What does it mean to Become a Beloved Community?
At Holy Comforter, we know the importance of being in community, being one body in Christ. The term Beloved Community means this, and so much more.
Where did the term come from?
In 2017, in response to the actions of white supremacists in Charlottesville, the National Episcopal Church felt compelled to create an initiative that was based on our baptismal vows and directly addressed the effects of racism in our country and in our churches. Adopting a term used by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, this initiative is called Becoming Beloved Community.
Becoming Beloved Community is the long-term, multi-generational commitment that is not so much a set of programs for churches as it is a journey—a way to organize Episcopal efforts to grow a community of reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers.
Holy Comforter’s Becoming Beloved Community logo was thoughtfully created by African American Graphic Designers (AAGD). The doves, representing the most complete peace—the Holy Spirit—are cradled by hands from different races, symbolizing community and communion. An olive branch signifies the desire for peace and friendship. The labyrinth in the background recognizes the winding road ahead and our long-term commitment.
AAGD leverages assignments to mentor future designers, working with clients addressing social challenges for the African American/Black community. Additional examples of AAGD’s work can be found HERE.
There are 4 components, each responding to baptismal promises:
Telling the Truth: Who are we? What things have we done and left undone regarding racial justice and healing?
Proclaiming the Dream: How can we publicly acknowledge things done and left undone? What does Beloved Community look like in this place? What behaviors and commitments will foster reconciliation, justice, and healing?
Practicing the Way of Love: How will we grow as reconcilers, healers, justice- bearers? How will we actively grow relationship across dividing walls and seek Christ in one another?
Repairing the Breach: What institutions and systems are broken (or need updating/maturing)? How will we participate in the repair, restoration and healing of people, institutions and systems?
How do we at Holy Comforter claim this identity for ourselves?
As we reel from the effects of multiple viruses—systemic racism, COVID 19, and environmental devastation—we look to our Church and its understanding of Jesus’ call to us. We seek to become a Beloved Community, respecting all people as “made in the image of God.”
Becoming a Beloved Community through Learning and Serving
Note: We have resumed public, in-person worship services and church-sponsored gatherings. If you have questions about Adult Faith Formation and/or any of our current offerings, please contact the Rev. Ann Gillespie.