The following statement was prepared after the June meeting of the Diocesan Council by an ad hoc group of members and confirmed by the Executive Committee of Council.
If you have any questions, please contact a member of the Executive Committee of Diocesan Council or a member of the Diocesan Staff.
The Members of Diocesan Council
Executive Committee of Diocesan Council:
Mr. P. Thomas Austin
The Rev. John Drymon
The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr.
Mr. Lee Kauffman
The Rev. Rose Anne Lonsway
Ms. Dianne Audrick Smith
Mr. Michael Wells
Diocesan Council Commitment to Racial Justice
The Diocesan Council recognizes that the church, as the body of Christ, has a responsibility to act on behalf of others, especially the marginalized and oppressed. We vow in our Baptismal Covenant to “seek and serve Christ in all persons” and to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” We believe that, in our current day, this includes directly confronting the legacy and reality of racism, both individual and that which is systemic and institutionalized in our society. We must work to end economic, educational, employment, healthcare, housing, and other injustices in our own lives, institutions, communities, and world. To that end, we must be aware and well informed, and thereby better able to determine the actions our faith requires of us - actions that help us to practice justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
All members of the Diocesan Council are required to complete the Anti-Racism Training provided by the Commission for Racial Understanding and, as elected clergy and lay leaders, we continue to seek experiences and understanding to allow us to be effective leaders and positive agents of change. In that effort, the Diocesan Council commits to:
1. Watch and discuss the film 13th
, a documentary
which explores the intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States. We will discuss this at the August meeting.
2. Read White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism
, in order to face our implicit and complicit biases and hold ourselves accountable, recognizing that this activity applies predominately to white members. We will discuss this book on an ongoing basis throughout the autumn.
3. Invite all canonical committees and commissions, mission areas, congregations, and communicants of the Diocese of Ohio to join us or engage in a similar discipline for discovering and exploring ways to dismantle racism.
We are cognizant that a book study or film discussion will not alone end racism or eradicate racist violence in the church and the world. Living into our Baptismal Covenant and becoming the Beloved Community is a pilgrimage, and we are each in different places on this journey. For those who are currently involved in organized action or are interested in exploring such involvement, we commend to you the “Learn, Pray, Act” resources
provided by The Episcopal Church, and encourage you to contact your local Black Lives Matter and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) movements.
Join us in our commitment to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world and end the injustice of racism.