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Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion


Our Diocese has led the way in addressing expansive programs and movement in Diversity and Inclusion, substantially moving our work forward with Visions and with subsequent programs during 2017-2018.  We are poised to engage fully the Beloved Community work that is before us.

Bishop Gibbs announced in September, 2018 the co-leadership of Ms. Felicity Thompson, from St. Andrews Ann Arbor and The Rev. Elizabeth “Beth” Bingham, from St. John’s Royal Oak, of our Diversity and Inclusion Task force.  Both Felicity and Beth have a passion for this work and have served this last program year on the visioning team that has been working to keep the conversations going.



To fully join with God in building God’s beloved community of justice and inclusion.



The Diocese of Michigan is a community in which courageous and compassionate engagement with one another deepens our inclusiveness and commitment to justice.

Our diversity and inclusion program provides tools and models practices to join with God in building this beloved community. God’s call to inclusiveness is “written on our hearts” (Rom 2:15). Our churches have become known in their localities as truly open, inclusive places. Our program has become a model of spiritual formation that other dioceses and denominations seek to emulate.

Many genuinely desire to participate in our diversity work with all of its challenges because it nourishes our membership in the body of Christ, and because we are committed to “the ministry of reconciliation” that Christ gave us (2 Cor 5:18).

Episcopalians in the Diocese of Michigan are agents of change, empowering divided communities to find the paths of inclusion and equity that produce successful life outcomes for all of God’s people.


To create a diversity and inclusion program, sustained by diocesan trainer/facilitators, that forms us spiritually by:

  • Equipping participants with tools and techniques to create open, respectful, and productive engagement around difference;
  • Creating a greater understanding of the political, economic, historical, and cultural mechanisms that have led to the inequities in our present culture;
  • Creating greater understanding and empathy for the way in which the resulting system is personally experienced by all people;
  • Nurturing genuine connection in Christ across societal lines of separation; and
  • Inspiring participants to continue building understanding, inclusion, and justice in their local churches and communities.

Resources for Diversity and Inclusion

Click here for the Diversity and inclusion reading list

Storytelling as Spiritual Practice

Who: Facilitators to guide conversations and story telling
What: Grounded in the “Road to Emmaus” scripture, this workshop aims to recognizing Jesus in our stories, fresh perspectives on story telling & listening, our (personal and communal) Road to Emmaus, the power of story telling, story telling circles in your own context (through the lens of congregational leadership while creating brave spaces for heart-transforming stories)
When: Can be used with large groups already in small tables, runs 45 minutes to 1 ½ hour.
Why: To invite people to develop capacity to listen and provoke thoughtful sharing
How: Follow instructions in notes section
Link: E:\Vestry Days\Turning Again To Christ Storytelling as Spiritual Practice.pptx


Hosting Dinner Discussions

Who: For individuals or parishes to host conversation over a meal with intentionally diverse participants. Here are just some of the types of diversity we seek to welcome and explore:

  • Ages and Stages
  • Heritages, Ancestries, “Races”
  • Philosophies of Life, Beliefs, Religions, Faiths, Thought Processes
  • Life Styles, Value Systems, Preferences, Habits, Choices
  • Gender Identities, Gender Roles
  • Interests, Talents, Specialties
  • Work, Occupations, Volunteer Pursuits
  • Politics, Economics, Governing, Activism
  • Activities in Communities, Organizations, Identity Groups

What: Diversity Dinners foster cross-cultural communication and understanding through collaborative hospitality. Groups of 10 gather in members’ homes for dinner and conversation. Diversity Dinners are open to folks of all heritages, callings, and persuasions. Participants will enjoy good food, great company, and civil interchange about pressing issues of our lives and times. As the year progresses, members find their understanding of the world and one another deepens.
When: They meet every four to six weeks, usually on common weekly or monthly nights, during a season, for a specific region or neighborhood. (The materials are based in Naperville, IL.)
Why: Diversity Dinners foster cross-cultural communication and understanding through collaborative hospitality.
How: More Information about Diversity Dinners


White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

Who: Developed by the SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) Project at The National SEED Project is a program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College, one of the largest gender-focused research-and-action organizations in the world Facilitators to guide conversations and raise awareness. This material for individuals or facilitators.
What: “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” first appeared in Peace and Freedom Magazine, July/August, 1989, pp. 10-12, a publication of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Philadelphia, PA.
When: Can be used with large groups already in small tables, runs 45 minutes to 1 ½ hour.
Why: “Describing white privilege makes one newly accountable…To redesign social systems, we need first to acknowledge their colossal unseen dimensions. The silences and denials surrounding privilege are the key political tool here. They keep the thinking about equality or equity incomplete, protecting unearned advantage and conferred dominance by making these taboo subjects. Most talk by whites about equal opportunity seems to me now to be about equal opportunity to try to get into a position of dominance while denying that systems of dominance exist.”
How: Find the program here.


The Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing

Who: For individuals, parishes, facilitators, inquirers. The Center, which opened in October 2017, offers a model of prayerful education that forms and reforms individual and
collective action: a defined curriculum, thoughtful training, pilgrimages, and dialogue. Guided by faith and led by intention, the Center will continue its important work until our work is no longer needed. We seek the beloved community and the rewards of living life in that community – free of racism.
What: The Center for Racial Healing is an inter-generational, faith-based organization providing curriculum, activities and experiences to all participants to engage their heads and their hearts in the daily work of dismantling personal prejudice and ending systemic racism. The Center for Racial Healing is a collaborative ministry between the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta and The Episcopal Church.
When: Available online
Why: To equip individuals and parishes with historical and contemporary literature
How: Events, training, church-wide initiatives, books, resources, publications, multi-media.

The Episcopal Church: Becoming The Beloved Community

Who: As the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, we dream and work to foster Beloved Communities where all people may experience dignity and abundant life and see themselves and others as beloved children of God. The Becoming Beloved Community Vision Document and accompanying resources help us to understand and take up the long-term commitments necessary to form loving, liberating and life-giving relationships with each other. Together, we are growing as reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers in the name of Christ.
What: Summary, Vision, Resources for Individuals and Congregations, Seasonal Formation Resources in the areas of Racial Reconciliation, Social Justice and Advocacy Engagement
When: Available online
Why: To equip individuals and parishes with historical and contemporary literature