The path to racial healing is revealed first through naming the injustices and patterns of racism, then finding a way forward. Early last week, The Episcopal Church took a giant step onto that path when it released the final report of a three-year-long inquiry into the racial dynamics of church leadership. “This racial justice audit, I think for the first time, has given us a real picture of the dynamics and the reality of structural and institutional racism among us,” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said in a press release announcing the report. “It has given us a baseline of where we are, to help us understand where we can, and must, by God’s grace, go.” The audit's findings are not surprising to members of the diocesan Commission on Racial Justice and Reconciliation who find the report makes the case for the necessity of the Commission’s ministry: “to dismantle individual and institutional racism by sharing resources and creating opportunities that inspire and empower faith communities and the larger community, resulting in reconciliation and restoration of all God’s People.” Joe McDaniel, one of the Commission's co-chairs comments, "If we are to live into our Baptismal Covenant, to respect the dignity of all humans, we must passionately embrace the audit’s recommendations to bring about equity and equality in all facets of Episcopal Church life. The work is not easy and will not be accomplished overnight, but with a Christ-filled heart, we can get there. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, 'The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice.'"
The Episcopal Church is offering a series of informational webinars covering the Racial Justice Audit:
The Racial Justice Audit: An Overview: Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at 5 p.m. CDT – Register here
The Racial Justice Audit: The 9 Dominant Patterns: Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at 5 p.m. CDT – Register here
The Racial Justice Audit: Where Do We Go from Here?: Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at 5 p.m. CDT – Register here
The diocesan Commission on Racial Justice and Reconciliation has cultivated a number of resources for anyone interested in learning more about racial healing. Visit their webpage at www.diocgc.org/racial-justice-and-reconciliation. Their Sacred Conversation workshops, held several times throughout the year, explore ways to work together to Become Beloved Community. This offering is required for those in church leadership (such as vestries) and at the diocesan level (including serving on commissions, committees, agencies, boards, etc.). It also qualifies for 8 hours of clergy training/education for those who complete the day course. Here is the calendar of upcoming events.