At Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes, “we value the church as a community that welcomes all people, where viewpoint diversity is considered a blessing” (from our Statement of Particular Values).
What is the theological foundation that undergirds this value?
To begin, we understand that “Jesus’ ‘kingdom is not of this world’ (John 18:36). And is consequently deepened in our understanding that,
“the course of action for Christians in the political sphere is not always obvious and may lead to different political perspectives among parishioners. We are certainly not removed from the world, as we are called to love ‘in truth and in action’ (I John 3:18).
We may have different understandings of how to ‘act justly’ (Micah 6:8), however, and thus, as a church, we choose to minister primarily in our immediate community and we pray that each parishioner go forth,
formed by our common faith and according to the dictates of individual conscience, to make the world a better place.”
(Statement of Particular Values)
Over the next two days, we will see fellow Americans gathered in our city to attend the “March to Save America”. I've been asked, "So how are we, as members and friends of ASA, to respond to this expression of free speech?"
First and foremost, we are to PRAY— Pray for peace. Pray to be peacemakers. And let us avoid making sweeping generalizations. As disciples of Christ, in conscience, let us resist the temptation to view those who think differently than us to be "the enemy".
As Congressman John Lewis (+2020) said, “Not one of us can rest, be happy, be at home, be at peace with ourselves, until we end hatred and division.”
We must bear in mind that, as members of the American family, we are all fellow citizens that share the same right to expression, that is no different than any other secular organizations we may endorse. And we must bear in mind that, divinely speaking, these individuals may be fellow Christians, and perhaps even fellow parishioners; who, if they have a different political perspective, are no less our Sister(or Brother)-in-Christ than those who share our political perspectives.
I Remain Yours in Christ, the Prince of Peace,
The Rev. Dominique Peridans
Glad to be your Rector
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THE REV. DOMINIQUE PERIDANS