Practicing Truth


Practicing Truth: Race, Our Church, and the Community

We all have the ability to speak truth about the culture in which we live. As leaders in and members of the Episcopal church, we can wait no longer to address the injustices that still exist. As a white woman of privilege, I have benefitted from the color of my skin, just as my African-American colleagues have been punished or disadvantaged for the color of their skin. This effort is not intended to shame anyone, but it is intended to name the truth of what exists in our society and our city. We will dare to tell our stories in courageous conversation so that as a faith community we can make better decisions about how we move into the future. We can shape who we want to be as church in this community, but the first step is seeing clearly and speaking the truth to one another. - the Rev. Ann Gillespie

Part Two: Fall 2017 Sunday Forum Series | Meade Room | 9:00 a.m.

September 17 -  Why is this hard? In the first of our Sunday Forums on race and reconciliation, the Rev. Noelle York-Simmons will lead a guided discussion on what makes conversations about race and racism so hard. Come with an open mind for how the Spirit might shed light in our community and in your heart.  

September 24 -  What do we do? In the second of our Sunday forums on race and reconciliation, Noelle will help move us through an exploration of how we respond to the difficulty of conversations about race. We know it is hard and we’ve identified why, so how should we respond as individuals and as a community?

October 1 - What's next? In the third of this three-part series, members of the Practicing Truth committee, led by Ann, will present some findings of their own exploration over the last year and introduce the congregation to some of what is planned for the community’s journey, informed by the discussions of the previous two weeks. 

December 3 - Alexandria is my home. Speaker to be announced.

December 17 - Heaven is my home. Singing the Songs of the Black Experience. Music Forum with the Rev. Dr. Bill Roberts, Church Music Professor at Virginia Theological Seminary. 

Other Opportunities

September 29 and 30 - March for Racial Justice

6:30 p.m. | Meade Room. Join us on Friday night, September 29 for food, fellowship, and sign-making. We’ll meet in DC on Saturday morning and march as a faith community in support of racial reconciliation.

11:00 a.m. | The Mall, DC.  We'll march from Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill down the Mall.

October 3 - November 7 - Scripture and Race | 7:00 p.m. | Fowler House Conference Room.

Race is a fairly modern concept and so the Bible is relatively silent on “racism” as we know it. However, the Bible is filled with stories of the other – both as justification for "othering" and as calls to welcome the stranger and see all people as Children of God. Join Matt Welsch for a Tuesday evening bible study in which we will explore issues of otherness, welcome, and liberation in the biblical narrative. Email Matt Welsch to sign up.  

October 15 -  The Racial Wealth Gap | 11:30 a.m. | Auditorium.

The Racial Wealth Gap Learning Game is an interactive educational tool that allows participants to learn about the role and importance of race. The game outlines why communities of color are twice as likely to experience hunger and poverty through a series of 13 federal policies and their use of racial discrimination in creating the wealth, income and hunger gaps we see today. Players walk away understanding the role of race, and why it is important to incorporate a racial equity lens into all work, including anti-hunger, anti-poverty, social services, and even ministry, if they are committed to ending hunger and poverty by 2030. 

Led by Marlysa D. Galvin MPP, Domestic Advisor of Policy and Programs, Specific Populations at Bread for the World Institute

November 17 - Screening of "13th" | 6:30 p.m. | Auditorium.

Beginning with the 13th amendment, ratified in 1965, filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing largely on the overtaxed prison system. This powerful documentary is an eye-opening look at the cradle-to-prison pipeline that is a reality for a disproportionate number of African-Americans. Admission to the movie is free, with pizza available for a small donation, as well as popcorn and drinks for everyone. Pizza is served at 6:30 p.m., movie begins promptly at 7:00 p.m. with discussion following.



Part One: Summer Book Study | July 9 - August 13 | Meade Room |  9:00 a.m  

A six-part discussion of the book America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis.