ST. JOSEPH'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
THE BUILDING IS CLOSED
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Our buildings are closed, but our community remains strong and dedicated to supporting the community and each other. We encourage you to join our Virtual Worship via computer, mobile device, or telephone to experience morning prayer as a community.
St. Joseph's Episcopal Church is committed to our faith and the containment of coronavirus (COVID-19).
We are stronger together
Please join us in prayer. Click below for more information.
The Jamaica Deanery
Prayer Vigils for Racial Justice & National Healing
The clergy of the Jamaica Deanery call our members to respond to the violence against peoples of color and protests denouncing systemic racism through a series of Prayer Vigils. We will gather in prayer before our God so
that the Holy Spirit may breathe transformation and renewed life into our nation and global community. We invite you to join the Deanery Prayer Vigils for racial justice and national healing on Wednesdays from July 8 to August 19 at 7:30pm.
To join with audio only on your phone or mobile device:
Dial: 1 929 205 6099
Meeting ID: 852 7205 3635
To join with video and audio, please click below:
Statement from Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry on President Donald Trump’s use of a
church building and the Holy Bible
June 1, 2020
The following is a statement from Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:
This evening, the President of the United States stood in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, lifted up a bible, and had pictures of himself taken. In so doing, he used a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes. This was done in a time of deep hurt and pain in our country, and his action did nothing to help us or to heal us.
The bible teaches us that “God is love.” Jesus of Nazareth taught, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The prophet Micah taught that the Lord requires us to “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.”
The bible the President held up and the church that he stood in front of represent the values of love, of justice, of compassion, and of a way to heal our hurts.
We need our President, and all who hold office, to be moral leaders who help us to be a people and nation living these values. For the sake of George Floyd, for all who have wrongly suffered, and for the sake of us all, we need leaders to help us to be “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”
The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s
Presiding Bishop Curry’s Word to the Church:
When the Cameras are Gone, We Will Still Be Here
“Our long-term commitment to racial justice and reconciliation is embedded in our identity as baptized followers of Jesus. We will still be doing it when the news cameras are long gone.”
In the midst of COVID-19 and the pressure cooker of a society in turmoil, a Minnesota man named George Floyd was brutally killed. His basic human dignity was stripped by someone charged to protect our common humanity.
Perhaps the deeper pain is the fact that this was not an isolated incident. It happened to Breonna Taylor on March 13 in Kentucky. It happened to Ahmaud Arbery on February 23 in Georgia. Racial terror in this form occurred when I was a teenager growing up black in Buffalo, New York. It extends back to the lynching of Emmett Till in 1955 and well before that. It’s not just our present or our history. It is part of the fabric of American life.
But we need not be paralyzed by our past or our present. We are not slaves to fate but people of faith. Our long-term commitment to racial justice and reconciliation is embedded in our identity as baptized followers of Jesus. We will still be doing it when the news cameras are long gone.
That work of racial reconciliation and justice – what we know as Becoming Beloved Community – is happening across our Episcopal Church. It is happening in Minnesota and in the Dioceses of Kentucky, Georgia and Atlanta, across America and around the world. That mission matters now more than ever, and it is work that belongs to all of us.
It must go on when racist violence and police brutality are no longer front-page news. It must go on when the work is not fashionable, and the way seems hard, and we feel utterly alone. It is the difficult labor of picking up the cross of Jesus like Simon of Cyrene, and carrying it until no one – no matter their color, no matter their class, no matter their caste – until no child of God is degraded and disrespected by anybody. That is God's dream, this is our work, and we shall not cease until God's dream is realized.
Is this hopelessly naïve? No, the vision of God’s dream is no idealistic utopia. It is our only real hope. And, St. Paul says, “hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5). Real love is the dogged commitment to live my life in the most unselfish, even sacrificial ways; to love God, love my neighbor, love the earth and truly love myself. Perhaps most difficult in times like this, it is even love for my enemy. That is why we cannot condone violence. Violence against any person – conducted by some police officers or by some protesters – is violence against a child of God created in God’s image. No, as followers of Christ, we do not condone violence.
Neither do we condone our nation’s collective, complicit silence in the face of injustice and violent death. The anger of so many on our streets is born out of the accumulated frustration that so few seem to care when another black, brown or native life is snuffed out.
But there is another way. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, a broken man lay on the side of the road. The religious leaders who passed were largely indifferent. Only the Samaritan saw the wounded stranger and acted. He provided medical care and housing. He made provision for this stranger’s well-being. He helped and healed a fellow child of God.
Love, as Jesus teaches, is action like this as well as attitude. It seeks the good, the well-being, and the welfare of others as well as one’s self. That way of real love is the only way there is.
Accompanying this statement is a card describing ways to practice the Way of Love in the midst of pandemic, uncertainty and loss. In addition, you will find online a set of resources to help Episcopalians to LEARN, PRAY & ACT in response to racist violence and police brutality. That resource set includes faithful tools for listening to and learning from communities too often ignored or suppressed, for incorporating God’s vision of justice into your personal and community prayer life, and for positively and constructively engaging in advocacy and public witness.
