I have great news to share with you on this Monday. First, I have received word from RIP Medical Debt that 2,601 households in the Atlanta area will be receiving letters this week telling them their medical debt has been paid by St. Dunstan’s. The average amount of debt per household is $1,588.45. That comes out to $4,131,565 in debt relieved.
And there is more to come. As you know, during Lent we raised $55,000 (including a $25,000 matching grant from our outreach fund) for medical debt relief. Each dollar donated relieves $100 of debt. RIP Medical Debt purchases the debt in bundles, then forgives it with donations like ours. They did not use all of our money in their May purchase, so we can expect that within a month or so we will learn that RIP has used our remaining $13,500 to purchase and relieve more debt, totaling about $1.35 million. They will let us know how many households were helped.
The demographics that are assisted most by these gifts are the also ones hit hardest financially by the pandemic. I pray that these gifts will help ease their burdens, even if just a bit. Thank you to all who contributed to this effort. I’ll let you know when we hear about the rest of the donations.
There is more good news today. Earlier this month the vestry voted unanimously to hang a Black Lives Matter banner at the entrance to the church. Wayne Hood designed and ordered the banner and hung it today.
Senior Warden Bob Longino has this to say: “Today is a good day. The Black Lives Matter banner has been raised on our property at Garmon Road. Certainly, we believe that all lives matter. But when some in our society feel vulnerable, unprotected and at risk, God wants us to speak out, to support those striving for acceptance, respect, equality and justice.”
I’ll add that this is our Gospel proclamation to the world. We will also have magnetized bumper stickers available soon for $2 each. Pictures of the banner and bumper sticker are below. If you’d like a bumper sticker (or more than one) let me know.
Finally, the service sheet for this week’s Compline is attached.
I’ve changed the psalms and some of the prayers, all with things from our prayer book. It seemed appropriate to use the Litany of Thanksgiving for our National Life in this week leading up to July 4. We’ll also use it on Sunday.
See you tonight at 8.