The Race Relations and Diversity Task Force of EDOMI is a network of ministers bringing their gifts and passions to “lead the diocese in our corporate ministry to respond to the disease of hate that continues to infect our country through all the “isms” and “phobias” – racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc. and move us toward an ethic of respect and gratitude for the incredible beauty of God’s full and diverse creation.” (Bp. Wendell Gibbs)
If you are interested in joining this network of ministers, please contact the Rev. Michelle Meech at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is a list of current projects being undertaken by members of the RRD Task Force. If a point-person/contact is not listed, please contact Michelle Meech (above) to get connected.
- Youth and Young Adult Work Group is making plans for engaging the young people of the diocese in discussions through events and group trips. Contact the Rev. Manisha Dostert: mdostert at christchurchcranbrook.org.
- The Writing Work Group is currently taking submissions for personal reflections on instances of otherness. Contact the Rev. Michelle Meech: mmeech at edomi.org
- Our Facilitation Work Group has been developing approaches for facilitating important conversations throughout the diocese. Contact the Rev. Carol Mader: revcm2010 at gmail.com
- The Trainers and Curriculum Development Work Group will be meeting with the Director of Whitaker Institute to assist with creating workshops and training programs for use across the diocese. Contact the Rev. Eric Williams: ewilliams at edomi.org
- In December, the Public Ritual Work Group will be working to develop a liturgical response in support of Syrian refugees. Contact the Rev. Terri Pilarski: terri at christchurchdearborn.org
Diocesan Convention Wrap-up
The 181st Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan took place in Novi on October 23-24, 2015. The theme for this year’s Convention was Waters of Reconciliation: Race Relations and Diversity. You can view videos from the event here.
On Friday morning Dr. Ivy Forsythe-Brown gave an incredible workshop entitled Race and Privilege in America. Forsythe-Brown is an Associate Professor of Sociology at University of Michigan in Dearborn and a parishioner at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Southfield.
On Friday afternoon the Rev. Dr. Bill Danaher gave us an illustration of how important lament is in the work of reconciliation in the presentation of his paper Lamentation in Art: Oren Goldenberg’s A Requiem for Douglass (2015) and the Practice of Public Ritual. Danaher is the Rector of Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills.
On Friday evening at the Convention Eucharist the Rev. Dr. Jay Johnson preached a beautiful sermon on the path of love in a violent world (view the sermon here): “Disarm the empire with practical love… Only love can create the kind of world where solutions begin to appear… It is profoundly risky to follow the path of love in a violent world but it is the only path that has ever changed the world for good and the only path that ever will even when it costs us our lives… The Church must show up in the public square with the disarming humility of love.” Johnson is the Director of Ignite Institute for Spiritual and Social Transformation at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA.
On Saturday morning the Rev. Terri Pilarski spoke about the need to support refugee efforts in Michigan. Then the Rev. Dr. Bill Danaher moderated a panel on the topic Imagining Difference Differently: Why Issues of Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Class Are All Connected and What Faithful People Can Do About It. The morning ended with Bp Wendell Gibbs’ powerful Convention Address.
Please take the time to watch the video from Saturday morning here.
And during lunch Heidi Kim met with members of our Race Relations and Diversity Task Force to talk about the question: Why would conversations about race/diversity be important for our faith communities?
Below you will find the questions our panelists posed to the Convention along with some resources they offered.
From Bill Danaher: Talking About Race, Learning about Racism: ‘The Application of’ Racial Identity Development Theory in the Classroom
From Jay Johnson: Schneider, What Race is Your Sex, in Boisvert and Johnson
Also from Jay Johnson: Johnson, Divine Communion, Appendix
From Heidi Kim: Flipping St. Francis: #BlackLivesMatter for the White Man, by Keith Menhinick