News From St. Mark’s and our Community

Galway Elementary Backpack Ministry Continues!

Once again in 2022, St. Mark’s members donated new backpacks and new school supplies, and came together to assemble more than seventy backpacks at the end of August. After a blessing of the backpacks in church, Rev. Wilkins and several members of the congregation visited the school to present the donations to Dorothea Fuller, Galway Elementary School’s principal, providing necessary supplies to needy students for the 2022-2023 school year!

St. Mark’s 2022 BackPack Donation to Galway Elementary School

Events Concerning Race and Social Justice

Nationwide protests in response to the killing of George Floyd by members of the Minneapolis police have brought systematic racism to the forefront of national attention. Members of St. Mark’s represented the local community in a peaceful protest on June 13, 2020.

The Justice & Advocacy page of the website of the Diocese of Washington has multiple links to media interviews with The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of Washington on her response to the use of St. John’s Episcopal Church as a political prop at the beginning of June.

Comments from a St. Mark’s Parishioner who was downtown that day are from some of her classmates who were in the immediate vicinity:

Students from Virginia Theological Seminary were in front of the White House yesterday, at St. John’s Episcopal, praying with, and providing water and snacks and care (and eventually, eye flushes) to the protesters. It was peaceful, people were kind, smiling eyes and warmest “Thank yous” for the gifts of water, granola bars, and compassionate presence.

“It was significantly before the 7pm curfew, I was scared, astounded and shocked when flash grenades, tear gas, and rubber bullets were unleashed to clear people out of the street and off of church property.. so the President could have a terrible photo op, using my Church and my faith as props while gassing its clergy and all the innocent and peaceful people.

I understand anger, and have no problem with the emotion, and I rarely feel it roiling within me. Anger can empower people to make change, to speak and act against evil, like Jesus in the temple. What happened today was another branch of this evil, perpetuating violence against innocents. And when I talk about it I’m believed, I receive sympathy and understanding. I am not doubted or dismissed. I am alive, and my only injury is stinging eyes and a tiny bit if breathing discomfort.

My anger is roiling for all Black lives that are continually disregarded, for murders ignored and perpetuated and repeated, for dignity trampled, for shame and belittling and violence rather than honoring and respecting and upholding.”

From another classmate:

“Tear gas, flash bangs, and, rubber bullets were employed against peaceful protesters at an Episcopal parish for a political purpose. Some of my friends were there. They and others were put in danger for a political stunt. This is not Jesus.This is not the church I know.”

Other News Sources:

Episcopal News Service

Diocese of Washington’s News Page