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Go Tell It on the Mountain: Of Nativities and Justice 
By Rev. Melanie Mullen 

Down in a lowly manger 
The humble Christ was born 
And God sent us salvation 
That blessed Christmas morn..

"Go Tell It On The Mountain," like the best African-American spirituals and gospel hymns, is a work of sophisticated simplicity, with a secrete story structure hidden in a singable tune. Beyond a surface reading, the song of the enslaved in the Americas charges the hearer to re-tell a nativity story of intersectional and racial justice. For a culture that's grown immune to ideas of Incarnation and vulnerability, is our version of the Christmas story "Go Tell It" material? Is it worthy of the context that birthed the song- surmounting darkness, hopelessness, and violence – by faith in the Incarnation, embodied hope and revolutionary joy?

During the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries slave owners relied on Christmas to fracture solidarity among the enslaved. As Christmas approached, they threatened to withhold gifts or even cancel Christmas entirely in a system of holiday-based reward and punishment. Christmas became a time to dismantle families and the news that a son, daughter, or spouse was to be sold away often prompted heartbreaking acts of violence. The most notable instance occurred in the 1831 Christmas Rebellion led by the enslaved people of Jamacia. The Christmas Rebellion, also known as the "Baptist War," mobilized some 60,000 enslaved persons on December 25th to respond to a call for liberation told from the mountains.  

An Early Christmas Present 
2021 Racial Justice Ministry Inventory and Truth-telling Webinars  

The first two webinars in our Racial Justice and Truth-telling Series are available for viewing, and it’s not to late to register for the final Zoom on January 12 at 3-4:30 pm Eastern. 

Session 1: Introduction of the 2021 Racial Justice Ministries Inventory – More than 70 dioceses provided details on their racial justice, reconciliation and healing ministries, and it’s all gathered in the 2021 Inventory of Racial Justice and Truth-telling Ministries. Held November 17, led by Justice and Sustainability Associates. 
 

Session 2: Truth-telling Ministries: Highlighted Examples and Lessons Learned – Leading-edge ministries offered wisdom and practical insight for the work of racial truth-telling, reckoning with history, faithfully approaching repair and reparations, and healing the wounds of racism. Held December 14. 
 

UPCOMING: Session 3: Truth-telling Ministries: Taking the First Steps  
Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 3 – 4:30 pm Eastern  

Inspiring leaders will share best practices and ideas for truth-telling, reckoning and healing work, to help other Episcopal groups to jumpstart or enhance their efforts.   

Registration: https://forms.gle/nSwvNrVBmMDA3z9g7 

Give the Gift of Anti Racism to Kids

Will Bouvel and Jen Enriquez developed a curriculum to teach children about racism through the frame of Christian faith.
 

ADVENT OFFERINGS
Advent Podcast: Prophetic Voices
Join us and our invited guests as we share prophetic voices and explore the readings for each week of Advent and Christmas Day through the lens of social justice. You’ll hear ancient texts interpreted in new ways, find fodder for preaching and teaching, and make present day connections to the Bible’s prophetic voices. Subscribe to Prophetic Voices: Preaching and Teaching Beloved Community on your favorite podcasting app. 
Preparing to Become the Beloved Community - Advent Year C
Congregations and Individuals can use this 5-session curriculum to reflect on the Advent readings and our shared hope to heal the human family of God. Download and share Preparing to Become the Beloved Community.

FROM THE FIELD

Meet and get inspired by some of the Becoming Beloved Community Grant recipients. Also, learn how your group can apply for a “BBC” Grant and help to dismantle racism in yourself, in your church, and in the world.

About Becoming Beloved Community (“BBC”) Grants

Beloved Community: Episcopal Migration Ministries


The Episcopal Migration Ministries devotes their time to living into the Biblical narrative, seeking protection and safety for refugees.


On Sacred Ground

Amanda Szakats describes the racist housing policies which kept BIPOC communities from owning land, and discusses current housing policies with leaders of change.

UPCOMING EVENTS
  • Thursday, January 6, 12:00PM Eastern - To Look Like Jesus: A Call to the Church and the Nation. For more information, click here
  • Wednesday, January 12, 3-4:30PM Eastern - Truth-telling Ministries: Taking the First Steps. Register here
Submit Your Event Here

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Copyright © 2021 Episcopal Church Department of Racial Reconciliation and Justice Team, All rights reserved.


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