June 24, 2020 Message
Dear members and friends,
I want to thank the leadership of the City of Brigantine who provided a safe and welcoming atmosphere to the nearly 400 folks who wanted to march and rally to support the movement for Racial Equality in our country this past Thursday. City Council woman Karen Bew was most assuring to me that although many people objected to the presence of a potentially disruptive event, the organizers of the march, some of whom identified themselves as part of Black Lives Matter of Southern New Jersey, had a first amendment right to gather and protest given the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of the police.
I was most impressed by Chief of Police Casamento who quite calmly mustered his officers to make sure the protestors were protected and that it would be a peaceful demonstration. During a conversation on the days leading up to the march he shared with me how regrettable it is that Black Lives Matter has become oppositional to the fact that Blue Lives Matter. Support for one should not be interpreted to be a negation of the other. The Chief correctly interpreted for me that our police are merely a reflection of the values and the laws of our entire society. The Blue Lives are on the line all the time trying to maintain peace and order, protecting us all, in a context that remains unequal because of the values and attitudes of all elements and institutions in our society. Change is needed.
Negative and hateful attitudes about equality, about the rights of all of our citizens and even the right to assemble and protest were on display last Thursday evening as well as the peaceful marchers. Social Media provided a platform for members of our community to express the very reality that the protestors are rallying against, values and attitudes that create the potential for violence and hatred among us where our Lives of Blue are called to protect and serve and maintain the peace.
I for one participated in the event under the condition that it would not be a rally about “defunding the police” or focusing on reform of how the police do their job as the sole change that is needed. As one of our church family leaders told me, the change needed will take time still, for there are many hearts and souls to be won.
Meanwhile, we are in day 84 of the Covid19 Pandemic that is still very much with us and very real for many people, especially our health care first responders. Mission and Member Care Committees are planning a special show of thanks for the local folks on our list of Concerns that continues to grow.
Last week members travelled to Deptford to honor Ed Blansche and to express to his family how much we loved Ed and appreciated his work among us. It was the first funeral service I have been a part of since March. This coming Saturday we will worship in a park in Doylestown PA to give thanks for the life of Laura Stillwagon, 24 year old daughter of Bev Booz.
Please Join us live on Sunday Mornings at 10 for singing, 10:15 for worship.
Use this link www.facebook.com/brigchurch.org.
You don’t have to be on Facebook to join the worship.
We have had a request for baptism (Brielle May Battaglia and Fiona Frances Chafe) but how do we do that during our gathering for worship while we can’t be together in the sanctuary? Make sure to tune in Sunday on our live stream worship to find out our solution to the dilemma.
Keep Anne Howe in your prayers, still in Mainland Hospital with pneumonia and keep Barb Culver in your prayers too! Prayers for CODI house and Diane Lane.
The Food Pantry Ministry continues. Call Brenda at 609-266-7942 to help!
Gift Certificates for local vendors to be placed in prize baskets and to be displayed at church to raise funds in place of Summerfest are still needed.
The CHURCH WEBSITE IS www.brigchurch.org Check it for updates, announcements and info. Don’t forget, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my email at email@example.com My cell phone is 609-457-2999… feel free to call or text. If you are a Fb member find us at “Brigantine Community Presbyterian Church” “like” us! Please feel free to call me on my cell phone at 609-457-2999! Call Jim Walker, chair of Member Care, at 609-338-2252. OR, call Mental Health HELP LINE 1-866-202-5357!
Stay in touch with brothers and sisters in Christ!