An Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 9/5/20

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Dear Members and Friends of St. James,

My first obligation in my weekly update is to inform you of the death on 17 August of long-time member, Mrs. Margaret McDonaghHindered because of failing health, Margaret had been unable for some time to be present at Eucharist. She was laid to rest on 24 August. Social distancing, required during our pandemic, allowed only immediate family members to be present. Should you wish still to share with Margaret’s family your memories of her, you may write to 77 Perkins Street, Somerville, Mass. 02145. Pray for her family and for the repose of her soul. Rest eternal grant your servant Margaret, O God, and let light perpetual shine upon her. Amen
Second, I remind you that among the parishes in our diocese that offer live-streaming of the Eucharist are neighboring Church of Our Savior – ArlingtonAll Saints – Belmont; and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Third, as time permits, at 5:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month, on the delta area of Watertown Square, I join Watertown Citizens for Peace, in a silent vigil in support of Black Lives Matter and against systemic racism. [Note: Social distancing and mask guidelines apply.] Children are welcome and are in abundance. Should you drive by, you may see me with my handwritten sign: “Silence = Violence.” Additionally, I have participated in an online group at Church of the Good Shepherd – Watertown, as they immerse themselves in the effort of our national program Sacred Ground, which seeks a Christian response to systemic racism, even in the church. 
And finally, I share with you in a post script a [link] that a retired clergy colleague and friend, whom you know, as he has stood in for me during my absences, sent me this week. The priest who speaks on the video [to come], is not he nor John the Baptist. Yet, his call to return to the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth may set teeth on edge. I do so, because of my obedience to my oath of ordination which forces me again and again to discern what the Spirit is calling me to do, as an ordained person, and because of the hurtful division which I see enveloping our nation.
I bid you pray:
O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States in the election of officials and representative; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Chris our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be with and remain with you and those whom you love this day and for ever. Amen
Your humble fellow in The Way