BECOMING BELOVED COMMUNITY
The mission of the St. Barnabas Becoming Beloved Community Learning Discerning and Action Committee is to help lead the parish’s development and implementation of ongoing programs and activities that support The Episcopal Church’s long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice, with greater care for and preservation of God’s creation.
Our committee’s vision is to be seen as the primary facilitator of the parish’s desired realization of
1) a world where all people may experience dignity and abundant life; seeing themselves and others as beloved children of God and,
2) the world we pray for when we say, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
What is Beloved Community?
Jesus laid out the most basic Christian teaching of all when the young man asked him, “Which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He told him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:36-40). The Beloved Community is the body within which all people can grow to love God and love the image of God that we find in our neighbors, in ourselves, and in creation. It provides a positive, theologically and biblically based ideal that orients the work of racial healing, reconciliation, and justice. It is the end toward which the Jesus Movement points.
The Episcopal Church’s Becoming Beloved Community vision – presented by our Church’s key leaders in May 2017 – frames a path for Episcopalians to address racial injustice and grow as a community of reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers who share a passion for the dream of God. Because this is the work of spiritual formation, and not simply completing a training or implementing a set of programs, we encourage individuals and congregations to embrace the journey ahead as a long-term commitment. It may be helpful to imagine a labyrinth as you reflect, act, and reflect again. After all, on the road toward reconciliation and healing, we travel around corners, make sharp turns, pass fellow travelers, and double back into quadrants we have indeed visited before, each time discovering a fresh revelation or challenge.
In particular, we anticipate that becoming Beloved Community will lead communities and individuals through four interrelated commitments, like quadrants of the labyrinth ...
(quoted from Becoming Beloved Community... Where You Are)
Resources from The Episcopal Church
A Resource for Individuals, Congregations & Communities Seeking Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice
Telling the Truth, Proclaiming the Dream
Stories of Leadership, Racial Injustice, and Healing from Deputies, Bishops, and Leaders of Color in The Episcopal Church