Continuing the Work

In this moment of agony for our communities, we find strength in the truth that we are all beloved children of God, knit together by the sacrificial, life-giving love of Jesus. However, we know that racism is a deep wound dividing the body of Christ.

Our call to practice the Way of Love means that we are called to true, deep reconciliation, to healing the wound in our body. For some of us, that means space to mourn, to roar with rage, to turn inward to our families and communities, even to despair. Those of us who benefit from white privilege must mourn and shout, but more than that, as practitioners of love, we are called to listen, to bear witness to the anguish of this moment.

The work is urgent and the need is great. As I heard in your ECMN profile, racial justice and reconciliation will be pillars of our life and work together during my time as your Bishop.

The Episcopal Church in Minnesota offices are located in North Minneapolis, a predominantly African American community which has and continues to be targeted by agitators and white supremacists determined to cause harm to our neighbors and to local businesses. We have work to do to figure out how to show up and support this community.

We are fortunate already to have a network of partners in this work, beginning with our neighbor Sammy McDowell, owner of Sammy’s Avenue Eatery, which is co-located with the ECMN offices. Sammy’s has been a gathering point for community leaders during this crisis, and we have much to learn from these leaders about how we respond with integrity and courage when our community is in crisis, and how we build a new future together.

We continue to call on our leaders for justice for George Floyd and meaningful reform of policing in this city.

We are grateful for the support and work that our lay and ordained leaders have undertaken over the last few days: protesting, helping with clean-up, providing donated goods, and holding vigils.

We hope that, as the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, you will join us in taking action and committing again to the work of racial reconciliation and justice. We ask all Minnesota Episcopalians to join us, as a start, in taking the following actions:

White siblings, we have particular work to do:

  • We invite you first of all to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Resist the urge to seek for easy answers, or to wash your hands of culpability.
  • This is a profound moment of opportunity for us to learn about the experiences of children of God who have, simply by virtue of their birth, experienced this world very differently.
  • Amplify the voices of people of color, particularly African American voices.

We invite you to continue to learn and to move beyond your comfort zone to understand your privilege. We’ve curated many resources over the years that you can find here.

Specific to rebuilding efforts:

 

The Very Rev. Craig Loya
Bishop-elect, Episcopal Church in Minnesota

The Rt. Rev. Brian N. Prior
The Episcopal Church in Minnesota

Here are some ways we can respond to racist violence as the people of God: Click here