As an affiliate of the Cross of Nails Community based in Coventry Cathedral, UK, our own Gethsemane Episcopal Church in Marion, Indiana practices a ministry of reconciliation, facilitating often difficult discussions of race, sexuality and poverty. The folks at Gethsemane believe that the purpose of their community is to explore our hope and commitment to live and work toward the reconciliation of all things in Christ. To that end, three areas of mission follow.
Healing the Wounds of History
The wrongs of the past continue to haunt the Marion area. Racism persists. The lynching of two African- American young men and the attempted lynching of a third in 1930 has resulted in considerable pain, anger, and mistrust. The collapse of manufacturing has led to systemic poverty, personal and familial dysfunction across racial groups. The Marion CCN will not solve these problems but rather work to address them through discussion and debate.
Living with Difference and Celebrate Diversity
The community must seek to reconcile issues of identity and inclusion.
As Christians, we are committed to showing by example a way to a just and inclusive society. We will address the issues which divide us such as sexuality, gender, ethnicity, and equity.
Building a Culture of Peace
We will strive for an end to violence on a personal and societal level by becoming a symbol of hope as well advocates for averting violence. We will teach peace.
Over this past year, these mission commitments have led Gethsemane to host in February a discussion of systemic injustice, white privilege, historic wounds, and future steps to healing. A more recent November seminar discussed Reconciling Faith and Poverty.
Pray with our brothers and sisters in Marion for God’s continued support of their ministry!