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Who is My Neighbor - Reflection for May 1, 2015

posted May 5, 2015, 8:07 AM by Parish Administrator

Wisdom from Bishop Mariann - Who is My Neighbor?


"Baltimore is 40 miles away from Washington. I happened to be with Bishop Eugene Sutton at aprovincial meeting last Monday as word of the protests and violence spread. Anguished, he left our gathering to drive home. "My city is burning," he said. "Pray for Baltimore." All the Province III bishops laid hands on him and prayed.


On Tuesday, several of us from the Diocese of Washington drove to Baltimore to take part in a city prayer service and call for faith leaders to organize. What we witnessed was both heart-breaking and inspiring--at least two thousand people of faith, the vast majority African American, determined to heal their city and organize for justice. We heard young people, single mothers, and ex-offenders describe in wrenching detail what daily life is like for them. We saw the resolve of faith leaders to restore peace and ensure justice.


Dickens' image of two cities kept coming to my mind, as did Jesus' words to the lawyer who wanted to know precisely who his neighbors were.


The people of Baltimore are our neighbors. They need our prayers and assistance. Here are some ways that we can volunteer or provide financial support for the rebuilding effort.


We also have neighbors all around us who live in that "other city." How might we reach across the divides of race and economic disparity to know our neighbors?

  • Join the EDOW People of the Way book club in May as we read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.

These are small steps on a long road. The conditions that fuel violence are not created in a day and we will not solve them easily or alone. May our Mother's Day prayer and witness mark our strengthened and sustained effort to understand, talk about, and address racial disparities and the devastation they cause our children and our neighbors."