In June, Saint Catherine’s approved its newest ministry team, All God’s Children: A Ministry of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The passion for this ministry grew after several small groups felt a Christian call to respond in a deeper way after working through the reflective journaling of Me and White Supremacy. During Lent, a biracial group studied the book The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James Cone with clergy, and the historic silence of the white church during American periods of racial oppression was something that the group wanted to address. So what next? Our Episcopal Church is asking us to engage in hard conversations across differences to know one another and love like Jesus. The hope of this ministry is that with the acknowledgment of the sin of racism, racial healing and reconciliation is possible with God’s help. This will require doing the work to create safe places to share lived experiences, tell our stories, bring our whole selves to church, and amplify historically excluded voices. In the long term, we hope this ministry will be able to look at things like how we engage with our community, representational images and music in our church, affirming signage, etc. In the short term, we have two specific offerings for the fall. With the start of adult formation, we will be offering opportunities to participate in Racial Healing Circles discussing reflective questions from Me and White Supremacy. We plan to have Sunday and weekday groups and hope that you will find time to join a small circle for this meaningful work. Groups will be limited to 6 people and will require a commitment to attend and fully participate. If you are interested in joining a group, please contact Harriett Pyburn by August 13. Additionally, we are working on bringing new speakers to our church and inviting the community to listen and participate. Stay tuned for more information on speakers and dates. We hope that everyone will find a way to engage in this ministry. Through it, we hope to say yes to God’s dream for our church to love like Jesus. We believe that we cannot love our neighbors as ourselves until we truly see and know them. We are grateful for the opportunity to pursue this work together as a ministry of St Catherine’s - seeking to respect the dignity of every human being.
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