Opening and changing hearts does not happen overnight. The Christian race is not a sprint; it is a marathon. Our prayers and our work for justice, healing and truth-telling must be unceasing. Let us recommit ourselves to following in the footsteps of Jesus, the way that leads to healing, justice and love.
Bishop Provenzano Issues Statement on
Sin of White Supremacy
The Right Rev. Lawrence C. Provenzano
Bishop of Long Island
36 Cathedral Avenue
Garden City, NY 11530
Office: (516) 248-4800 ext. 131
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As we all are witnessing the painful events involving police departments and communities of color, we must once again, and urgently, face squarely the sin of white supremacy. This sin was central to our nation’s founding and is enshrined in — and is at the root of — so much of the rhetoric of the day. It lives itself out in the violence inflicted on communities of color, often at the hands and knees of the police.
It is also evident that white supremacy promotes a second set of standards on how the population is treated differently in so many instances by the police, at the direction of policy makers. A group of armed white men can surround a state capitol and threaten citizens with almost no negative consequences. But black and brown unarmed people protesting the murder of an unarmed black man by police are met with tear gas and the violence of police in riot gear.
White supremacy continues to break the soul of our nation. Hate has torn apart our better selves and we are witnessing the actions of arrogant bigotry in our streets, our parks, in supermarkets and everyday life.
The sin of white supremacy has stolen away any claim that we are a great nation. A great nation is built upon the character of great people—faithful, loving people. Echoing our sacred scripture, a great nation is one that liberates and unburdens the historical oppressed and protects us when we are most vulnerable.
The character of our nation is being stained by the hatred of white supremacy, which, because of a history of slavery and worker exploitation, is now baked into all of our systems.
Of course, we are not alone. This history of sin has created a spiritual illness in other nations. But we are responsible for this young nation, and its unique origins often make our work difficult.
Most Americans believe that some sort of law enforcement system, as well as an armed military, is necessary for an ordered society. So if we are going to have these systems, we need to ensure that the individuals in them are willing to free themselves from the bondage of sin.
We cannot project all of our sins onto the police or the State. In one way or another, we all have ingested the poison of white supremacy. However, state-sanctioned violence is very different than individual violence. We cannot permit armed agents of the State to take advantage of their privilege and power and allow them to go unchecked within a racialized system that never really questions—or thinks to question—the choices that keep others oppressed and disadvantaged. That is not the basis for a democracy.
Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd all have paid the ultimate price of that system’s broken and sinful compliance with hate. And every person of color, every black man and woman lives on the edge of becoming a victim to our national crime, our willful ignorance of this sin that stains our nation and keeps us from being great. As a father of three adult children and a grandfather, it breaks my heart to imagine the fear experienced by black families every time a loved one leaves the house.
I believe, as a person of faith, that we can overcome this sin. I believe we can choose to live in a nation that corrects the past, redeems the past, and creates a world in which each person is honored and treated as a child of God. The power to initiate this change is present in every living person.
We are endowed by our creator with a capacity to love. We are only later taught to hate, to discriminate, to segregate. We must put aside the lessons that divide and create enmity between people and nations, and we must work to unite people everywhere.
I call upon you each to live in love, to act in peace, and to be inquisitive and curious of the other and not fearful and rejecting.
Embrace difference as a way to discover more about yourself and your neighbor.
Reject hate and hateful, ignorant speech.
Reject the evil, hate-filled actions and motivations of those who seek to divide people.
And work—literally work—to build a better world. Begin by praying for the victims of hate, their families and loved ones. Put yourself in their place and repent of the hate, discrimination and bigotry we have been taught.
“Your love must be sincere. Detest what is evil, cling to what is good. Love one another with the affection of brothers and sisters. Anticipate each other in showing respect. Look on the need of the saints as your own; be generous in offering hospitality. Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good.”
The Letter to the Romans 12: 9 - 10, 13 & 21
Pentecost Prayer from
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
OUR BUILDINGS ARE CLOSED
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
St. Joseph's Episcopal Church is committed to our faith and the containment of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Until further notice, the Church buildings are closed. Please click HERE to learn how to worship with us online. We encourage you to pray for the health and safety of those infected, our neighbors and communities in the United States, and all those affected by this crisis around the world.
St. Joseph's urges you to stay at home, if you are not an essential worker. We remain faithful and are praying for everyone's health and safety, but especially for those who are on the front lines of this pandemic. We encourage you to offer support to elderly and ill neighbors, friends, and family while ensuring the safety of us all.
For coronavirus (COVID-19) resources, updates from Church leadership, and St. Joseph's response to the pandemic, please click below.
ABOUT OUR CHURCH
St. Joseph's is an inclusive church faithfully committed to worship and service to the community. We emphasize strong families and an environment where the dignity and respect of all are championed.
Our ministries and organizations are dedicated to studying our Christian faith; mentoring youth; promoting health, wellness and preventative care; service; and improving the lives of the critically underserved in our community
Our Church is open for group activities, meetings for ministries, volunteer work, and Bible study. Two church services are held every Sunday. A service is held on Wednesdays followed by Bible Study for Senior Citizens.