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St. Mary’s is joining hundreds of churches on Sunday, August 25, at 3:00 p.m. by ringing our church bell for a full minute. The clarion call of church bells sends a powerful message to our neighbors that we will not be silent in recognizing a significant moment in American history: the landing of the first enslaved Africans in English-occupied North America in August 1619 at Virginia’s Point Comfort, now part of Fort Monroe National Monument. Conceived by The National Park Service, the bell-ringing event has been endorsed by the Episcopal Church as well as our Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and many faithful organizations.

“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.”