• Dan

A Covenant to Root Out Racism


Bishop Rickel has asked that all parishes of the diocese incorporate“ A Covenant to Root Out Racism” in their worship on the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the murder of Mr. George Floyd, May 25. On this year’s liturgical calendar, the closest Sunday would be May 23, the Day of Pentecost.


We lament the Church’s role in the subjugation, enslavement and genocide of societies of indigenous peoples, including Native Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Lord, have mercy upon us.


We lament the Church’s role in profiting from the selling, trading, and genocide of people of African descent and the lasting effects of the peculiar trade present with us today.

Lord, have mercy upon us.


We lament the Church’s complicity-by-silence in the commoditization, dehumanization, and belittling of peoples brought to this country to toil in brutal labor, including Latinx people, Asians, Pacific Islanders and other immigrant and undocumented populations.

Lord, have mercy upon us.


We lament the Church’s complicity in failing to honor the language, culture and civil rights of Latinx people, both American citizens and those from other countries.

Lord, have mercy upon us.


We lament the places in which we have been spectators and participants in the public and private lynching of people of African descent.

Lord, have mercy upon us.


We lament the Church’s lack of moral courage to stand with and on the side of the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed.

Lord, have mercy upon us.


We lament the systems of white supremacy, white exceptionalism and white privilege present in the Church that have condoned people–particularly people of African descent– being viewed as less, inferior or unworthy rather than as beloved children of God, made in the image of the Divine.

Lord, have mercy upon us.


We lament the ways in which the stories of People of Color have been diminished or erased from the histories of our churches, institutions and communities of faith.

Lord, have mercy upon us.


We lament the collusion of the Church with systems that directly and indirectly promote racism, oppression, segregation and disenfranchisement.

Lord, have mercy upon us.


We lament the willful blindness of Christian leadership in promoting and advocating for systems of over-policing, the militarization of the police, mass incarceration,school-to-prison pipelines, poverty and violence.

Lord, have mercy upon us.


We lament the resounding silence and the crippling fear that often infects the Church in matters of racial reconciliation and social justice.

Lord, have mercy upon us.


PAUSE


Will you covenant to re-examine the history of our communities of faith and institutions to, in tangible ways, acknowledge racist legacies and to recognize, remember and retell the stories of Native American, enslaved persons and other People of Color, whose labor contributes to white privilege?

We will with God’s help.


Will you covenant to engage our communities of faith, staffs, colleagues and experts in critical discourse that propels us forward?

We will with God’s help.


Will you covenant to devise and implement standards, policies and programs that make our commitment to diversity and inclusion a visible reality?

We will with God’s help.


Will you covenant to invest in local businesses that are owned and operated by People of Color and under represented populations?

We will with God’s help.

Will you covenant to listen to and to validate the stories,experiences and feelings of People of Color as companions along the journey, valuing those experiences as being sacred?

We will with God’s help.


Will you covenant to adopt an intersectional approach in all aspects of our common life, remembering that all forms of oppression are connected?

We will with God’s help.


Will you covenant to financially support the important work of Historically Black Colleges and Universities?

We will with God’s help.


Will you covenant to work towards the dismantling of the school-to-prison pipeline and other systems of institutional oppression?

We will with God’s help.


Will you covenant to stand up and speak out against everyday micro and macro acts of oppression or aggression?

We will with God’s help.


Will you covenant to struggle and speak out against denial of civil liberties and voter suppression?

We will with God’s help.


Will you covenant to educate ourselves, and share with others, the many places where our privilege blinds us from being compassionate to others?

We will with God’s help.


Will you covenant to call out bigotry and hate speech in all aspects of our common life?

We will with God’s help.


Will you covenant to gather with others, including faith leaders and decision makers, at all levels of the Church to ask the hard questions: Does the leadership of our institution reflect the diversity of those we serve? Are the many faces of the diverse body of Christ represented in decision-making processes? How are we inviting and forming leaders? Who is missing around the table? Whose untold story do we need to hear?

We will with God’s help.


Will you covenant that in our corporate worship and other activities of our communities, to intentionally cultivate welcome, hospitality and participation for people of all cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds, and to include their rich musical and liturgical offerings in worship?

We will with God’s help.


Will you covenant to invite all members of our faith communities to reflect about and seek a better understanding of racism and privilege?

We will with God’s help.


Will you covenant to preach about and pray together for an end to racism and white supremacy, not to bring down people of European descent, but to lift all others up?

We will with God’s help.


Will you covenant to join with local community organizations in working for racial justice?

We will with God’s help.


Collect

Almighty God, who created us in your image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen


People are invited to participate in the Sacred Ground Project of the Episcopal Church: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/sacred-ground/

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