Becoming an Inclusive "Beloved Community" Antiracism Initiative
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
You may have heard about the formation of the Beloved Community Commission here at our parish. We are pleased to invite you to join us in the work of seeking “to serve Christ in all persons,” and we have included here the answers to some of the questions you might have about the commission. Please know that all interested persons are welcome to participate on the Commission and to become members.
Why form a Beloved Community Commission?
The Christian mandate is the directive we received from Jesus to “love one another.” In our Baptismal Covenant we promise “to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves” and “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” To this end, we strive to re-examine our relationship to the body politic, remembering that our Christian responsibility to the creation of a just and fair society is work we are called to do by our Lord. Public policy, the economy, the environment, and equal access to participation in this endangered democracy cannot be compartmentalized away from the authentic Christian message.
Where do we begin?
We start by being clear about our own beliefs. What is our tradition truly saying to us? We must move toward knowing and speaking the truth to each other about what we say we believe and how our beloved church has been so often in violation of that.
What will the Commission do?
As Christians, we are called to speak and live in a way that refutes the culture of materialism, untruth, self-centeredness, greed, White supremacy, and domination. We must ask ourselves how we can live out change and help create change that contradicts the old mindset. We start with reading, awareness, reflection, open dialogue, and action.
Who is on the Beloved Community Commission?
Current members of the Beloved Community Commission include Michael Thomas, Linda Brown, Russ Ingersoll, Bill Drake, Carol Lucas, Mark Lile-King, Rev Sarah Carver and Rev David Umphlett. We hope to have representation from every commission and committee of the church. The invitation to join is open to every member of our parish, regardless of where you are on your respective antiracism journey.
If you are interested in becoming a member of this commission, please contact any of the members or email the parish administrator at .
Opportunities to Engage in the Work of Building Beloved Community
Dismantling Racism: Recalling Our Baptismal Promise
The new “Dismantling Racism: Reclaiming Our Baptismal Promise” is an interactive workshop designed to deepen spiritual commitment to dismantling racism as participants in the Jesus Movement. Through presentations, prayer, story sharing, videos and small group discussion, participants explore how the sin of racism impacts all lives. Registration is available at www.episdionc.org/racial-justice-reconciliation/
September 24, 5-8 p.m. and September 25, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
November 12, 5-8 p.m. and November 13, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Beloved Community Kickoff Event
All those who feel the call to respond to the invitation to be a part of the work of building beloved community are encouraged to attend the kickoff event. Speakers will be announced.
October 3 from 4 – 5:30 p.m., Haywood Duke
The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee: Led by Father Umphlett, this book group will read The Sum of Us, a new book highlighting the price all people have paid for the perpetuation of racist ideas and practices. Though the book is a secular work, we will consider its connections to the Biblical imperative to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are all connected at the atomic level. Why then do we participate in systems that not only harm others, but harm ourselves as well? Are we really loving ourselves if we aren’t loving our neighbors?
Tuesdays, October 5 through December 7, 6:30-8 p.m., Broome Hall
The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for Beloved Community by Stephanie Spellers: Led by Dr. Linda Brown, this group will explore this new work which, “explores the American story and the Episcopal story in order to find out how communities steeped in racism, establishment, and privilege can at last fall in love with Jesus, walk humbly with the most vulnerable and embody beloved community in our own broken but beautiful way.” (Church Publishing)
Thursdays in October, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Broome Hall
Holy Trinity Parishioners,
The COVID pandemic has not only been a challenge to all aspects of our lives, but it has also provided ample time to reflect upon the Black Lives Matter movement, triggered by George Floyd’s death. Your Vestry has been motivated to respond to these acts of anti-black racism.
Therefore, as your Senior Warden, I appointed a group of parishioners to consider prayerfully Holy Trinity’s response to this awareness. The result is the Beloved Community Task Force. After much reflection and research, this group recommended a statement acknowledging past insufficiencies in our Christian life and setting Holy Trinity on a path to become an anti-racist community. Your Vestry adopted this statement on September 28, 2020.
The special Parish Post posted below contains the adopted statement. It also includes additional information about Holy Trinity’s response in conjunction with ongoing initiatives of our North Carolina diocese and The Episcopal Church nationally.
As you read this edition, pray for the discernment process and clarity regarding Holy Trinity’s path going forward. It is our hope that we begin together to find our way to a full and continuing Christian response.
Bill Drake, Senior Warden