The Episcopal Church defines the Beloved Community as “the body within which all people can grow to love God and love the image of God that we find in our neighbors, in ourselves, and in creation. It provides a positive, theologically and biblically based ideal that orients the work of racial healing, reconciliation, and justice.”
In May 2017, the church set forth a vision of Beloved Community that “frames a path for Episcopalians to address racial injustice and grow as a community of reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers who share a passion for the dream of God. Because this is the work of spiritual formation, and not simply completing a training or implementing a set of programs, we encourage individuals and congregations to embrace the journey ahead as a long-term commitment.”
You can visualize Becoming Beloved Community as four quadrants of a labyrinth which are traveled not in a neat sequence, but in turning and overlapping steps. They are:
- Telling the Truth About Our Churches and Race: What racial/cultural/ethnic groups are in our church? Who have we excluded or included?
- Proclaiming the Dream of Beloved Community: How has our city/town/area participated in racial injustice or healing over time? What’s happening today? What is our dream for Beloved Community? What behaviors and practices foster it?
- Practicing Jesus’ Way of Healing Love: How will we grow as reconcilers, healers, and justice-bearers? What activities, practices, learning and experiences would (trans)form us? How will we share stories and grow relationship?
- Repairing the Breach in Societies and Institutions: What institutions and systems bear the signs of racial injustice? How will we participate in the repair, restoration and healing of people, institutions and systems?
For more information about Becoming Beloved Community see: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/beloved-community/.