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General Convention Task Force invites Episcopalians to participate in survey “Social Justice and the Episcopal Church: A Call for Stories”

Responses requested by: November 5, 2020
October 8, 2020

The Task Force on Theology of Social Justice Advocacy invites Episcopalians to participate in a survey, “Social Justice and the Episcopal Church: A Call for Stories”.

Resolution 2018-A056, Create Task Force on the Theology of Social Justice Advocacy as Christian Justice, mandates:

That the 79th General Convention direct the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies of The Episcopal Church to appoint a Task Force on the Theology of Social Justice Advocacy as Christian Ministry, consisting of three (3) bishops, three (3) presbyters or deacons, to include both orders, and six (6) lay persons, who represent the diversity of the Church, to be tasked in this triennium to consider scripture, approved liturgical resources, other theological texts and previous actions of General Convention to summarize the ways in which The Episcopal Church understands the work for social justice as essential mission and ministry of the Christian Church; and be it further

Resolved, That the Task Force study how The Episcopal Church currently fosters theological understanding and leadership for social justice, and recommend ways to foster theological and practical conversation across the Church on this topic

In the work of contemplating the theology of social justice advocacy in The Episcopal Church, the Task Force recognizes that different people have vastly different perspectives and experiences. For some, social justice advocacy may seem somewhat peripheral to their spiritual lives in the church; for others, social justice may have become an important focal point of their theology over time; for still others, the struggle for social justice is fundamental to and inseparable from their experience of what it is to be a Christian.

The members of the Task Force would like to gather stories and deeper perspectives to support their work on behalf of the Church and invite Episcopalians to consider sharing their experience by completing the survey, “Social Justice and the Episcopal Church: A Call for Stories”.

“Among the historical documents our task force has looked at is the 1982 ‘Jubilee Ministry’ Report of the Standing Commission on The Church in Metropolitan Areas to General Convention,” explains Sarah Lawton, chair of the Task Force on Theology of Social Justice Advocacy, “This report states in scriptural and theological terms that we Episcopalians are called to be agents of jubilee and shalom--including ministry to alleviate immediate suffering and needs (such as lack of food, medical care, shelter) but also work to address the injustices that causes the pain in the first place: 'The People of God share a mission to change whatever causes the oppression.' More than a generation later, as we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, an uprising for racial justice, and climate-driven storms and wildfires, and worsening economic inequality, we are wondering how the church understands social justice today. We have carried out a number of key interviews with folks who are doing social justice work and advocacy as Christian vocation, as well as theologians and teachers. These interviews have helped to deepen and enrich our understanding, but we'd like to gather stories from a broader group of Episcopalians across the church.” 

The survey will take approximately 15-30 minutes to complete and is available in English here, in Spanish here, and in French here.

Survey responses are due by November 5, 2020.

For questions or additional information, please email tfsja.episcopal@gmail.com.

Task Force members include:
Ms. Sarah Lawton, Chair, Episcopal Diocese of California
The Rt. Rev. Prince Singh, Vice-Chair, Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
The Rt. Rev. Andrew Dietsche, Episcopal Diocese of New York
Ms. Ruth Frey, Episcopal Diocese of New York
The Rt. Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple, Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina
Professor Brant Lee, Episcopal Diocese of Ohio
The Rev. Deacon Guy Leemhuis, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles
Ms. Lallie Lloyd, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
Dr. Dora Mbuwayesango, Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina
The Rev. Jose Rodriguez-Sanjuro, Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida
Dr. Reuben Varghese, Episcopal Diocese of Washington
The Rev. Susanne Watson Epting, Episcopal Diocese of Iowa
The Most Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop, The Episcopal Church, ex officio
The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president, The Episcopal Church House of Deputies, ex officio
 

Tagged in: General Convention

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Nancy Cox Davidge
Public Affairs Officer