An observation from this past week: driving along Route 95 near Richmond, VA and clearly visible from the highway, a large Confederate flag flutters in the breeze. The following day, at a prayer breakfast hosted by Passage Home in Southeast Raleigh, a gathering of members of St. Francis and members of a black church in the neighborhood, and leading up to the breakfast, there were songs and prayers of praise to the living God, a blessing of the food, and a shared meal. The first image, from Virginia, a picture of what divides us as a nation; the second image, from a humble gathering hall in a neighborhood in Raleigh, a picture of what unites us, and of what God dreams for our world.

Over the past few weeks and continuing in March and April our parish has offered a series on mental health, in particular what the issues are in our community and what resources are available. There is often a stigma attached to issues of mental health, and this series has helped to bring these issues out into the open. You can find more information on upcoming events in the series on page 3 in this week’s bulletin.

As we begin the season of Lent, I found a quote from the author Ronald Rolheiser, who has written widely on spirituality. It reads this way: “What God is asking is that we bring our helplessness, weaknesses, imperfections, and sin constantly to him, that we walk with him, and that we never hide from him.”

Blessings on your week!