This year, I am encouraged by the Lenten Book Studies with Bishop Perry. I am encouraged to continue the conversation in my parish and I have. A few weeks ago, after morning worship we had a small group discussion on race. It was uncomfortable to talk about the pain of racism and it was encouraging to be supported by members of my congregation who asked: “what can I do?”
BOO4: Encouraging the Language of Dismantling Racism and Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That this 79th General Convention affirms that we condemn racism in all its forms, institutional, systemic, and personal, and we encourage all task forces, commissions, committees, parishes, centers and individuals in The Episcopal Church involved in the work of dismantling racism and seeking to foster racial healing, justice, and reconciliation to expand the language used to designate or describe that work; and be it further
Resolved, there continues to be important work needed to confront institutional and systemic racism in many settings and communities before there can be further work in healing, justice and reconciliation, and be it further
Resolved, there is also important work being done to begin such healing, justice, and reconciliation, and be it further
Resolved, we recognize and affirm that the language around such work is critical to our ability to communicate our purposes with others engaging in this work within the Church and across other organizations, therefore be it further
Resolved, that the terms to be utilized to describe such work should include Dismantling Racism and Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation.
During this season of Lent, may I suggest we ask ourselves this important question: “What can I do?” What can I do to identify barriers? What can I do to be more inclusive at church? What can I do to make sure my conversations are more honest and inclusive? What can I do to encourage fellow Episcopalians to share their stories? What can I do to turn our conversations into action? What can I do? These questions beg for action; action to collaborate with individuals and as a group.
Let’s continue these conversations at school, at home, in Sunday School, at church and in our social circles. These conversations should be multigenerational. We learn from each other and understand each other when we allow others to tell their stories while we listen and vice versa. It creates a community with trust, love and purpose. Building a community takes away the fear of the unknown and fills us with faith reminding us, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”, Matthew 18:20
As we start this week, consider who is in your community. Consider how to grow your community and who to invite into your community. Let’s continue sharing our time, talents and resources. Let us recognize our unconscious biases and identify misinformation with the intention of being ready and prepared to change our views.
“Dear Friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God”. I John 4:7
Let us pray –
God of freedom, we pray for our nation, and all the nations of the world: For peace and unity across barriers of language, color, and creed; for elected and appointed leaders, that they would serve the common good. Inspire all people with courage to speak out against hatred, to actively resist evil. Unite the human family in bonds of love.
God of freedom,
Hear our prayers for the world. Amen.
~ Luke Thompson, Resolution Review Committee, Diocesan Council