RESOLVED, that this 144th Convention of the Diocese of Southern Ohio affirms and endorses the resolutions of the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, held in July 2018, on Becoming Beloved Community; and be it further

RESOLVED, that this Convention encourages every congregation and entity of the Diocese of Southern Ohio to live into our baptismal covenant to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being;” and to create communities in which all people are beloved and embraced; and be it further

RESOLVED, that we commit ourselves to work diligently and to pray fervently for the transformation of ourselves and of our communities of faith to dismantle racism and injustice in all of their forms; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Becoming Beloved Community Task Force be directed to oversee diocesan efforts to comply with the 79th General Convention resolutions and be required to report to Diocesan Council at each of its meetings until the 145th Diocesan Convention.

Submitted by:
Becoming Beloved Community Task Force of the Diocese of Southern Ohio
Dianne Ebbs
The Rev. Maggie Foote
The Rev. Canon Jane Gerdsen
The Rev. Rick Incorvati
Megan Johnson
Martha Lentz
The Rev. Joanna Leiserson
The Rev. Meribah Mansfield, co-convener
Miriam McKenney
Ariel Miller
The Rev. Canon Karen Montagno
The Rev. John Paddock
Cherie Bridges Patrick, co-convener
The Rev. Carol Potterton
The Rev. Canon Lee Anne Reat
Nadya Richardson
Deborah Stokes
Madeleine Trichel

The 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church recognized, by the adoption of Resolution 2015-C019, that, despite repeated efforts at anti-racism training as well as racial justice and racial reconciliation initiatives–including the passage of more than 30 General Convention resolutions dating back to 1952–that the abomination and sin of racism continues to plague our society and our Church at great cost to human life and human dignity. 2015-C019 charged the Presiding Bishop, President of the House of Deputies, Vice President of the House of Bishops, and Vice President of the House of Deputies to lead, direct, and be present to assure and account for the Church’s work of racial justice and reconciliation. They articulated a framework for that work, entitled Becoming Beloved Community: The Episcopal Church’s Long-term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice, which directs additional work in the area of racial reconciliation. This framework was introduced in May 2017. In our diocese, Bishop Breidenthal appointed a Becoming Beloved Community Task Force in January 2018 to plan implementation of a diocesan Becoming Beloved Community initiative. The diocese received a United Thank Offering grant in July 2018 to fund the hiring of a part-time Becoming Beloved Community Coordinator for one year, to support the creation of up to 10 pilot Beloved Community Centers around the diocese. The Becoming Beloved Community Task Force has planned several training events and programs and made many resources available to support communities of practice as they work toward Becoming Beloved Community.

Resolutions of the 79th General Convention regarding Becoming Beloved Community:

Resolution A228 Beloved Community Summit: Igniting the Church to be Bold Agents for Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation—This resolution calls for The Episcopal Church to create a Beloved Community summit by the end of 2019 to support and inspire the leaders of such initiatives. This gathering would accelerate the work of racial reconciliation by sharing stories, best practices, resources, and identifying needed action in each of the four areas of becoming Beloved Community, that will grow a network of healers, justice makers, and reconcilers.

Resolution A044 Establishing an Anti-Racism/Racial Reconciliation Certification Framework: Building Capacity for Becoming Beloved Community—This resolution attempts to clarify the criteria for such training, suggesting a structure that coincides with the four parts of Becoming Beloved Community.

Resolution A045 Revision and Reminder of Anti-Racism Training Requirement: This resolution acknowledges “not all dioceses have followed the spirit of the anti-racism training required,” and it calls for better documentation of participation in the training.

Resolution B004 Encouraging the Language of Dismantling Racism and Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation: This resolution seeks to move away from the term “anti-racism” in favor of a greater focus on healing, justice and reconciliation.

Resolution D002 Funding the Work of The Beloved Community: This resolution marks the first time a churchwide grant program will be dedicated specifically to providing financial support for Episcopalians working toward racial healing and justice in their congregations and communities. The 2019-2021 church budget includes $750,000 for the grants, much less than the $5 million recommended by D002, but these initiatives – such as forums, workshops and informal gatherings – often don’t need a lot of money to become viable and thrive.

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