Letter from the Bishops of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut
January 3, 2019
Dear Companions in Christ:
At our 2018 Annual Convention of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT) clergy and lay delegates passed the resolution, “Affirming Racial Justice, Healing and Reconciliation.” This resolution was informed by the concerted efforts of the Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation Ministry Network and the work undertaken by our ECCT Leadership Gathering (Mission Council, Standing Committee, Commission on Ministry, and Donations & Bequests) in response to the 2017 Annual Convention resolution, “Affirming Racial Reconciliation.”
Our recent Convention’s action was comprehensive and called for specific actions and we commend the 2018 resolution to you in its entirety. To begin with, the resolution launched a Season of Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut to last a minimum of two years. The goals of the Season are to: introduce foundational concepts, language, and tools to help encourage and enable congregations to begin opening hearts and minds; acknowledge the reality of white supremacy and bias against people of color; and awaken Episcopalians in Connecticut to the need for concerted action to address the ongoing injustice of the racial divide. We recognize this is work many of us have already engaged in various ways for a long time. We also recognize that while the resolution invites us into this work for a minimum of two years, we will be committed to this work for the rest of our lives.
The resolution sets aside the second Sunday in February 2019 as a Day of Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation in ECCT during which parishes are asked to begin a conversation about the sin of racism in our lives and in the world. We ask that you take seriously the call of Convention for this second Sunday in February. Resources to assist your parish with this Day of Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation, as well as the Season of the same, can be found on the website of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, here. As more resources are added, these will be announced in the weekly eNewsetters from ECCT.
Member of the Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation Ministry Network are available to work with you and your parish in our call to undo the racism in our lives, and in our church, and in our world. Contact either Suzy Burke or the Rev. Rowena Kemp to begin this conversation.
We encourage all clergy and lay leaders in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut to begin to plan how you will live into the actions of our Convention resolution in 2019 and beyond. In our ministries, we seek to build up the one body and make space for these holy conversations. This is a season of growth and transformation for all of us. We are committed to making progress toward racial healing, justice, and reconciliation across ECCT over the next few years. We look forward to sharing this journey with you.
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas
The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens