Many in-person activities are on hold because of COVID-19 and physical distance rules. Please scan down to the reading and on-line resources for ones you can use now.
In our webinar with members of the Presiding Bishop’s staff discussing responses to racial violence last week, the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers helpfully framed the work as threefold: learn, act, pray. You can watch that webinar here.
We also invite us to share what you and your faith community are up to. The call to examine our own systemic racism, historical and contemporary, is an urgent call of the Way of Love, and we can only do this work together. Even if the answer is, “we don’t know where to start,” we invite every faith community in ECMN to fill in this brief survey to let us know how you’re responding to racial violence and systemic racism. We’ll use these responses to create a list of resources that all in ECMN can use to further this work. Take the survey here.
We know that white folks have particular work to do to unlearn the white supremacy that we’ve internalized, so in each section, you’ll see an ask particular to white siblings.
Bishop Loya invites each member of ECMN to read James Baldwin’s incredible The Fire Next Time. (You can purchase it from any of these Black-owned online bookstores.)
Please also see the list of resources shared with us by The Episcopal Church and the Presiding Bishop’s staff.
There has been a lot of conversation recently about abolishing or defunding the police. BIPOC-led community groups have been doing good work around this issue for a long time. Whatever your feelings on the matter, we encourage you to educate yourselves about this urgent conversation by visiting MPD150.com.
Resources from the School For Formation
The School for Formation also offers a course called “Building Bridges Across Culture and Race.” Meaningful steps toward dismantling racism start with understanding our own cultural lens and learning to listen deeply in relationship with others. This course trains you to build your ability to recognize and reconstruct your own cultural and racial bias. Click here to learn more and register.
You can also click here to access five courses on racial justice, through our partner ChurchNext. These courses are short and self-paced, and can be accessed by individuals at home, or by faith communities for group conversation. (They’re free for members of Episcopal Church in Minnesota faith communities — everyone else, please go directly to ChurchNext — they’re not expensive!)
White siblings: Listen. This is a profound moment of opportunity for us to learn about the experiences of children of God who have, simply by virtue of their birth, experienced this world very differently.
We hope that, as the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, you will join us in taking action and committing again to the work of racial reconciliation and justice. We ask all Minnesota Episcopalians to join us, as a start, in taking the following actions:
- Call elected officials to demand justice for George Floyd and for all non-white citizens who experience police violence at disproportionate rates
- If you can, donate to organizations working on the front line of these issues: Black Visions Collective, Reclaim the Block, CTUL, COPAL, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, NAACP Minneapolis, Voices for Racial Justice
- Donate to the family of George Floyd
We invite you to continue to learn and to move beyond your comfort zone to understand your privilege. We’ve curated many resources over the years that you can find here.
Specific to rebuilding efforts:
- Migizi Communication: MIGIZI Communications advances a message of success, well-being and justice for the American Indian community. Support them rebuilding after fire.
- Northside funders group: Raising funds to rebuild on the north side of Minneapolis
- Donate to the Lake Street Council
White siblings: In your social media and in-person discourse, amplify the voices of people of color, particularly Black voices.
Missioners have written a Litany for Minnesota’s Sins of Racism, which we invite you to pray and to adapt to your own needs and purposes.
The resources shared by the Presiding Bishop’s staff include prayers. Find them here.
White siblings, we invite you to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Resist the urge to seek for easy answers, or to wash your hands of culpability.
Other Activities and Events
YWCA Minneapolis is a nonprofit organization founded in 1891 as a member of YWCA USA, the oldest and largest multicultural organization in the world. Our mission is to eliminate racism, empower women and girls and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
Circle of the Beloved*
In the Fall of 2016, The Episcopal Church in Minnesota, together with St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, community organizers and neighbors, launched Circle of the Beloved: the Minnesota chapter of the Episcopal Service Corps. Four Residents live in intentional community on the North side of Minneapolis and serve full time at Americorps sites that work to close opportunity gaps in Minnesota. At Circle, we intend to live together in intentional Christian community that acknowledges and deepens kinship across many lines of difference.
Penumbra Theatre creates professional productions that are artistically excellent, thought provoking, and relevant and illuminates the human condition through the prism of the African American experience.
Minnesota Council of Churches—Black Speakers Bureau*
To help the church reflect on the challenges of being Christian in America after Charleston, Falcon Heights, Baton Rouge, and other such incidents, the Minnesota Council of Churches has organized a speakers’ bureau of Christian leaders from our Historic Black Churches. Hearing the stories of these pastors and their families about being black in Minnesota will build empathy in your congregation, which aids discernment of right action. Help your community learn from black Christian leaders about their experiences and concerns by inviting one to speak in your church.
The Episcopal Church Resources on Racial Reconciliation
ECMN Curated Resources – Articles, Books, and Videos
If you have additional items you think would be good for our resources, please email your Missioner for Community Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional courses and formation classes on racial reconciliation can be found at the ECMN School for Formation.
How To Be an Anti-Racist (Book)
Anti-racist Starter Packet (Article)
Black Elk Speaks (Book)
I’m Not Going to Say Racial Profiling Does Not Exist – Brian Todd, Rochester Post-Bulliten
Something Rotten in the State of Minnesota – Taylor Gee, Politico Magazine
The Stewardship of White Privilege – Luther Seminary
Under Our Skin (Video) – Seattle Times
“What can I do to change to be a better American?” (Video) – Washington Journal, C-Span
ECMN Commission on Reconciliation
The Commission is a group of ECMN community members from faith communities around Minnesota. They have a passion of racial reconciliation and addressing the many ways racial oppression impacts our neighborhoods. This group comes together every other month to talk about books, events, and tools that can be used within ECMN. They are currently compiling a list of resources for faith communities.
If you are interested in this work or joining the Commission, email Rachel Babbitt, Missioner for Community Engagement. (email: email@example.com)