Our diocesan strategic plan calls us to “engage [equity and justice] issues such as racial justice, gun violence prevention, LGBTQIA+ equal rights, and immigration reform through on-going trainings, workshops, pilgrimages, and public witness.” This year, we’ve done notable work engaging in each of these areas and making progress on our Year Three measurable objectives.
In January, we offered a 6-week course on LGBTQIA Humility and Competence through the School for Christian Faith and Leadership to raise awareness of the experience of LQBTQIA persons in our communities and identify key theologies and practices to welcome and affirm them.
Also in January, at Diocesan Convention, Bishop Mariann commissioned the Creation Care Task Force. The call to this work was met with much enthusiasm and the Task Force set about the task of surveying the congregations about their creation care work. They have prepared a report which will be shared soon. Their next steps will be to look at possible initiatives for us to adopt regionally or as a diocese.
In fulfillment of General Convention resolutions mandating that all congregational leaders take anti-racism training, we have continued to offer anti-racism training twice a year, now online through the School for Christian Faith and Leadership. Watch for fall dates. This Spring the anti-racism course was offered for the first time in Spanish, an offering that will be repeated in coming years.
A change in name to the EDOW Refugee Response Team helped to reflect that this group is engaged in welcoming all refugees and migrants, from those coming from Afghanistan and Ukraine to the more recent migrants arriving on buses from Texas and Arizona. You read more about the work of the RRT in this article by Nancy Stockbridge, interim chair.
The Prison Ministry Task Force continues to provide welcome home bags to returning citizens along with phone and transit cards. They also provide short term mentorship to returning citizens.
In May, the Reparations Task Force offered “Repairing the Breach: Reparations as Healing,” an evening with Dr. Catherine Meeks and other leaders, as they continue to do the work of laying the foundation for EDOW’s commitment to remembering, reckoning with, and reconciling our histories pertaining to racism. This event is part of the lead up to the October 1st event Repairing the Breach: A Symposium on Reparations with a keynote address by the Rev. Canon Kelly Brown Douglas. This symposium, as well as a curriculum for congregations to learn about the work of reparations, will lay the groundwork for a resolution publicly acknowledging these harms to be presented and the 2023 Diocesan Convention. Register for the symposium and download the flyer for the curriculum.
Earlier this month, members of the Diocese celebrated at DC’s Pride March and, for the first time, the Diocese hosted a booth at the Pride Festival the following day.
In June parishes also participated in March for Our Lives, calling for an end to the country’s rampant gun violence crisis and the enactment of sensible gun safety laws, and the Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March, calling for the restoration of voting rights.
We are pleased to welcome Rudy Logan as our interim missioner for Equity and Justice who will continue the good work of Hazel Monae, our former missioner.
Christ has no body but ours, no hands, no feet on earth but ours. Ours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world. Ours are the hands with which he blesses all the world (adapted from Christ Has No Body, Teresa of Avila). In the Diocese of Washington, we are committed to living Jesus’s Way of Love by leading with compassion, blessing our communities, and striving for equity and justice in our words and deeds.
The Rev. Dr. Anne-Marie Jeffery
Canon for Congregational Vitality