On Saturday, June 23, 2018, the Commission on Racial Justice & Reconciliation met at the diocesan School of Ministry, located at St. Agatha’s in DeFuniak Spring, Florida. One of its key matters to address was to continue collaborative discussions toward formally adopting its mission statement to guide the Commission’s actions. The mission statement reads as follows:
“As members of the Jesus Movement, our mission is 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.”
The statement springs from many sources, including a keen focus on our Baptismal Covenant obligations and our call into the Jesus Movement by Presiding Bishop Curry and Bishop Russell. We also have enjoyed assistance from an iconic leader in racial healing, Dr. Catherine Meeks, who is the executive director of the Atlanta based Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing, who met with the entire commission earlier in the year for an all day in-service workshop. Dr. Meeks guided the commission members on the best practices for the successful functioning of the Commission’s work.
In doing its work, the Commission will host two more “Racial Reconciliation Living into The Beloved Community” Workshops this year: on October 20, 2018 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Panama City and on December 8, 2018 at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Mobile. Watch for advertisements, as space is limited. In addition, more facilitators are being trained so that more workshops can be held each year. Pilgrimages to sacred and meaningful sites will be conducted. Resources will be shared covering a wide range of group study books, videos, facilitated sharing sessions, examinations into our implicit biases and prejudices, and historical glimpses into our past to see where we as a church stood on issues such as slavery and segregation. Watch for the public Facebook page postings, as well as a website which will keep all current with news and events, as well as offering resources for your use. It’s been said before, but to eliminate, we must illuminate. As we help create and foster meaningful relationships among us all extending out beyond our parish campuses, we believe we will grow into the Beloved Community Jesus Christ often described.
The Commission on Racial Justice & Reconciliation is co-chaired by Gary Moore, St. Paul’s, Daphne and Joe McDaniel, Jr, Christ Church Parish, Pensacola who can be reached respectively at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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