Adapted from the Office of Public Affairs
Church leaders invite Episcopalians to study the newly released Becoming Beloved Community: The Episcopal Church’s Long-term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice.
The document’s release follows a year of consultation by the presiding bishop, the president of the House of Deputies, and other officers of General Convention’s House of Bishops and House of Deputies.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, will host a webinar to discuss the church’s long-term commitment at 3 p.m. (EDT) May 16.
“You’re not looking at a set of programs,” Bishop Curry said. “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.”
Leaders say Becoming Beloved Community is designed as a strategic path through distinct phases that lead to personal and structural transformation:
- “Telling the Truth about the Church and Race,” via a census to determine church demographics and a Racial Justice Audit to study the effect of racism on church leadership, organizations and bodies
- “Proclaiming the Dream of Beloved Community,” via a series of regional public listening and learning engagements, starting with a partnership at Washington National Cathedral
- “Practicing the Way of Love,” via a churchwide story-sharing campaign, multilingual and multigenerational formation and training, pilgrimages, and liturgical resources
- “Repairing the Breach in Institutions and Society,” via advocacy for criminal justice reform, re-entry work formed by people moving from prison back to community, and partnership with St. Augustine’s University and Voorhees College
Becoming Beloved Community’s vision emerges as a response to General Convention Resolution C019 (“Establish Response to Systemic Injustice”). The comprehensive commitment, which the church’s top leaders created in partnership with the presiding bishop’s staff, key leaders, networks, and organizations dedicated to racial reconciliation, links new initiatives with existing work and seeks to support local, regional, provincial, and churchwide network efforts.