Sunday, November 26, is Break the Silence Sunday.
General Convention Resolution 2022-C064, Break the Silence Sunday, originated from Province II. In affirmation of the resolution, the Diocese of New York (Province II) passed its Break the Silence Sunday resolution proposed by GC Deputy Yvonne O'Neal and the Rev. Paul Feuerstein.
Break The Silence Sunday is a resource for churches to support survivors of sexual violence, particularly in the context of worship.
The attached toolkit, written by Yvonne O’Neal and prepared by the Diocese of New York, offers prayers, resources, discussion points and tools for presenting this important topic into congregations and communities:
Event Title: Anti Racism Training on Zoom
When does it start? 01/31/2023
When does it end? 03/28/2023
Event Host and/or Location: Episcopal Diocese of NJ on Zoom
What kind of event is it? Course
Event Details: Be Anti-Racist.
Download the flyer >
This is what Anti-Racism training participants have had to say:
“There is so much we covered and the depth of the historical content is invaluable. My mind and perspective changed.”
“We all have room to learn and grow when it comes to racial justice.”
“This course is the one that I am going to recommend to my Bishop as the one that should be used for those in the ordination track.”
The Diocese of New Jersey’s Anti-Racism Ministry invites you to enroll in 20 hours of Anti-Racism Training streamed to your computer, tablet or mobile phone. This training takes an historical approach to help participants understand systemic racism and empower them to confront and organize against racism, inequality, and injustice.
Lecture and discussion topics include “What is Race?”, “Systemic Racism and White Privilege,” “Internalized Racism,” “The Role of the Church,” “Settler Colonialism,” “Racism in Immigration and Naturalization Legislation,” and “The Prison Industrial Complex.”
The course begins with a Zoom session to introduce participants and instructors, the schedule and program layout, as well as requirements to receive a certificate at the end of the course. In addition to the interactive Zoom sessions, participants will be presented with recorded lessons and lectures. The training takes place over five Tuesday evenings.
I am Carla Burns, General Convention Deputy from New York, and Member of the General Convention Racial Justice Legislative Committee.
Some representatives of diocesan antiracism committees from around the country have decided to have an exhibition booth at this year’s General Convention. Its purpose will be to share grassroots, antiracist ideas and initiatives with Convention attendees. Our national church has given us many excellent antiracist resources, and there is wonderful antiracist work happening in dioceses and congregations as well. Our booth would share some of those grassroots efforts.
Examples might be antiracist programs and initiatives completed by dioceses or congregations like:
New York Deputy
General Convention Racial Justice Legislative Committee Member
EDNY Antiracism Committee Member
Saludos a los compañeros miembros de los organismos antirracistas diocesanos y congregacionales de la de la Provincia II en la Iglesia Episcopal
Soy Carla Burns, diputada de la Convención General de la Diócesis de Nueva York y miembro del Comité Legislativo de Justicia Racial de la Convención General.
Algunos representantes de los comités antirracismo diocesanos de todo el país han decidido tener un puesto de exhibición en la Convención General de este año. Su propósito es compartir ideas e iniciativas antirracistas a nivel de base con los asistentes a la Convención. Nuestra iglesia nacional nos ha brindado muchos recursos antirracistas excelentes, y también se está realizando un trabajo antirracista maravilloso en las diócesis y en las congregaciones. Nuestro stand compartiría algunos de esos esfuerzos de base.
Los ejemplos pueden ser programas e iniciativas antirracistas realizados por diócesis o congregaciones tales como:
Si sabe de organismos antirracistas diocesanos o congregacionales que deseen compartir volantes, folletos y/o videos que describan su trabajo, por favor, diríjase a firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diputada de Nueva York
Miembro del Comité Legislativo de Justicia Racial de la Convención General
Miembro del Comité Antirracismo de EDNY
Break The Silence Sunday is an effort to open up a conversation within the church about rape and sexual assault. Within the context of our faith communities we hope to
(1) acknowledge the reality of rape and sexual violence in our world;
(2) support survivors by creating a place where they can tell their stories, feel loved and supported,
and find encouragement on their healing journey;
(3) commit ourselves to the work of changing the world, creating a future where rape is a memory.
Why does this matter?
