The Rev. Charles Wynder presents to convention on Becoming Beloved Community
Joining us on Friday of diocesan convention is the Rev. Charles Wynder, Jr., the presiding bishop’s Staff Officer for Social Justice and Advocacy Engagement. He is also the priest-in-charge at The Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter in Washington, D.C. Chuck will present two sessions on Becoming the Beloved Community, which is the church’s response to General Convention resolution C019, “Work for Racial Justice and Reconciliation.”
On Becoming Beloved Community is the resource that emerged from the presiding officers of the church as they reflected on their own narratives in engaging the work of racial justice and healing, both inside and outside of the church. “We were charged with developing this initiative to address systemic racism, to imagine how we as a church can participate in God’s reconciling mission,” explained the Rev. Wynder. “And how we can invite the whole Episcopal Church into this work.”
For some of his time with the diocese, he hopes to celebrate the work we are engaged in, of the Dismantling Racism Commission, our responsiveness to Ferguson and the Stockley verdict. “In St. Louis and around the diocese, the church has been present and grappling with racial injustice. Missouri Episcopalians have been on the ground and engaged in truth telling and justice making, but also there for the healing work that is ongoing,” he added.
He intends to invite the people of the diocese at convention to “come into the labyrinth” and engage the work of becoming beloved community. We imagine this labyrinth as our journey to reconciliation and healing, organizing our efforts to respond to racial injustice and grow a community of reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers.
Becoming Beloved Community imagines this labyrinth with four quadrants: Telling the Truth about the Church and Race; Proclaiming the Dream of Beloved Community; Practicing the Way of Love; Repairing the Breach in Society and Institutions. There is no single path imagined for every person or even every Episcopalian.
At convention, Chuck will share information on this, and in table discussions we’ll reflect on how and where we enter the labyrinth individually, and as a diocese.
The Becoming Beloved Community resources are linked on the convention page at diocesemo.org/convention2017.
- Becoming Beloved Community Where You Are: A Resource for Individuals, Congregations and Communities
- Becoming Beloved Community, Commitment and Plan
Resolution Number 2015-C019
Work for Racial Justice and Reconciliation
Resolved, That the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church confesses that, despite repeated efforts at anti-racism training as well as racial justice and racial reconciliation initiatives including the passage of more than 30 General Convention resolutions dating back to 1952, the abomination and sin of racism continue to plague our society and our Church at great cost to human life and human dignity; we formally acknowledge our historic and contemporary participation in this evil and repent of it; and be it further
Resolved, That in the wake of the brutal, overtly racist murders of nine of our Christian brothers and sisters of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015; numerous inexcusable deaths of unarmed black men and youth at the hands of law enforcement personnel; and the moral atrocity of mass incarceration in which a hugely disproportionate number of persons of color have been unfairly caught in the net of an unjust criminal justice system, the 78th General Convention affirms as a top priority of The Episcopal Church in the upcoming triennium the challenging and difficult work of racial reconciliation through prayer, teaching, engagement, and action; and be it further
Resolved, That 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; and be it further
Resolved, That the Presiding Bishop, President of the House of Deputies, Vice President of the House of Bishops, and Vice President of the House of Deputies be charged to lead, direct, and be present to assure and account for the Church’s work of racial justice and reconciliation; and be it further
Resolved, That the General Convention request that the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance consider a budget allocation of $1.2 million for the Triennium for the implementation of this resolution.