West Seattle church to participate in Healing Day National Bell Ringing on Sunday

This Sunday marks 400 years since the arrival in English-occupied North America of the first ship carrying enslaved Africans, and there is a call for bell-ringing as part of a Healing Day. St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in West Seattle has announced it’s participating:

The Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist will join other churches and organizations across the country and ring our bell for one minute at 12:00 noon this Sunday, August 25 to honor the enslaved Africans who landed in 1619 at Port Comfort in Hampton, Virginia. The site is now part of Fort Monroe National Monument, which is leading the national bell ringing ceremony.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has encouraged Episcopal churches across the country to take part. More on that here.

To learn more about Fort Monroe, and the significance of bells as symbols of freedom, healing and reconciliation, (go here).

The church is in The Admiral District at 3050 California SW. Any others participating? Let us know.

2 Replies to "West Seattle church to participate in Healing Day National Bell Ringing on Sunday"

  • Kadoo August 22, 2019 (5:39 pm)

    I love this!!

  • Katie B August 23, 2019 (5:08 pm)

    If you’re interested in the back story of this event, including the text of the Litany of Reconciliation, here it is:Presiding Bishop Michael
    Curry and Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia Bishop James B. Magness invite
    Episcopal churches to take part in a national action to remember and honor the
    first enslaved Africans who landed in English North America in 1619 by tolling
    their bells for one minute on Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 12:00 p.m.
    Litany of Repentance Dear people of God, our history is marred by
    oppression, by the enslavement of those who differ from us, and by the forces
    of racism that attack human dignity. The sin of racism is woven into our lives
    and our cultures, in small and great ways, in things done and things left
    As followers of Christ, we reject racism and
    the oppression of other human beings. In building Christ’s beloved community,
    we must strive to love all people, respect all people, and work for the good of
    all people. We must stand alongside God’s children of every race, language, and
    culture, and work together as agents of justice, peace, and reconciliation.
    In the assurance of our forgiveness, let us
    stand before God and humbly confess our sins: our participation in racism, our privilege
    based on racism, and our perpetuation of racism.
    Silence is then kept for a time. God the Father, you freed your people from
    slavery in Egypt, yet the legacy of slavery deforms our lives today.
    Have mercy on us.
    God the Son, you prayed that all would be
    united in your love and service, yet the divisions among us rend your body.
    Have mercy on us.
    God the Holy Spirit, you inspire us to live
    peaceably with all, yet the stain of genocide and internment mars our striving
    for justice.
    Have mercy on us.
    have harmed one another and the earth through negligence, greed, and
    Have mercy on us. We
    have failed to condemn discrimination that leads to unrest.
    Have mercy on us.  We
    have decried violence, while overlooking inequity and frustration from which it
    Have mercy on us.   We
    have practiced injustice for economic gain and have oppressed others to make a
    false peace.
    Have mercy on us. We
    have sought comfort in advantage for ourselves at the cost of injustice for
    Have mercy on us.  We
    have welcomed solace over conflict and ignored the cries of those harmed by our
    Have mercy on us.  We
    have grasped for this world’s goods and been arrogant toward those who have
    Have mercy on us.  We
    have not shared the good things we have been given and blamed the poor for
    their poverty.
    Have mercy on us.  We
    have been fearful and distrustful of those who are different from us.
    Have mercy on us.  We
    have divided ourselves from others and refused to listen to or believe their
    Have mercy on us.  We
    have been indifferent to the pain and suffering of our sisters and brothers.
    Have mercy on us.  We
    have held in contempt those who need our help, and not loved them with our
    whole hearts.
    Have mercy on us.  We
    have been self-satisfied in our privilege and denied our oppression of others.
    Have mercy on us.  We
    have preferred order over justice, and isolation over the struggle for peace.
    Have mercy on us.  We
    have quietly held good intentions and kept silent the message of
    Have mercy on us.  We
    have failed to act with courage for the sake of love.
    Have mercy on us. Lord
    have mercy.
    Christ have mercy. Lord
    have mercy.
    May Almighty God have mercy on us, grant us
    courage and conviction, and strengthen us to love others who are unlike us. May
    God, the Holy and Undivided Trinity, make us compassionate in our actions and
    courageous in our works, that we may see Christ’s Beloved Community in our own
    day. Amen.
    Commissioning for the
    Ministry of Justice and Reconciliation
