Earl B. Scott Chapter – Union of Black Episcopalians

Why We Need Anti-Racism In Our Church?

When you see the word Racism what do you think of?  Many people are fearful because Racism is so hurtful to so many.  The idea of developing an Anti-Racist culture in the Episcopal Church is one that has come to fruition in the Diocese of New Jersey.  We are about half way through a 20 year vision of addressing the sin of Racism in our parishes.

The Diocese of New Jersey has established an Anti-Racism Commission which plans and governs the Anti-Racism strategy of the Diocese. The commission has partnered with Crossroads Antiracism Organization to provide 2 ½ and 3 ½ day trainings to members of the Diocese who are candidates for the Deaconate, newly appointed Priests or interested in deepening their understanding of Anti-Racism.  Bishop George Counsel has mandated individuals interested in becoming a deacon or priests attend a 2 ½ day anti-racism training by Crossroads prior to their assignment in the diocese. The Anti-Racism Team presents 2 hour trainings to local parishes in search of new priest at the request of the Bishop.

One might ask why we need an Anti-Racism Commission or Team in the Episcopal Church. There are a number of reasons. First, we are all members of the body of Christ and as members of the body we all matter.  The Bible says that no part of the body is more important than the other but all parts are needed to make the body whole. The second reason, God is love.  Where else should the love of God be more evident than in the church.  The third reason is the Episcopal Church is an institution, and racism has a way of invading institutions.  Because of the love of God for all of his people and the fact that we are members of the body of Christ we have a group of people both white and people of color that unite in our diocese to address the sin of racism.

If you are interested in how racism can invade and affect people who are members of an institution then I would recommend that you see the movie “Traces of the Trade”.  This is a documentary by an Episcopal Priest of how her family and the Episcopal Church were involved in the slave trade in Africa, Cuba and United States.   It is a journey that I would recommend everyone who loves God and the Episcopal Church take by watching this movie.

How can you help?  Get involved with your diocese.   Province II recently conducted an anti-racism conference where members from various dioceses in different states and countries gathered.  If you do not have Anti-Racism groups in your diocese get in touch with your province anti-racism leaders.  If you have an Anti-Racism group in your diocese I urge you to join them in spreading the love of God to all of the members of the body in his church.


About the Author:

A lifelong Episcopalian, member of the Diocese of New Jersey’s Anti-Racism Commission and Training Team, an active member of St. Augustine’s in Asbury Park, NJ, Kevin Thompson is a business strategist, consultant, award winning professional speaker and owner of Inspired Communications LLC .com. Kevin helps clients transform their business to a level of excellence their customers desire through training, process improvement and leadership development.

Contact him at: Kevin@InspiredCommunicationLLC.com

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