[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Following a year of listening, consulting and reflection, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings and officers of the House of Bishops and House of Deputies are inviting Episcopalians to study and commit to using “Becoming Beloved Community: The Episcopal Church’s Long-term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice.”

The full document is available here. 

“You’re not looking at a set of programs,” Presiding Bishop Curry explained. “You’re looking at a path for how we, as the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, can more fully and prayerfully embody the loving, liberating, life-giving way of Jesus in our relationships with each other. Look at the scriptures, at Christian history. There is no doubt that Beloved Community, healing, justice and reconciliation are at the heart of Jesus’ movement in this world.”

 The “Becoming Beloved Community” vision emerges as a direct response to General Convention Resolution C019 (“Establish Response to Systemic Injustice”). The comprehensive commitment – which the Church’s top leaders crafted in partnership with the Presiding Bishop’s staff, key leaders, networks and organizations dedicated to racial reconciliation – links new initiatives with existing, ongoing work and seeks to support and amplify local, regional, provincial and churchwide network efforts. 

Leaders say “Becoming Beloved Community” is designed as a strategic path through distinct phases that lead to personal and structural transformation:

  1. Telling the Truth about the Church and Race, via a census to determine church demographics and a Racial Justice Audit to study the impact of racism on the Church’s leadership, organizations and bodies.
  2. Proclaiming the Dream of Beloved Community, via a series of regional public listening and learning engagements, starting with a partnership at Washington National Cathedral.
  3. Practicing the Way of Love, via a churchwide Beloved Community story-sharing campaign, multilingual and multigenerational formation and training, pilgrimages and liturgical resources.
  4. Repairing the Breach in Institutions and Society, via advocacy for criminal justice reform, re-entry collaboratives shaped by people moving from prison back to community, and partnership with Saint Augustine’s University and Voorhees College (the historically black university and college associated with the Episcopal Church).

Read more here.

*If you are interested in forming a discussion group at Grace Church about racial reconciliation, please contact Janis Greenbaum in the church office.

 

 

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