In the church where I was raised, the old folks used to sing a song with the words, “Hold on just a little while longer … every little thing is gonna be all right.” Holding on to that faith, moral movements have never known ahead of time how long we would have to struggle before we reach higher ground. But we’ve always known that, when we get there, every little thing is gonna be all right. So we hold on to faith and take care of one another as we travel on this way. And lest we get distracted by the snares and cares of this world, we say to one another, “Forward together! Not one step back!”
This morning we learned that former Police Officer Jason Stockley has been acquitted in the accused murder of Anthony Lamar Smith. Many were waiting with some anxiety for the verdict. Black clergy have warned we could see weeks of unrest. The downtown civil courts building is surrounded by barricades. The governor and mayor of St. Louis City have both urged calm, while activating officers.
The “Prayer for those who suffer for the Sake of Conscience” in the image above comes from our Book of Common Prayer, page 823:
I will be joining in some of the actions this weekend and coming week in solidarity with clergy from around the region. I know many members of Holy Communion will join as well. I have decided to participate in organized non-violent protests during the day. I will be sending text alerts to our “Faithful Action” group. If you would like to receive those alerts, please email me your name, mobile number, and cellular carrier.
This Sunday you can pick up your copy of The Third Reconstruction by the Rev. Dr William Barber II at church (we are asking for a donation of $10 per book), if you haven’t already picked it up at your local bookstore or online. I want to share with you a short passage from the final chapter:
We hold on to hope. Our church stands on the corner and proclaims God’s love, and God’s justice. We will do the slow patient work of re-building, re-constructing, and reconciling.
Hear our rector’s sermon from the Sunday after the verdict: