becoming beloved community
As part of our parish identity, we strive to foster God's Beloved Community in which all people may experience the abundant life intended for them as beloved children of God. We do this through pastoral care, fellowship, environmental stewardship, mission, and promoting racial justice and healing. This page focuses on that last element of the Beloved Community.
Watch "A Will to Preach" on SC-ETV featuring St.Luke's
Our October 2019 event featuring Dr. Will Willimon and Dr. Catherine Meeks has been featured in the documentary film "A Will to Preach" produced by SC-ETV. From SC-ETV: "In the program, Reverend Doctor William H. Willimon accepts an invitation from a young clergyman to guest preach at a small Episcopal church in Salisbury, North Carolina. The congregation is planning a weekend discussing racism and Rev. Willimon will deliver the sermon that culminates the weekend. Compounding the challenge of speaking about a sensitive subject, the Episcopal Church's assigned scripture for that Sunday does not appear to offer anything on racism. How will Willimon take the allotted biblical text and connect it to the topic, at a church of a different denomination, in a town he does not know?"
Efforts & Initiatives
St. Luke's completed Phase One of our work in January 2020:
A video documentary series in partnership with members of a partner AME-Zion congregation to capture stories by those who grew up in the Jim Crow era in Salisbury.
A weekend workshop for the community headlined by Bishop Will Willimon and Dr. Catherine Meeks of the Absalom Jones Center.
Partnership with Soldiers Memorial AME-Zion Church: Located on just one block from St. Luke's, we regularly partner with Soldiers Memorial to get to know each other as sisters and brothers in Christ and to work towards our shared mission of reconciliation.
Racial Equity Training: Our clergy have attended training by the Racial Equity Institute and we commend it to all. St. Luke's is also a proud sponsor and partner of Racial Equity Rowan, a local organization working to bring REI workshops to Rowan County, and our Rector and another church member serve on the Steering Committee of this group.
Supporting others: Recognizing that this work can never be done alone, we are grateful for the work being done by the Salisbury-Rowan circle of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and Racial Equity Rowan.
Beloved Community Discussions: We meet over a meal every few months to watch videos on the topic of race and then have conversations, both as small groups around our tables and as a larger group. These events are typically attended not only by members of St. Luke's, but members of the wider Salisbury community. Videos that we have watched and discussed include:
As the work of racial reconciliation will span generations, there will be many more events to come...
Phase Two of our Becoming Beloved Community had been planned to commence in the spring of 2020 but many of those events, which were built upon relationships and gatherings, have been postponed due to the pandemic. We have had small group discussions on Zoom about race and about the artistic depictions in our church.