“As the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, we dream and work to foster Beloved Communities where all people may experience dignity and abundant life and see themselves and others as beloved children of God. [Together we will work] to understand and take up the long-term commitments necessary to form loving, liberating, and life-giving relationships with each other.
Together, we are growing as reconcilers, justice- makers, and healers in the name of Christ.”
– Episcopal Presiding Bishop Curry’s Beloved Community Website
Buliding Beloved Community Booklet to print
In 2021-22, we entered into a season of prayer, study, and exploration of what it means to be the Beloved Community. This is an ongoing journey we take together, learning and examining biases and privilege, studying race and ethnicity, and embracing God’s call to be reconcilers. We were unable to take our Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Alabama in 2021, and are rescheduling it for January, 2023. This page outlines the work we have done, and we will continue to do this work together.
We have all committed ourselves to this work in our baptismal covenant, promising to “serve Christ in all persons” and to “strive for justice and peace among all people.”
Monthly Intergenerational Learning: Tell Me the Truth about Racism
Tell Me the Truth about Racism invites Christian disciples of all ages into the work of antiracism through faith in God.
This curriculum is meant to bring people of all ages to a childlike state of wonder to do the work of antiracism through faith. Using music and storytelling we will share the experiences of systemic racism through history and see it with new eyes.
We believe that framing racism in the context of our faith offers a powerful value system to ground an otherwise difficult discussion. This approach defines racism as “the lie in our world that some people are better than others based on the color of their skin.” It is only because of the Truth we know from God, that all people are equally children of God, that we can clearly frame racism as a lie. After we share stories, we will split into affinity groups to wonder about the stories, God, and our world. The affinity groups will be separated into: BIPOC adults, children, youth, parents, and adults. Some groups may be combined depending on our numbers.
Movie Discussion: Traces of the Trade
In the feature documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, filmmaker Katrina Browne discovers that her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She and nine cousins retrace the Triangle Trade and gain powerful new perspectives on the black/white divide. Our discussion will be facilitated by Jon and Susie Dutcher.
But the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends. The type of love that I stress here is not eros, a sort of esthetic or romantic love; not philia, a sort of reciprocal love between personal friends; but it is agape which is understanding goodwill for all men. It is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. It is the love of God working in the lives of men.
This is the love that may well be the salvation of our civilization.
––The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sacred Ground Discussion Group
This is a race dialogue series designed for these times. It is an attempt to be responsive to the profound challenges that currently exist in our society. It is focused on the challenges that swirl around issues of race and racism, as well as the difficult but respectful and transformative dialogue we need to have with each other about them.
Sacred Ground is a sensitive, prayerful resource that creates space for difficult but respectful and transformative dialogue on race and racism. It invites participants to walk back through history in order to peel away the layers that brought us to today, reflecting on family histories and stories, as well as important narratives that shape the collective American story.
It holds as a guiding star the vision of beloved community – where all people are honored and protected and nurtured as beloved children of God, where we weep at one another’s pain and seek one another’s flourishing.
Participation HIGHLY encouraged for those going on the Pilgrimage.
Civil Rights Pilgrimage - Montgomery, AL
Anchored in the knowledge that all are created in God’s image, and seeking to respect the dignity of every human being, this March we will take a pilgrimage to Alabama. We will immerse ourselves in the history of racism and civil rights in an effort to build God’s beloved community. Engaging with the past will enable us to look within and work together toward a more faithful future. This trip is designed for pilgrims of all ages, and will take place the week of Spring Break for Deerfield schools. We will anchor our trip to Alabama at the Legacy Museum and Memorial in Montgomery, visit the Rosa Parks Museum, and take a day trip to Selma where we will walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. We will hear speakers, enjoy social time, pray, learn, sing, and grow in wisdom and faith together. Exact costs will be calculated once we have a firm number committed to the trip.
Transportation to Montgomery, AL is not included – but travelling together in small groups is encouraged! Our pilgrimage will begin on March 21st and end on March 23rd.
Dates: tentatively January 3-5, 2023 (not inclusive of travel)
Approximate cost: $400/per person (double occupancy) – not inclusive of travel
Itinerary to include:
- Montgomery, AL – The Legacy Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice
- Montgomery, AL – Rosa Parks Museum
- Selma, AL – Edmund Pettus Bridge
- Selma, AL – Lowndes Interpretive Center
Link to Civil Rights Pilgrimage Event Page
Building Beloved Community
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Bystander Intervention Training
In this one-hour, interactive online training, participants will:
- learn about the types of disrespect and dangers that Asian and Asian American folks are facing right now and throughout history – from microaggressions to violence.
- understand what to look for in scenarios and the positive impact that bystander intervention has on individuals and communities.
- talk through five strategies (5Ds) for intervention and how to prioritize your own safety while intervening.
Just Mercy Discussion Group
We will come together to discuss Bryan Stevenson’s book (also a major motion picture), Just Mercy. It is described as, “an unforgettable true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to end mass incarceration in America.” Mr. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, which opened the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, AL, one of the key stops on our Civil Rights Pilgrimage.