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The Work of Racial Reconciliation

The Episcopal Church has worked to address anti-racism training as well as racial justice and reconciliation with more than 30 General Convention Resolutions since 1952. At the 78th General Convention in July, the House of Bishops wrote in Resolution C019: "the Church understands and affirms that the call to pray and act for racial reconciliation is integral to our witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to our living into the demands of our Baptismal Covenant." The Church allocated $1.2 million for the Triennium to do "the challenging and difficult work of racial reconciliation through prayer, teaching, engagement, and action." 

Blue Arrow LeftResources from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's staff on racial reconciliation and justice.

EDWM requires that all parish and diocesan leaders participate in anti-racism training.

Next Training
Saturday, October 7, 2017 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Grand Rapids, MI (click here for map)

This workshop examines how and why racism persists in spite of the legal changes and integration that have happened in the last 50 years. Racism and other forms of discrimination have become less recognizable, embedded both in the structure of our society and in our unconscious biases. During the workshop we examine our own biases and role in the maintenance of a system of advantages and disadvantages based on racial and ethnic identities. Come prepared to engage in a dialogue with your fellow participants! 

The workshop is led by Dr. Ulana Klymyshyn and Dr. Cedric Taylor. Dr. Klymyshyn teaches "Racism and discrimination in America through dialogue" at Central Michigan University. She directed the Office of Diversity Education there from 1986 to 2012; part of her duties included developing and facilitating diversity training mainly for staff and faculty. 

Dr. Cedric Taylor is an assistant professor at Central Michigan University, where he teaches "Racism and Inequality" in the departments of Sociology, anthropology and social work.  Dr. Taylor is also exploring using art and video to teach about social problems.

Blue Arrow LeftClick here to register for the training.

Recommended Reading
America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis, Brazos Press (Grand Rapids, MI), 2016.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, The New Press (New York, NY), 2016.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson, Spiegel and Grau (New York, NY), 2015.
Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2013.
Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World by Richard J. Mouw, IVP Books (Downers Grove, IL), 1992


#BlackLives Matter & Community Policing

In response to ongoing of acts of horrendous violence, the people of Grace Church, Holland publicly embraced their call to "be sanctuary," a place of safety, refuge and prayer for all. They're actively committed to the work of social justice in this world and also recognize that that work remains more informed and grounded when they begin in and return regularly to a place of listening and receptivity to God and other. They sent an open invitation to police officers post-Dallas, inviting them to their small chapel where candles have been lit for the officers and citizens who died.

First Steps Cookout
Bishop Hougland recommends this story from Wichita, KS in which a Black Lives Matter march turned into a cookout they called the "First Steps Cookout." Local police broke bread with Black Lives Matter activists and the local community to open the lines of communication and build trust. Click here for the article. Click here to see a video on Facebook. Consider hosting a event like this at your church.

Gun Violence

Battle Creek
Blue Arrow LeftSt. Thomas Church, Battle Creek has received media attention from newspaper and television stations for its efforts to raise awareness of gun violence. The Rev. Brian Coleman, rector of St. Thomas, was inspired to begin displaying the faces of Americans killed in mass shootings in 2016 after the mass shooting that killed six people in Kalamazoo on February 20th. Since then, the walls of the sanctuary have been wallpapered with memorials and photos of the slain. New faces are placed around the altar each Sunday.

  • Blue Arrow LeftClick here to read the article from the Battle Creek Enquirer.
  • Blue Arrow LeftClick here to see the video on WOOD-TV, featuring parish administrator and music director Dr. Stephen White.
  • Blue Arrow LeftClick here to see the story on FOX-17 with the Rev. Brian Coleman.


Bishops Against Gun Violence

Bishop Hougland has recently joined Bishops Against Gun Violence, a group of more than 60 Episcopal bishops working to curtail the epidemic of gun violence in the United States. They offer a number of things on their website, including liturgical resources, as well as detailed information on background checks, illegal gun trafficking and links to mass shooting information and evidence-based solutions.


Parish Administration