“I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.” (Jn. 13:34-35)
Welcome to 2020 Vision for Becoming Beloved Community—a year of resources to aid you on your journey to follow the path laid out by Jesus to love one another as God loves us.
This resource was developed by the staff and members of the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Beloved Community Initiative. Our purpose is two-fold. It is our hope that this will help individuals and groups to build on the diocesan Dismantling Racism training. We also hope that even if you have not attended the training, this program will be used as an adult and/or intergenerational education tool for you or your parish. You could choose to work your way through it as an individual, with a partner or two, or with a larger group.
From its inception as an idea from Ms. Donna Prime on a Zoom call with our Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Beloved Community Initiative, to the resource we see now, much love and prayer and gentle guidance of the Spirit have surrounded us in our work. The creation of 2020 Vision for Becoming Beloved Community involved ongoing difficult dialogue among community members, church members and committee members. We heard from white people who want to learn more about race and racism. We heard from people of color who are tired of teaching and want white folks to move from learning about oppression to focus on actively acting against it. This document is our attempt at action centered on learning. We want people to understand learning is the beginning, not the end, of our commitment to racial justice.
Engaging with 2020 Vision for Becoming Beloved Community is an invitation to address racism in our communities. We hope that you will help build our next steps in this journey through sharing your honest thoughts and opinions with us in our on-line community. Faithful people know this work is important, and the work is both joyous and hard. Staying grounded in our faith, in constant communication with the One whose vision we seek to hold and bring to reality, is what will bind us as we engage in this 2020 Vision for Becoming Beloved Community.
Each month you will find materials that focus on a central theme introduced with a theological reflection, followed by suggestions in five areas: Learn, Notice, Engage, Reflect, Pray.*
The Learn section will provide you with opportunities to read materials, listen to podcasts or speeches, and watch videos to continually build your understanding of difference in the United States. The Notice section will encourage you to take notice of your surroundings and everyday interactions and experiences. The Engage section will give you suggestions for taking what you are learning into a more public arena and/or to seek out others to connect with as you learn more. The Reflect section invites you to journal about what you are learning, feeling, and how you might invite others into what you are learning. The Prayer and a theological reflection ground all of the work as part of our ongoing spiritual formation.
Thank you and may God bless us all in working towards becoming beloved Community,
Beloved Community Initiative
* Some of our categories you will see in each area: read, watch, listen, engage, reflect - were inspired by the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge created by Debby Irving, author of Waking up White.
Please let us know that you are on this journey with us. This will provide you with a community of folks who are also on this journey, access to other free resources and sign-ups for our quarterly community forums online.