    Dear People of God, we stand in the shadow
    of the prophets crying out for justice and peace. God calls us to be a people
    of reconciliation, serving a world in need. Courageous women and men have taken
    the risk of standing up and speaking out for the least and the lowest. This
    work involves risking ourselves for the sake of God’s love, moving beyond
    ourselves in order to seek and serve Christ and one another. We are all called
    to the work and ministry of social justice and reconciliation.
    you persevere in prayer and fellowship?
    I will, with God’s help.  Will
    you proclaim the good news of reconciliation in both word and deed?
    I will, with God’s help.  Will
    you strive to see Christ in all persons, both with whom you agree and disagree?
    I will, with God’s help.
    you seek to mend what is broken by human sin and greed?
    I will, with God’s help.  Will
    you work toward dismantling the sin of abuse of power?
    I will, with God’s help. The Presider concludes In the name of God and of this Church, I
    commission you to stand up, speak out and live into the reign of Christ our
    Savior. Amen.
    _____________________________________________________________________________ From
    Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:
    “The National Park Service is commissioning,
    and asking, churches and people from around this country to commemorate and
    remember that landing and the bringing of those first enslaved Africans to this
    country by ringing bells. And if possible, by tolling the bells of churches and
    to do so on August 25 at 3:00 [EDT, or 12 noon PDT] in the afternoon,” said Curry. “I’m inviting us
    as The Episcopal Church to join in this commemoration as part of our continued
    work of racial healing and reconciliation. At 3:00 pm we can join together with
    people of other Christian faiths and people of all faiths to remember those who
    came as enslaved, who came to a country that one day would proclaim liberty.
    And so we remember them and pray for a new future for us all.”
    This national bell ringing is among the
    Healing Day events being held at 
    Fort Monroe National Monument to commemorate the 400th anniversary of that
     “The 2019 commemoration of the arrival
    of the first enslaved Africans to North America is for me a highly personal
    occasion,” said Magness. “As a descendent of slaveholders, and as a white male
    who came of age in the racially polarized south during the 1950s and 1960s, I
    am painfully aware of my own complicity in furthering and perpetuating the
    subjugation of my African American brothers and sisters.  At a time when
    the racial divide in this country seems to be growing rather than diminishing,
    we are in dire need of a moment, an event when we can stop and take stock of
    our responsibilities to bring the races together, perhaps in a new manner that
    truly is an embrace of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.”
    “Let’s unite as one on this day and show our
    appreciation for 400 years of African American history,” said Terry E. Brown,
    Fort Monroe National Monument superintendent. “We must embrace the West African
    concept of Sankofa, which teaches us we must go back to our roots in order to
    move forward.”
    The site of the ship’s arrival is the
    present site of Fort Monroe National Monument in Hampton, Virginia.
    “The first African people were brought
    to this continent in harrowing and dehumanizing circumstances. As we remember
    the 400th anniversary of their arrival, I pray that we will do the hard work of
    reconciliation that God longs for us to do,” said Susan Goff, bishop suffragan
    of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. “God forgive us. God give us courage and
    resolve. And God bless us.”
    As recorded by English colonist John Rolfe,
    the arrival of “20 and odd” African men and women at Point Comfort in
    late August 1619, was a pivotal moment in the nation’s history. Stolen by
    English privateers from a Spanish slave ship and brought to Point Comfort on a ship
    called the White Lion, these natives of west central Africa are
    believed to have been traded for food and supplies. They were the first
    Africans to be brought to English North America.
    “With bells tolling across America, we pause
    to lament the centuries of suffering and wrenching grief of slavery and
    racism in our land,” said Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop diocesan of the Episcopal
    Diocese of Washington. “The first slave trade ship to land 400 years ago
    planted the seed of sin that spread through the active participation and
    complicit passivity of nearly every American institution. As we grieve, may we
    dedicate ourselves to addressing systemic racism and the multi-generational
    impact of enslavement and discrimination faced by all of the African diaspora.”
    As the landing point for the first enslaved
    Africans in the English colonies in 1619 and the site of the first emancipation
    policy decision during the Civil War, Fort Monroe marks both the beginning and
    the end of slavery in the United States.




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