Last night at St. Philip’s Cathedral, Episcopalians in the Diocese of Atlanta attended a service of repentance and reconciliation in response to the sin of racism.
In a pastoral letter announcing the service, the Rt. Rev. Rob Wright, the first African American bishop of the diocese wrote:
“The history books tell us The Episcopal Church in the U. S. and Georgia is not innocent concerning racism. Though we as the church have been called to live differently and been given the spiritual power to accomplish this calling, the church has actively participated in and profited from the institutionalizing of the sin of racism.”
What has your diocese done to understand and repent of its involvement or complicity in slavery, Jim Crow laws and institutionalized racism?
Resolution A-123 of the 2006 General Convention urged “every Diocese to collect and document during the next triennium detailed information in its community on (a) the complicity of The Episcopal Church in the institution of slavery and in the subsequent history of segregation and discrimination and (b) the economic benefits The Episcopal Church derived from the institution of slavery.” It also asked each diocese to hold a service of repentance. But fulfillment of this resolution has been uneven, at best, across our church.
When A-123 attracted little response, the 2009 General Convention issued a similar resolution, A-143.
The collection of diocesan responses is available electronically at The Episcopal Archives.
Deputy Sally Johnson, chancellor to the president of the House of Deputies, in preparation for General Convention 2012, prepared the white paper, Are Resolutions of General Convention binding? It is available for download at the House of Deputies governance page.
[Catechism at Documenting the American South.]