Soul shattering.

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

We are deeply pained and cry out, and yet as a primarily white community we don’t, we can’t, really hear the outcry from our African American sisters and brothers.

In this outcry, there is the urgent need for change – systemic, societal, and personal change.

Before I go on, let us pray. Each one, let us pray … for George Floyd, for the police officers, for our nation, and for ourselves. Let us examine our hearts and confess our sins. Things done and left undone … we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves …

As our Bishop recently said, “Decades of listening to people of color and observing and witnessing their stories, reading books, has transformed my own thinking and convinced me of the reality of systemic racism and injustice, and of the need for continued broad action to combat them.”

We will each have a different view of the action needed and must follow our individual hearts.

As the Saint Barnabas community let us start by renewing our commitment to learn:

  • Let us learn to listen to our black sisters and brothers tell the stories of their American experience.
  • Let us learn about systemic racism. What do these words really mean?
  • Let us learn more about the reality that skin color influences how people see us and respond to us.
  • Perhaps the words white privilege are offensive or troubling to us. Be that as it may, it seems the time has come for us to take up those words and learn about them.

With these things in mind, we will be exploring learning opportunities at Saint Barnabas. Watch our website and worship videos for announcements of what we will be offering.

Until then, I close with a prayer for guidance from our Book of Common Prayer (p832):

O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in your light we may see light, and in your straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Grace and Peace,

Rev. Jim


(in date order)

Bishop Reddall’s E-pistle Statement published on 5/29/2020:

Presiding Bishop Curry’s sermon at Washington National Cathedral on 5/31/2020:

Presiding Bishop Curry’s Op-Ed in the Washington Post, published on 5/31/2020:

Presiding Bishop Curry’s Interview on the Today Show on 6/1/2020:

Rev. Jim’s Daily Meditation on the Lord’s Prayer: In Memory of George Floyd on 6/2/2020:

About Saint Barnabas

Welcome to, our church community’s online expression of our life and mission. If you are looking for a place that feels like home, a place where friends remember your name and become excited when they see you across the patio, a place where members share the value of deep, life-changing faith in Jesus, you’ve come to the right place. All are welcome.