Anti-Racism Covenant: "An invitation to people of faith to actively seek equality and justice in our communities"

"Covenant Cross," Episcopal Church
If I wrong you and I repent (biblically, "turn back to God"), first I must acknowledge my wrongdoing. Then, I must vow to no longer wrong you. This, in effect, is what this list of Laments and Covenants seeks to achieve. The Episcopal Church, and many of its members, are taking responsibility for generational and institutional wrongdoing. It's only a first step to fundamental change, but it's right, it's righteous and it's hopefully not self-righteous.

"The Church" is taking steps toward racial reconciliation in multiple ways. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's journey to slave camps and slave "castles" (prisons) in Ghana acknowledged the Anglican church's real participation in the slave trade (the English Anglican Church was the parent of the Episcopal Church in America). Bishop Greg Rickel, the Diocese of Olympia, recently sent a letter urging church members to read the declaration (adopted by resolution at convention), and to use it as a rule of life. Right now.

"Sacred Ground" groups at Grace and in churches across the country have provided for deep self-reflection, the first step to change. In the group I am part of that reflection has been hard, and heart-changing. I've had to understand my own ignorance in blindly taking pride in much of my Virginia family history. Did we recognize that John Newton, author of the beloved hymn, 'Amazing Grace" was an Anglican clergyman and a slave trader? I urge you to at least read the list of laments. It's surprising, it feels necessary.

Click here to read the Anti-Racism Covenant and add your name.

--Daphne Davies