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Racial Reconciliation

Trinity’s Racial Reconciliation Steering Committee (RRSC) was formed in the Spring of 2020 as he result of an extended conversation between Rev. Jeff Gill (then Rector) and Raj Sundar, a parishioner.


The vision of the RRSC is that our parish will become a Beloved Community in spirit and in practice. Its mission is to create energy and resources for community and individual formation so that a feature of life at Trinity is the practice of our Baptismal Covenant (BCP 304) in matters of race.

Trinity’s Racial Reconciliation Steering Committee (RRSC) was formed in the Spring of 2020 as he result of an extended conversation between Rev. Jeff Gill (then Rector) and Raj Sundar, a parishioner.


The vision of the RRSC is that our parish will become a Beloved Community in spirit and in practice. Its mission is to create energy and resources for community and individual formation so that a feature of life at Trinity is the practice of our Baptismal Covenant (BCP 304) in matters of race.


We have three motivations for this ministry in our parish:

  1. To align Trinity with the Racial Reconciliation and Becoming Beloved Community initiatives of The Episcopal Church and to make sure these offerings are making their way into our parish.

  2. To confront the impacts of race in our national and local church history and parish context. We believe Trinity can be a place for a healthy conversations in pursuit of empathy and understanding.

  3. To pursue racial transformation, justice and healing in ways that are practical and relevant to our congregation, our neighborhood, and our city.


Key values we’ve identified for programs for racial reconciliation at Trinity include the following: faith as the basis for this work; hospitality and invitation as its leadership model; conversation and reflection as its core practices; curiosity and humility as its desired postures; and learning and transformation as its goals.


Actions An essential part of fulfilling RRSC's mission is the cultivation of spaces for wonder and grief, for learning and reflection, for conversation and listening, and for advocacy and conviction. We believe that such spaces will empower each of us to acknowledge and move beyond the spirit of brokenness and to experience our belovedness and name it fruitfully in one another.


The path we chose is conversation and storytelling:

 

  1. Our most in-depth conversation is stimulated by bringing Sacred Ground, a program of The Episcopal Church, to our parish. Sacred Ground aims to present the facts and contentions of race relations in many eras and constituencies of American life, through a series of films, readings, and discussions, while trying to “make it real” by connecting this history to the experiences and perspectives of the program participants through conversations about what we learn from the materials and each other.  
    Twenty five members of our parish, meeting in 4 small groups, began in the first Sacred Ground program in the fall 2020, ending in spring 2021. Building on that, over summer 2021 we reached out to the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit on Vashon Island, inviting members of this small congregation to join Trinity’s second round of the program, sharing the resource of Trinity’s leadership to broaden the conversation about racial reconciliation. We hope to continue working with other parishes as we present additional Sacred Ground programs in the future.

  2. We presented a series of living epistles [1] and a coffee hour discussion in the summer months so our Sacred Ground participants could share their experiences and insights with other parishioners and encourage them to consider participating. We expect to do this again in the spring when our second Sacred Ground program is completed.

  3. We are encouraging conversations among Trinity parishioners by establishing a Realm group (Racial Reconciliation Conversations) where all parishioners can sign up and share resources, such as articles, books, theater productions, movies, conferences and reflections. We have presented opportunities for learning by providing information in Trinity’s e-News on Racial Reconciliation topics, such as Indigenous Peoples Day, and by offering a tour organized by the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center. And, we have connected with the Vestry by working with its Mutual Ministry Goal group on Racial Reconciliation and by supporting their use of the Intercultural Development Inventory assessment tool to help discern how Trinity might become more welcoming.


In addition to these church-wide programs, the RRSC meets twice a month to define its vision, mission, values and potential role in the church. Starting in April we will send quarterly reports on our work and on opportunities for you to participate, in addition to information about events related to Racial Reconciliation and Becoming he Beloved Community.


We are thankful for everyone who has participated in this ministry. Please consider how you can connect to this work in 2022 – whether by joining the next round of Sacred Ground, joining the RR Realm conversations, or connecting with our Steering Committee – as we all strive to make our Baptismal promise to honor the dignity of every human being more real inside and outside of Trinity in response to the realities of racism in our country.