The most conservative estimates from the U.S. Department of Justice tell us that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 33 men will be victims of rape in their lifetimes. Let that sink in – twenty five percent of the women and three percent of the men you know! What those statistics don’t tell us though is how many rapes go unreported because of a victim’s fear, sense of shame, and overwhelming societal pressures. How many people aren’t able to talk about what has happened to them, don’t have a safe place to tell their story, don’t have someone they can trust to tell their story to?
In the Diocese of New York, Resolutions proposed by the Diocesan Task Force on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault that the Convention affirms General Convention Resolution 2022-C064, Break the Silence Sunday, and calls on churches to observe the Sunday closest to November 25, which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence . This coincides with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, an annual international campaign of the UN that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
There are resources for churches to use on the Anglican Women's Studies Center website. These service resources and suggested readings have been prepared by the members of the Christian Network – Talanoa and commended to the Fiji Council of Churches for their use. All churches are invited to use them.
Imagine the impact this could have if the Episcopal Church joined this ecumenical campaign.
In every country, gender-based violence is a tragic reality. This violence is frequently hidden, and victims are often silent, fearing stigma and further violence.
We all have a responsibility to speak out against violence, to ensure that women and men, boys and girls, including people who are transgender, and people who are gender non-conforming, are safe from rape and violence in homes and schools, at work and in society, and in our churches.
#ThursdaysinBlack is a global ecumenical campaign of the World Council of Churches. In 2019, the ELCA Churchwide Assembly adopted a social policy resolution calling upon all people across all expressions of the church to join by wearing black on Thursdays, and actively participating in various reflection and action items. ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and National Bishop Susan Johnson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada both serve as Ambassadors for the #ThursdaysinBlack campaign.
The campaign is simple but profound. Wear black on Thursdays. Wear a pin to declare you are part of a global movement. Advocate for attitudes, policies, and practices that promote a no-tolerance culture against gender-based violence. Work for the safety, protection, and healing of those in harm’s way. Encourage others to join you.
Imagine if all 288,872 Episcopalians in Province II responded to the Rt. Rev. Dr. DeDe Duncan Probe’s call to honor our common baptismal covenant:
“Regardless of our political opinion, our common ground as Christians is our desire to be faithful to God, fulfilling Jesus’ commandments to love our neighbors, to care for the widow and orphan, and to offer water and basic comforts to those who suffer. And as Episcopalians, we all seek to fulfill our baptismal vows: honoring the dignity of every human being and striving for justice and peace.” (read her whole address: https://cnyepiscopal.org/2019/07/the-humanitarian-crisis-at-the-us-mexico-border-an-invitation-to-prayer-and-faithful-action-from-bishop-dede/).
There are so many opportunities for each one of us to do something.
The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande and neighboring dioceses are engaged directly in ministries with migrants and asylum-seekers on the US/Mexico border. Rio Grande's asylum seekers information page (https://www.dioceserg.org/Ministries/asylum-seekers) has information about how to donate to support ministry on the border, along with regular video updates from Rio Grande Bishop Michael Hunn and other resources.
Episcopal Migration Ministries has compiled resources and statements from around the Episcopal church (https://episcopalmigrationministries.org/response-to-the-border-education-and-advocacy) , including this one-hour webinar (https://vimeo.com/345900279) about the current situation at the US/Mexico border.
Please explore these resources, learn, and help in all the ways that you can.
As of the 2017 statistics, there were 288,872 baptized Episcopalians in Province II.
The Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, has launched a one-off $800,000 USD appeal to fund pensions for clergy in the Diocese of Cuba. The General Convention of The Episcopal Church (TEC) voted last year to readmit Cuba into membership following a separation of 52 years caused by the Cuban revolution. The average stipend for Cuba’s 23 serving clergy is $55 USD per month. Clergy in the diocese are not entitled to state pensions or social security because the Cuban government does not recognize their service as employment. Read the ENS story here: https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/pressreleases/the-episcopal-church-announces-launch-of-together-again-juntos-de-nuevo-cuba-pensions-campaign/
Imagine if each of us Province II Episcopalians sent just $5.00 to the appeal (https://www.episcopalchurch.org/development/pensions-campaign) – the campaign would be full to overflowing!