XXXXXXX, thank you for your post on Dr. King's anniversary, urging all of us to join you in addressing the continuing sin of racism. It is a struggle we resist at our spiritual peril. I have just completed "Reparations: Not a gift, but a debt" -- 78 minutes of audio snippets from multiple interviews which may be played while at 20-minute visual presentation recycles. It focuses mainly on slavery in New Jersey and its legacy in our diocese, but it also addresses slavery's continuing legacy nationally and in the Episcopal Church. The Reparations Task Force will display this material in our exhibit for diocesan convention at the end of the month. We also expect to publish it on the web. Keep us in your prayers. It is not a pretty picture. In preparing this presentation, I read YET WITH A STEADY BEAT, by The Rev. Dr. Harold Lewis. Dr. Lewis reports: "In the Diocese of South Carolina, where before the [Civil] War nearly half of the communicants had been black, there were only 395 black members in 1868. The bishop of the diocese [Thomas F. Davis] lamented to the delegates attending that year's convention: `You are aware how large a proportion of the colored population have been lost to our Church; we are not without hope that a more settled state of things, and a more mature judgment will bring many home again to the fold'" (Page 40). I was a communicant in the Diocese of South Carolina over 100 years later, in 1971-73 and again in 1988-89. Few blacks had come "home again to the fold" then. I was the only white member of St. Paul's in Orangeburg, and we were carefully segregated from the main life of the diocese. Have things improved? Are blacks even a quarter of the Episcopalians in your diocese now? Are they still mainly in almost all-black congregations? More importantly, how can we collaborate to end this terrible legacy throughout our land, and our Church's complicity in it? L., Newark deputation; member of Executive Council "Almighty God, you proclaim your truth by many voices: Direct, in our time, we pray, those who speak where many listen and write what many read; that they may do their part in making the heart of this people wise, its mind sound, and its will righteous; to the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." BCP 827
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