Becoming Beloved Community: Inclusion and justice as a way of life

Becoming Beloved Community: Inclusion and justice as a way of life

As we begin our Lenten journey, many of us will choose Becoming Beloved Community as our Lenten discipline, opening our hearts and minds to a theology and practice that offers a way of living into justice and reconciliation as a way of life.

This week, our emphasis is on the first step, which is “telling the truth.” As individuals, Lent challenges us to deepen our understanding of the truth in our lives as examined by the values and light of the Gospel of Christ. This same question needs to be asked at the level of community, and each one of us may choose to highlight the telling of truth within the communities of which we form a part.

At the level of the wider church, telling the truth is associated with church-wide surveys on how, and what, we are doing in terms of inclusion and justice.  Here in the Diocese of Oregon, our communal telling the truth, this year, is a generous invitation for as many of our leaders and voices as possible to participate in Diverse Church I.

So, let’s be generous in doing this work!

Click here to read the introduction and first theme of becoming Beloved Community.
Click here to “sign up” and commit to Becoming Beloved Community as your Lenten journey.
Click here for this year’s Diverse Church workshops in the Diocese of Oregon.

Blessings in Christ,
The Rev. Patricia Steagall
Diocesan Coordinator for Diverse Church

Becoming Beloved Community Week 1: Telling the Truth

(Ash Wednesday through Feb. 24)

PRAYER:

Q:          Will you persevere in resisting evil, and whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
A:          We will, with God’s help.

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

– Prayer for the Human Family (Book of Common Prayer, p. 815)

REFLECTION AND LEARNING:

  1. Read the detailed description of Becoming Beloved Community, focusing on Telling the Truth (pages 9-12)
  2. Read the Pastoral Letter written by the House of Bishops in 1994 on confronting the sin of racism.

ACTION:

For individuals:

  1. Anti-racism training is a requirement for all leaders in the Episcopal Church. In the Diocese of Oregon, the expectation is that this training (Diverse Church I) be taken at least once every ten years.
  2. If you haven’t taken the training recently, make the commitment now to take one of the workshops that will be offered throughout the rest of the year. (Click here for dates and registration.)

For congregations and groups:

  • Commit to surveying your leadership structure and see who might need to take this training – Ex: Vestry and BAC members, clergy and staff, church leaders and teachers, boards, convention delegates, and those in your congregation or group who serve at the diocesan level. Encourage those who need to take the training to commit and sign up for workshops that will be offered throughout the rest of the year. (Click here for dates and registration.)