The Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana has received the following announcement and invitation:
The Center for Racial Healing is a partnership between the Diocese of Atlanta and Bishop Michael Curry, therefore we are designated to be a part of the resources for the wider church, a task that we enthusiastically embrace. However, it is my belief that we should listen carefully to the wider church’s voice before we move too quickly into this work in an expanded manner.
The Diocese of Atlanta has been diligently working to reimagine the work of dismantling racism and we have developed a new model which we call “Eucharist Centered Dismantling Racism Training.” We have clearly aligned this work with the journey of life time ongoing spiritual formation. Along with this new approach, we have designed several major initiatives to move the work beyond the training day which has led us to focus heavily upon mobilizing our individual parishes to establish parish based dismantling racism activities.
It is our sincere belief that the work of dismantling racism cannot be sustainable until it is embraced by individual parishes, their leadership and communicants. Thus, if it is treated as all other spiritual formation work, it becomes a part of the life of the church and there is a better chance that we will impact the larger community in that case.
This shift in focus brought good outcomes in our Diocese and our work began to spread to the wider church. Ultimately this lead Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to include us in the strategic plan released by his office earlier this year and to enter into this partnership with us.
The Center for Racial Healing is hosting a National Conversation on February 28- March 1, 2018 with several members of the Presiding Bishop’s Staff participating. I would like to invite you to send at least two representatives from your Diocese to participate in this event. We will begin with dinner on February 28 and the necessary preliminaries which will prepare the group for an early morning beginning with Eucharist and a full day of conversation about their work. We will be asking participants to explore the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges regarding their diocesan dismantling racism initiatives as well as exploring the ways in which the Center can be of service and support to them as the work continues.
By now, we hope you will have watched the video Bishop Doug, Bishop Baskerville-Burrows and Bishop Gafkjen have made about our upcoming Story Sharing Initiative, in which participants share a meal and talk with one another about how they have come to their present understandings of the role race plays in their lives, and what Jesus is calling us toward in reconciling love together.
We will be sending a team from the Story Sharing Initiative to the National Conversation in order that they might share what we have been doing with the larger church and learn from what others have been doing in their own contexts. We pray for their safe and productive journey while we eagerly await hearing from them on their return!