Becoming Beloved Community (1)
“To help dioceses and congregations take on this lifelong mission, in the spring of 2017, the Episcopal Church released its “Becoming Beloved Community” vision for racial reconciliation efforts. General Convention in 2015 allotted $2 million to this work.
“The release followed a year of listening, consulting and reflection by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings and the other officers of the House of Bishops and House of Deputies. They invited Episcopalians to study and commit to this mission.
“The vision is four-fold, and more like a lifelong labyrinth rather than a chronological to-do list. The first part though, must be done before the others are possible, however, ...other racial healing activists say.
Telling the truth: “Who are we? What things have we done and left undone regarding racial justice and healing?” Church-wide initiatives include a census of the church and an audit of racial justice in Episcopal structures and systems.
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? Initiatives include holding regional, public sacred listening and learning engagements, launching a story-sharing campaign and allocating the budget for lifelong formation of transformation.
Repairing the breach: What institutions and systems are broken? How will we participate in repair, restoration, and healing of people, institutions, and systems? Initiatives focus on justice reform, re-entry collaboratives with formerly incarcerated people returning to community and partnership with Episcopal Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Practicing the way: 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? This also involves the Becoming Beloved Community story-sharing campaign, as well as reconciliation and justice pilgrimages; multi-lingual formation and training; and liturgical resources for healing, reconciliation and justice.
“What the presiding bishop and the officers hoped for was to offer up a framework, not necessarily a program, for racial reconciliation,” ...Episcopal News Service.
“Do your discernment. What does it look like to tell the truth about your church, who we are and who we have not welcomed over the year? Do your discernment over what it looks like to practice love, to be reconcilers and healers, what you need to do to repair the breach.” (1)
I hope you find this respectful of you and your values and your contributions.
1) Episcopal News Service.