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Hope in the face of Death

Usually at this time of year, I write to wish everyone well as the summer diaspora begins. But this time is different. Once again the dark cloud of hate has come over us and rained down Death upon us. My heart is heavy from grief and my tears have flowed until they no longer come. I raise my voice toward the heavens and cry, "O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen? Or cry to you 'Violence!' and you will not save?" (Habbakuk 1:2) Nine more people have been sacrificed on the altar of hate and violence and I wonder, "How long?"

Reverend Clementa Pinckney, Senior Pastor,
Reverend Daniel Simmons, Pastor,
Sharonda Coleman Singleton, Pastor,
Myra Thompson, Associate Pastor,
DePayne Middleton- Doctor,
Cynthia Hurd,
Susie Jackson,
Ethel Lance,
and Tywanza Sanders were martyred the evening of June 17th as they gathered for worship at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The victims range in age from 26 to 87 years old. These people died in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ and had come to a place where they found solace and hope and the hand of Death reached out to snatch them from a place where all should be safe.

These are not the only victims of the insanity which now infects our society, they are merely the latest. Since the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999, there have been 37 incidents of mass shootings in our country including the massacre at Emanuel AME Church. And again, I cry, "How long?!"

But there are perhaps signs of a turning tide. Symbols long associated with hate groups are now becoming less acceptable (at least to sell). Thousands of people joined hands in a celebration of unity and humanity in the very place where this violence was meant to spark racial conflict. But there is still so much more to do.

As Winston Churchill, after General Montgomery's victory over the Afrika Corps at El Alamein, told the British people, "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." This just might inch us forward, toward the day we reclaim the dream of God where all God's children live in peace and harmony, dancing joyously together, arm in arm and hand in hand, around a banquet feast that never ends.

+Jeff




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© July 2015 by The Rev. Jeff Douglas


St. Thomas is a vibrant, welcoming, Christian community cultivating mind, body & spirit through worship, fellowship, and service, loving our neighbors as ourselves

The Rev. Jeff Douglas, Rector

Our Staff:
       Musician:
       Jonathan Johnston
Our Vestry:
       Gretchen Simons,Sr. Warden
       Michael Steczak, Jr. Warden
       Daniel McCamish, Clerk
       Ernie Carter,Treasurer
       Jamie Johnson
       Lindsay Vaughan
       Hugh Davis
       Patsy Jones
       Claudia Griffin
       Fred Liverman

Parish Committees:
       Events:
       Hugh Davis
       Kitchen:
       Ernie Carter,
       Mary C. Pierce
       Garden Committee:
       Charles & Lois Sawyer
       Bazemore Garden
       Planning Committee:

       Patsy Jones
       Dicky & Becky Hoggard
       Lobster Feast:
       Jim & Linda Shotwell

WORSHIP
       Altar Guild:
       Mary C. Pierce
       Acolytes:
       Charles Sawyer
       Flower Guild:
       Ernie Carter,
       Martie Tayloe,
       Patsy Jones

EDUCATION:
       Adult Sunday School:
       Carolyn Peele
       Children's Sunday
       School:

       Gretchen Simons
       & Beth Douglas

PASTORAL CARE:
Becky Hoggard,
Vicki Blandchard
& Jerrie Taylor

RECTOR'S COMPENSATION COMMITTEE:
       Ernie Carter
       Daniel McCamish
       Gretchen Simons

If you would like to volunteer or have ideas about how St. Thomas' can have a more effective ministry in these areas, contact the appropriate person and make St. Thomas' ministry even better.