It just so happened that, at the same time as the unrest in Baltimore began earlier this week, African-American and white Anglican leaders were gathering for a conversation on race and mission. The goal is to expand multiethnic ministry in North American Anglicanism and promote the conversations that can bring racial reconciliation and justice. You can read their whole report here, but here’s a portion of their concluding statement:
“Few conversations are as timely and important to our life as a Province, and so while our hearts have been grappling with the tragedy of the present, our eyes are looking to the future.
To this end we:
1. Ask each congregation to pray and work for racial reconciliation in their community,
2. Intend to develop a Provincial team to lead our multiethnic ministries and we encourage the development of regional networks to support those who are called to multiethnic church planting, evangelism, and discipleship,
3. Invite dioceses and parishes to consider how they might actively develop more effective multiethnic leadership pipelines,
4. Invite dioceses and parishes to make a financial commitment to supporting multiethnic leadership.
Talk alone will not bridge the gap or bind us together, but if we are to move forward, action must be preceded by honest dialogue. Talk is not cheap. Risking these conversations in our present culture is costly. We invite all who love the Lord Jesus Christ to join us in moving the conversations in our communities forward, so that together, having cleared a foundation, we can build a common future that brings glory to God.”
As race has been a major issue in our own nation this week, we also remember those suffering in the aftermath of the Nepal’s earthquake. We have a growing mission partnership with the Diocese of Singapore, which includes Nepal. This Sunday we will take up a special offering to give both to the Anglican Relief and Development Fund, on behalf of Nepal, and in response to item #4 above.
I’m grateful to be part of a denomination that is having these vital conversations, and calling us to think/act locally and personally here in Austin.