March 19, 2021

Like all of you, my heart is broken this week as our country is shaken yet again by another shooting–this time in Georgia, where a White domestic terrorist fatally shot eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent. As a church, we mourn these lives lost while also standing in love and solidarity with our Asian and Pacific Islander American friends, neighbors, and family. They know all too well that this act of violence in Georgia is but an awful and overt example of the staggering increased acts of hatred and discrimination toward Asian-Americans in the past year. As one of our parishioners remarked to me, while the events of this week are tragic, they are also sadly not surprising.

A grassroots campaign, Stop AAPI Hate, has been tracking and responding “to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.” In the past year they have documented 3,800 incidents. As our own Asian-American parishioners can tell you, the anxiety, threats, and experiences of hate are real, and this week has led many to fear for their own safety as they go about their daily lives, even here in Washington, D.C.
As Christians we make no peace with hate and are called to speak up when we witness it. We are also called to help. Stop AAPI Hate’s website includes a list of ways to act, including reporting any acts of hate, learning and sharing safety tips, staying informed about what’s happening and why, and donating to help fund Asian-led organizing and advocacy efforts. I’ve made a donation from my discretionary fund on St. Margaret’s behalf to the AAPI Community Fund GoFundMe campaign, which will disperse donations to grassroots organizations across the country. I invite you to consider making your own donation.
As we continue to work for justice and healing in the long road ahead, let us join in love and solidarity as a church family and give thanks for the gifts and presence of our Asian-American community.

In Christ,

The Rev. Richard Weinberg

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