February highlights the contributions of African Americans in the history of America. Amidst a history, and present reality, of ongoing discrimination, the Black community has “made a way out of no way.” We will highlight moments of resistance, persistence, and prophetic faith.
The new two-part PBS Documentary “The Black Church” premieres on February 16. It features interviews with many leaders, including our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, and Dean Kelly Brown Douglas of Episcopal Divinity School at Union Seminary. We invite the whole church to watch the documentary (live on TV, or streaming). We’ll announce a date for discussion in later February.
On the Saturdays of March, the Diocesan Dismantling Racism Commission will lead a 14-hour training grounded in Biblical scripture and based on Episcopal Church teaching. The training is open to all persons who would like to deepen their understanding of racism, prejudice, and privilege — and begin to define strategies to confront those issues in our society today.
First Week of February: Dismantling Racism in the Post-Trump Era — Members of the Diocesan Commission on Dismantling Racism lead a discussion of the legacy of the Trump Presidency’s policies on racism and the strategies necessary to address them as the nation moves forward.
Second Week of February The Impact of Housing Policy on Structural Racism — The Rev. Gabrielle Kennedy and Jeff Schulenberg share research developed by St. Louis-based Faith for the Sake of All on the causal impact of housing policy on racial inequity. Join us Sunday at virtual Coffee Hour as we continue the conversation.
Third Week of February The Slave Bible: Tool of Oppression — The Rev. Marc Smith leads a discussion of the highly redacted version of the Bible published in 1807 used to subjugate slaves in the British West Indies and United States.
Fourth Week of February The Impact of Institutional Loss in the Black Community — The Rev. Chester Hines and members of the diocese’s Commission on Racism will explore the socioeconomic, political, psychological, and religious consequences of the closure of institutions which have served St. Louis’ Black community.
The children of Holy Communion are also invited to participate in Black History. Our children’s formation program “Godly Play” is introducing new stories to the Godly Play circle in the “People of Color Who Inspire Collection.” The first quarter of 2021, children will hear the stories of Martin Luther King Jr., Bishop Barbara Harris (the first woman Bishop in our church, and an African American). Harriet Tubman and John Lewis.