Becoming Beloved Community

Telling the Truth about Our Churches and Race


The Episcopal Church’s work toward racial reconciliation, healing and justice is guided by the long-term commitment to Becoming Beloved Community. We organize our ministries around the four quadrants of the labyrinth. Each quadrant represents a commitment that is vital to lasting change within us, our churches, our communities, and society at large.

  • Telling the Truth about Our Churches and Race
  • Proclaiming the Dream of Beloved Community
  • Practicing Jesus’ Way of Healing Love
  • Repairing the Breach in Society and Institutions

Reconciliation, healing, and new life require telling the truth about The Episcopal Church’s racial composition and complicity in systems of racial justice and injustice – past and present.

Truth telling in the context of racial justice often feels daunting. The history of racial injustice is so long and so deep in our country that facing it can feel overwhelming. Truth telling in the context of racial justice can feel frightening. White people might feel fear that they will be seen as “bad people” and be shamed and blamed. People of Color might feel that they will be seen as finger pointers or as people who can’t just “get over it.” Still other people feel that truth telling is no more than the pursuit of pain to punish the offenders or cleanse the oppressed.

Truth telling in the context of racial justice can be painful and emotional. However, truth telling is something that we as Episcopalians actually have practice in doing. Liturgically we practice truth telling in the act of Confession and Absolution. We tell the truth about where we have failed. This truth telling has both an individual and corporate component. It involves both God and other people.

A recent Beloved Community incarnation: after a forum on Indigenous Spirituality in the Philippines and fabulous coffee/lumpia hour hosted by Trinity, Everett during the EDSP delegation’s visit in September.

So it is with truth telling in the context of racial justice. We tell the truth about how our church has been involved in systems of racial injustice and in efforts towards racial justice. We examine how we as a church have benefited from racial injustice. We examine the history and the results of that history. We say how we have “not loved our neighbors as ourselves.”

As we work to become Beloved Community, we look at the truth in a number of ways. We ask questions:

What racial, cultural, and ethnic groups are in our church? Who is in the communities around us? What’s the difference? What racial, cultural, and ethnic groups have historically and predominantly shaped our common life, leadership, and worship? Why? How has our church excluded or embraced the presence and power of different racial, cultural and ethnic groups throughout history and to this day?

We take advantages of opportunities and tools we have as a church:

All of these are here for us as a part of our commitment to Telling the truth about our churches and race.

Baptismal Promise: Will you persevere in resisting evil, and whenever we fall into sin, repent, and return to the Lord?

Our Answer: I will with God’s help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *