Becoming Beloved Community

Black History month continues to focus our minds:

 

The Episcopal Church’s Becoming Beloved Community vision – presented by our Church’s key leaders in May 2017...

“A Long-term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice  (1)

"O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. – Prayer for the Human Family (Book of Common Prayer, p. 815) 

    “Jesus laid out the most basic Christian teaching of all when the young man asked him, “Which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He told him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.(Matthew 22:36-40). 

    “The Beloved Community is the body within which all people can grow to love God and love the image of God that we find in our neighbors, in ourselves, and in creation. It provides a positive, theologically and biblically based ideal that orients the work of racial healing, reconciliation, and justice. It is the end toward which the Jesus Movement points. 

    “The Episcopal Church’s Becoming Beloved Community vision – presented by our Church’s key leaders in May 2017 – frames a path for Episcopalians to address racial injustice and grow as a community of reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers who share a passion for the dream of God. Because this is the work of spiritual formation, and not simply completing a training or implementing a set of programs, we encourage individuals and congregations to embrace the journey ahead as a long-term commitment. It may be helpful to imagine a labyrinth as you reflect, act, and reflect again. After all, on the road toward reconciliation and healing, we travel around corners, make sharp turns, pass fellow travelers, and double back into quadrants we have indeed visited before, each time discovering a fresh revelation or challenge. 

    “In particular, we anticipate that becoming Beloved Community will lead communities and individuals through four interrelated commitments, like quadrants of the labyrinth ... 

“Telling the Truth:Who are we? What things have we done and left undone regarding                     racial justice and healing? 

“Proclaiming the Dream How can we publicly acknowledge things done and left undone? What does Beloved Community look like in this place? What behaviors and commitments will foster reconciliation, justice, and healing? 

“Repairing the Breach :What institutions and systems are broken near us? How will we participate in repair, restoration, and healing of people, institutions, and systems? 

“Practicing the Way of Love How will we grow as reconcilers, healers, and justice-bearers? How will we actively grow relationship across dividing walls and seek Christ in the other? 

The Above is taken from a document referenced below.  It is a resource for churches trying to find a way to enter the larger Conversation on Race

It is being offered in conjunction with Black History Month 2018.

Robin Warfield

(1)Adapted for individual and congregational use from "Becoming Beloved Community:
The Episcopal Church's Long-term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice" (May 2017, Presented to the Church by the Presiding Officers of the Episcopal Church in response to General Convention Resolution C019 [“Establish Response to Systemic Injustice”]