A Blessed Nativity Feast to all who observe the new calendar date. Martin Luther King Day is supposed to be a day off for me as a state employee (Ranger at York River State Park). But, I couldn’t help but to notice that workplaces and schools tend to be more integrated than most worship services. So, for the past couple of years, I have been scheduling hikes at my job. I have developed the “Three Rivers & Three Peoples Hike” to overview some historical points about the Africans, Europeans, and Native Americans who lived in our area along the York River. I’ve never had large crowds of people attend. But, those who have found it informative and enjoyed the trails. I will offer the hike again this year on Monday, January 18th from 10 am until noon. After my official state program, I want to provide something different.
Dr. Carla Thomas of the Alabama Chapter had developed A Canon for Racial Reconciliation a few years ago. This has been prayed by various chapters on different occasions. I believe that with the toxic climate of racial incidents and tone of much social political talk, it would be a good idea for our chapter to promote a gathering for prayer that will. It is my hope that by praying the canon, people in our various parishes will continue the prayers, begin to discuss, and even work toward racial reconciliation. I do not pretend to have all of the answers to every issue where everyone’s parish is located. But, this canon prayer (and hike for those interested) is a good place for us to get the ball rolling if we are in NOVA, Tidewater, Central VA, or the Roanoke Valley. A small Serbian parish in a troubled section of Kansas City began with prayer and repentance. Now, St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church and Reconciliation Ministries has become a great example of how the true faith can bring about healing in broken communities.
If you or your parish is interested in participating, please call or e-mail me. I will try to get the canon out to you well ahead of time.