History and Reconciliation Initiative
After the horrific shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina and the resolution of the Episcopal Church regarding the Confederate Battle Flag in June of 2015, St. Paul's set aside two Sunday afternoons in August of 2015 for prayerful conversations about the historic Confederate imagery and symbols in the church. These sessions were a time to share, listen, and pray together as an act of community discernment. St. Paul's invited Justice & Sustainability Associates to help set the framework for the discussions and train St. Paul's volunteers on how to be effective small group discussion leaders.
From these prayerful conversations came the History & Reconciliation Initiative, a commitment to understand the past role of race, slavery, and segregation in the history of our church and city, as well as the legacies of ongoing discrimination and racial inequities, we may better the pressing issues of the present and future.
All parishioners are invited to take part! HRI is working to build a board of community partners for support and accountability.
A Prayerful Conversation: On Sunday, April 23 at 5 p.m., HRI will be hosting a screening of Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North. Director, producer, and DeWolf family member Katrina Browne will be our guest and a conversation partner. Join us in Scott Hall for a powerful discussion on reconciliation over a potluck supper.
- History working group: researching aspects of racial history and the church, from 1840 to the present.
- Liturgy and music working group: developing liturgical and musical expressions of acknowledgment and reconciliation.
- Memorial working group: seeking a physical or living/legacy/ expression of acknowledgment, commemoration, and reconciliation.
We will be updating this soon with resources on public history and theological reflections from participants.
- "Robert E. Lee Worshipped Here," Sojourners video featuring interviews with parishioners and committee members: Follow this link
- "Robert E. Lee Worshipped Here," Sojorners article, published in the April 2017 issue: Follow this link
- "Closing the loop on racial reconciliation," Episcopal News Service article, published March 16, 2017: Follow this link
- A Prayerful Conversation: Who, What, When, Where, Why? Follow this link
- Catalog of Confederate References and Symbols (please note that due to its size, this file may take a few minutes to download): View the PDF
TheRev. Wallace Adams-Riley's sermon from June 28, 2015: Text version (PDF) | Audio version (link) TheRev. Wallace Adams-Riley's sermon from July 26, 2015: Text version (PDF) | Audio version (link)
- Resolution of The Episcopal Church regarding the Confederate Battle Flag: Follow this link
- Justice & Sustainability Associates (JSA): Link to their website
- A Word from Grace Street: A Holy Place, A Holy Message, August 18, 2015: Follow this link
- A Word from Grace Street: A Future Not Our Own, August 11, 2015: Follow this link
- A Word from Grace Street: Honor All People, August 4, 2015: Follow this link
- A Word from Grace Street: Whole Stories, Whole People, July 29, 2015: Follow this link
- A Word from Grace Street: Knowing Our Story, July 22, 2015: Follow this link
These conversations may bring up spiritual or emotional concerns