In May 2017, The Episcopal Church announced “Becoming Beloved Community: The Episcopal Church’s Long-term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice.” It was not another program; it was a path for all of us to follow.
As outlined by the Church, Becoming Beloved Community has a focus on racial healing and is comprised of four components: tell the truth; repair the breach; proclaim the dream; and practice the way of love. There is no short cut on any of these paths; indeed, as the Church’s Becoming Beloved Community logo depicts, the path is so circuitous and winding, it comes to resemble a labyrinth. It is an apt analogy, because while the journey on a labyrinth may take many turns, if you keep on it, eventually you will find the center.
The Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina is already on that journey, and we easily recognized ourselves and the mission work to which we’re dedicated in the path outlined in Becoming Beloved Community. In looking at what has been accomplished in recent years and where we want to go in the years ahead, it became clear the path we were already on meshed with the one outlined by the Church.
And so it is a path we continue to follow. Continuing our work in the area of racial reconciliation and healing remains a focal point. In addition to that, we are guided by four other priorities that support, complement and intertwine with that reconciliation work. They build on our answered call to be part of the Jesus Movement, recognizing its call to unity through mission and movement more than church structure and the institution. They keep us on our road to Galilee, where we continue to go out in the world, seeking out our neighbors and increasingly seeing the importance of “being with others” as well as “doing for others.” If the Jesus Movement is the journey and Going to Galilee the map, our work in Becoming Beloved Community is our mission.
In the unfolding and expanding of our mission, there are many expressions of how we accomplish our goals. There are models both traditional and innovative. One size does not fit all. The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of North Carolina is a “God-send” - in the apostolic definition of the word that is it God who is sending us – to our state and to the wider church. And while the Church’s Becoming Beloved Community is rooted in four priorities, ours is rooted in five.
The work of this priority spans and must be included in all others, for without equality and justice for all, we cannot achieve our goal of Becoming Beloved Community.Read More »
The worshiping communities that comprise the Diocese of North Carolina are incredibly and wonderfully diverse. Because no two communities are the same, no one-size-fits-all set of resources can support everyone. So the Diocese of North Carolina offers resources in a variety of areas, each designed to support the congregations working in those areas to help them thrive and live out their ministry in the world.Read More »
To live the gospel to the fullest means it must be part of our daily life. The work of lifelong formation has long been underway in this diocese, but to go even deeper, the Diocese of North Carolina has dedicated resources, including a Missioner for Adult Formation and Lifelong Learning, and the Chartered Committee on Lifelong Formation. Together, they work to help us integrate Christian formation into our daily lives in ways that are guided by four principles: that it be intergenerational, relationally based, creative, adaptive and highlight the role of liturgy.Read More »
“Many hands make light work” is a well-known saying. The truth of it and the power of this priority has already been proven many times over in our diocese. We have many successful collaborations in place already: Galilee Ministries of East Charlotte started as a hub for refugee services and has evolved into a partnership of churches in the Charlotte convocation and a multicultural community of friends. Christ’s Beloved Community, the fully partnered church plant between the Diocese of North Carolina and the NC Synod of ELCA, began as two-by-two knocking on neighbors’ doors and has now blossomed into a beautiful missional community.Read More »
We are all responsible for the care of the planet we call home. After all, if we are not good stewards of the world around us, we have no foundation from which to build our efforts in Becoming Beloved Community.Read More »