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Becoming Beloved Community

On Wednesday nights, from 7:30-8:45pm, we are having conversations about race in an effort to become more like the beloved community. The discussions, led by Debby Mills, James Perry, and Rev. Mike, cover theological and intellectual information, as well as reflection. We have read “Waking Up White” by Debby Irving, “How to Fight Racism” by Jamar Tisby, and discussed current events. We have also offered resources such as Advent reflections written by people of color (see below).

This month we have two exciting initiatives we invite you to join via Zoom:

Rev. Mike will lead us on Wednesday, April 14th at 7:30pm as we begin a study of “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” by James H. Cone. "The Cross and the Lynching Tree" invites us as Christians to understand the central place suffering holds for our understanding of Jesus. Through his prayerful and thought provoking insights, James Cone will challenge us to understand our sisters and brothers of color and their Christian faith and struggle in soul-changing ways. You will be challenged and you will be blessed!

On Sunday, April 25th at 5pm James DeWolf Perry will lead us in a screening and facilitated discussion about “Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North” via Zoom.  This is an award winning and Emmy-nominated documentary that tells the story of the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. James DeWolf Perry, who is a descendant of the family and the documentary’s principal historical consultant, will facilitate the conversation. You can register for the Zoom link HEREFeel free to invite friends!

Please email Debby Mills with any questions or for the Zoom link to join our Wednesday night discussions!

Debby, James & Mike+

There before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  Revelation 7:9


Church of the Redeemer's Leadership Statement on Race

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The video of his death has awakened a national call for justice and equity for Black Americans and other people of color amidst a wider culture of systemic racism. Mr. Floyd’s death reminded our nation yet again of its painful history and present beset by violence against Black Americans and other people of color.

As a parish of the Episcopal Church that “exists to bring people to Christ and to bring Christ to all people” the Church of the Redeemer must prayerfully discern God’s call to faithfully join the chorus of voices raised for justice, repentance and reconciliation in the face of the sin of racism both systemic and particular. Racism is a sign of human brokenness, and we reject it in its many forms. As Christians, we look to Christ who tore down the dividing walls that separate neighbor from neighbor and creature from Creator. Our Baptismal Covenant from the Book of Common Prayer 1979 asks of the baptized five questions essential for living the Christian life and practicing the Christian faith:

Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers?

Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?

Will you serve Christ in all persons loving your neighbor as yourself?

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

We cannot claim the Christian faith for ourselves as set forth in the Baptismal Covenant and remain silent or neutral in the face of racism. Therefore, we, the Clergy, Wardens, and Vestry of the Church of the Redeemer hereby vow to engage in:

Prayerful introspection, contemplation and repentance of our personal biases and/or our silence that has participated in national patterns of discrimination and exclusivity.

Prayerful conversations of learning and listening to better understand our personal and collective participation in systemic racism as American Christians.

Prayerful relationship building with the people of color in our own parish, our mission partners in Boston and those in our community and beyond through invitational and intentional  conversations of humble listening.

Prayerful action with our ministry partners, local leaders, and our wider community to understand and combat the pervasive sin of racism in our own lives, our parish, and our communities.

Banner photo credit: 
Guérin, Jules Vallée, 1866-1946. Angel of Truth Giving Freedom and Liberty to the Slave, a mural at the Lincoln Memorial, Washing D.C. from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. Original source: flickr.

We invite you to read Stability in a Storm, Seven Devotionals through the Psalms and to journey through some potentially new perspectives. Here are some devotionals we’ve found written by a variety of persons of color:

Prophesy Hope - An Advent Reflection on Hope, Peace, Love, and Freedom (written by Dante Stewart in 2019) 

Starry Black Night - A Womanist Advent Devotional 

A Trail of Hope: Meditations for Advent (written by Native American college students in 2002) 

Stability in the Storm - 7 Devotionals Through the Psalms (written by members of the Asian American Christian Collaborative) 

Anticipating the Birth of Jesus: An Advent Devotional on Immigration (written by Rondell Treviño in 2019) 

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379 Hammond Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
PHONE:  617-566-7679
FAX:  617-566-6678
OFFICE: 8:30-4:30 pm M-F | SUMMER:  9:00-3:00 pm M-Th

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