Preliminary materials for the new six-session Lenten study series, "What is Truth?: An Embodied Lenten Series," are now available from the Racial Justice Commission, launching a diocesan year of study "in the name of repentance, reconciliation and accountability."
Setting 2022 as a year for "gathering stories, sharing and receiving these stories and discernment across the diocese...to develop the broadly accepted understanding of what actions to take in the name of reparations" was called for by the 2021 Diocesan Convention resolution "Charting the Long Road Toward Reparations."
The Lenten study series introduction, which includes an overview of each of its six sessions, along with the guide for Session 1, "The Practice of Telling the Truth," are now available on the diocesan website at www.diomass.org/reparations-toolkit. The remaining five sessions will be posted there by the end of January.
The Racial Justice Commission's Subcommittee on Reparations commissioned the Rev. Katie Ernst and Hazel Monae to write the series, noting that both are respected across The Episcopal Church for their leadership in the work of racial reckoning and reconciliation. The Subcommittee on Reparations worked with the writers to provide individuals, small groups, congregations, ministry teams and other communities with "an opportunity for a communal and embodied experience, encouraging participants to go past thinking about the concept of truth to really experiencing the practice of truth-telling, however uncomfortable that may seem, and to examine how that feels 'in their bones,'" according to subcommittee member Leonie Drummond of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Mattapan.
As an additional and complementary resource this Lent, the annual Lenten Preaching Series from the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston--this year entitled "The Spiritual Practice of Truth"--will follow the same themes as the "What is Truth?" study series.
The Subcommittee on Reparations reports early interest in the Lenten study series, even before the launch of the materials, with requests from a number of diocesan congregations and from as far away as Oregon. Christy Close Erskine, a Sacred Ground facilitator at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Sisters, Ore., contacted the subcommittee to learn more, saying that she felt that the series might be "exactly what we've been looking for to help guide our deeper dive into the work of reparations."
The "What is Truth?" study series is the latest addition to "A Toolkit for Reparations in Community: A Resource for the Body of Christ," introduced at the 2021 Diocesan Convention in November. For more information on the Lenten study series or the toolkit, or to provide feedback on either, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.