“If one member suffers, all suffer together….” 1 Corinthians 12:26
The COVID-related surge in anti-Asian violence is physically and spiritually assaulting Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. This violence re-emerged from America’s historical and pervasive sin of racism. Asian American and Pacific Islander children and adults are facing assaults with racial slurs, bullying, spitting, physical injury and even death. These are not new in communities where Peoples of Color live. These violent acts of racism have and are happening in cities and towns across the United States. The virus of racism cannot be allowed to run rampant.
We, the Association of Asians and Pacific Islanders — ELCA, call on our church to once again unequivocally denounce racism by taking immediate actions to defend, protect, and uphold the safety and lives of Asian Americans. 1 Corinthians 12 tells us that we are one body with many members. This member of the body is suffering. Let us bear this suffering together as one body.
We call on our church:
- to model the example of Jesus, whose compassion was made visible by acts of love, culminating in embracing bodily harm to save us;
- to undergird and measurably advance its fight against racism and apathy, in all expressions of the church;
- to model how to tap into Jesus’s deep empathy as our collective power to stand against violence and promote the way of Jesus instead;
- to urge, facilitate and invite all people in the ELCA’s sphere of influence, both within the church and beyond it, to unite in this crucial battle;
- to declare a Sunday during this Lenten season to lament in order to express solidarity, help in healing, and support the victims of violence against Asian Americans;
- to show how the ELCA will oppose racism, its death-dealing manifestations and proclaim ways to move forward as a church and society where all God’s people of color can be free to build a world of true peace, equality, justice, and kindness with others.
We finally had our annual St. Mark’s congregational meeting on February 21. Like everything else this past year, a great deal of patience and flexibility was in order. All of my school-age prayers for snow holidays were answered in January and February, resulting in a three-week delay. In God’s Time.
Thank you to everyone who participated either in-person or online. Participation indicates to me that people actually care what is happening at St. Mark’s. We met our quorum and successfully elected Barbara Breisch to Council and approved our 2021 Budget. The votes were unanimous!
I want to take this time to thank our outgoing Council members — Peg Bradley, Karen Hansell, Brian Schmidt and Barbara Sheridan. The Council has done a great job over the past few years keeping St. Mark’s afloat.
There has been a lot of transitioning. We continue to look for Council members. I anticipate this year to be very exciting at St. Mark’s. Do you see yourself as a leader? Please contact me if you feel a call to serve either on Council or on a committee (existing or new). We are open to new ideas.
President, St. Mark’s Leadership Council
We have missed singing together during these days of pandemic. But take heart! John Lasher, director of music and worship arts, has a plan for a new and wonderful way to rejoice this Easter season!
At 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 11 (the week after Easter Sunday), St. Mark’s will host an outdoor hymn sing in our parking lot.
All are invited to submit their requests for hymns or contemporary worship songs to John via email, phone call or text message. He will make the selections and assemble a music packet for distribution.
If the weather goes south, the event will move to Sunday, April 18.
Get ready to sing your heart out!
The event starts at 10 a.m. with prayer at Old Swedes Church (606 Church St.). We will then drive separately to Trinity Episcopal Parish (1108 N. Adams). We’ll start our walk from there, heading to St. Stephen’s (1301 N. Broom). Along the way, we’ll make periodic stops to pray for our city and the people who live, work and visit here.
Our commitment to one another is to remain socially distant and to wear our masks. The walk will be recorded and released in video format on Good Friday.