The parish of St. James, Caledon East acknowledges that Anti-Black racism exists in our society and in our Church, and that it and all forms of racism against Black, Indigenous and other racialized people are a sin against God and against our neighbour. We commit ourselves to the recognition, dismantling, and elimination of Anti-Black and other forms of racism in our secular institutions, in our Church, and in ourselves, and to work for the full inclusion, participation and belongingness of Black, Indigenous and other racialized people in all sectors of our common life.
In light of this acknowledgment, and in keeping with this commitment, our parish undertakes to honour Black History Month (February), Asian History Month (May) and Indigenous History Month (June) on an annual basis. We will plan to host a special event, guest speaker, book study, or film discussion. Each history month will also be celebrated on at least one of the Sunday liturgies in its respective month.
This year’s Social Justice Vestry Motion comes from the Bishop’s Committee on Intercultural Ministry, with the support of the Social Justice & Advocacy Committee.
2020 has been a time of great upheaval and unveiling in many respects, not least of which has been a greater awareness throughout society, in both Canada and the U.S., of the continuing scourge of racism. Whether expressed in individual acts or via the policies and culture of institutional systems, racism inhibits the full inclusion, participation and valuing of every human being within the community. Tragically, it is has not only been true of our secular institutions, but of our Church as well.
While our national and diocesan Church have begun grappling with our complicity in anti-Indigenous racism through Anglican participation in the Indian Residential Schools settlement and commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation process, there has not to date been much attention paid by our Church to anti-Black racism. This motion therefore highlights anti-Black racism as a particular form of racism which we are called to recognize and dismantle, along with every other form of racism.
Further, this motion recognizes and builds on the Diocesan Anti-Racism/Anti-Bias training which will be rolling out in early 2021.
This motion was approved by the College of Bishops on November 25, 2020 and presented to the Regional Deans on December 2, 2020.
For further reading:
Churches Beyond Borders – Advent Call to Address Racism and White Supremacy (from the Anglican Church of Canada, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the Episcopal Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, November 30, 2020)
Please visit our Diversity Resources page for additional materials. More materials will be posted over December 2020 and January 2021.