Book Study: Episcopalians and Race

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

There are three journey’s to the Christian life: to go out, to go together and to go deep. Because the first two are difficult in this time of Covid 19, perhaps as leaders of the Church if we  focus on going deep, we will also go together and be better equipped to go out.

I am offering this discussion group for two reasons. First, I want to know more about our clergy and laity than their photos on the screen. I want to have conversations about issues that matter and get beyond the coffee hour conversations.

Second, it’s essential that we as members of the Church, go beyond the confusion and the anxiety much less the anger and animosity of the culture around us to remember who we are as followers of Jesus and what we are called to do.  A British theologian once said, “The Church is like a swimming pool: all the noise comes from the shallow end.”  In these times, our country has become a and even louder and more shallow swimming pool.  My hope is that real conversations lead to mutual conversion which lead to communion.

Episcopalians and Race: Civil War to Civil Rights

This group will examine our Episcopal identity around race.  Gardiner Shattuck Jr. tells us the history we don’t want to hear.  He begins with the Civil War and comes up to the 1960’s.  My aim is not to make us historians, nor is it have an intellectual exercise. Rather it’s to ruminate over—chew on—part of our church’s history  that we often avoid—not to feel guilty but to recognize that one’s culture can blind one  to his or hers sin.  Perhaps by reading this chapter of our Church’s history, we might recognize the effect of these patterns of behavior in today’s time and respond accordingly.

This isn’t intended to be a book group nor an intellectual exercise. Rather the intention is to own our past as a church in order to gain a greater mission of who and what we are called to be.  The readings will be relatively short to leave time for discussion. Because the book is relatively expensive, I will do what I can to scan the pages for those who don’t have the text.

The class will last 8 weeks—one week per chapter and a week for plenary.

If you are interested, please notify Anita Lisk at alisk@thediocese.net and also indicate if you are clergy or lay. 

Faithfully,

The Rt. Rev. Porter Taylor
Assisting Bishop
ptaylor@thediocese.net