Jesus teaches us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and in his life on earth he modeled that by removing the lines that divided race and class, ethnicity and gender. As faithful Christians, each of us is called to share in that work here and now. Each of us has vowed in baptism to love our neighbor as ourselves and strive for justice and peace among all.
The Episcopal Church made a specific commitment to racial reconciliation a few years ago, establishing the Becoming Beloved Community (BBC) framework. Becoming Beloved Community represents not so much a set of programs as a journey, a set of interrelated commitments around which Episcopalians may organize our many efforts to respond to racial injustice and grow a community of reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers.
You can read more here from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry about how this is the work of the Church, together, and of faithful Christians.
Members of Trinity Church are beginning this intentional journey, building on the strong work over the past several years of the God’s Diversity Committee, and everyone in the congregation is invited to join the journey. More information about BBC is available, or you can just get started learning, listening, and acting. All discussion programs will be held through virtual meetings.
STEP 1: Participate in the 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge
21-day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge: For 21 days, do one action daily to further your understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, and equity. This website includes suggestions for readings, podcasts, videos, observations, and ways to form and deepen community connections.
Another list of resources to use for your 21-day challenge is the Episcopal Church Racial Justice Resources page. A curated collection of resources for engagement and learning on the themes of racial justice, healing and reconciliation. The list includes resources for working with young people.
Track your progress:
Get started on your own, or invite a few members of the congregation to study and discuss with you. If you make this commitment with us and miss a day or two, don’t worry; the goal is to build a regular habit of learning and listening.
STEP 2: Join a Discussion Group
Please join us for small discussion groups forming to continue the Trinity Racial Reconciliation Initiative. In October, the groups will reflect on what you have learned during the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. Then in November, we will be watching a recent PBS documentary on our own, entitled “Driving While Black”, followed by discussion groups on Nov. 19.
Based on responses so far, we have decided to only have one meeting time (not three, as previously advertised), but we will break into small discussion groups within this meeting. Discussions will be led by Deacon Leslie, Anne Dalesandro, and Nancy Matthews. Please use the zoom link below:
“Driving While Black” is available on PBS.org for free until Nov. 10, and then should be available on paid networks after that time.
STEP 3: Continue the work
Where we go next as a congregation will depend on the interests and responses of parishioners. Some of the options include:
Sacred Ground Program: Sacred Ground is a film- and readings-based dialogue series on race, grounded in faith. It was created for the Episcopal Church community. Small groups are invited to walk through chapters of America’s history of race and racism, while weaving in threads of family story, economic class, and political and regional identity. The 10-part series is built around a powerful online curriculum of documentary films and readings that focus on Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian/Pacific American histories as they intersect with European American histories.
Workshops on racial awareness topics: The National Museum of African American History and Culture offers a curriculum with numerous topics for self-exploration and group discussion in their series Talking About Race.
Book Discussion Group: Read a more in-depth book on an anti-racism topic and discuss with others.
Faith-based Advocacy: Join the Episcopal Public Policy Network and other organizations to advocate for public policies to pursue the dream of the Beloved Community.