All ministry is about relationships. With this in mind, we invite all parishioners to learn about St. Mary’s Ministry on Race, Reconciliation & Equity (MORE).
Join our clergy, vestry, and fellow parishioners to confront our collective history of racial and economic segregation in Arlington and beyond. We aim to create opportunities for parishioners to listen and share, and better understand racism and inequity.
- Here is a link to the Outreach/MORE Facebook page which lists current MORE-related events and updates.
- Click here to access the national church’s Sacred Ground series. St. Mary’s offers parishioners to join or lead a small group discussion on these issues.
- Watch a video to learn about the MORE Group, featuring various group leaders.
To join the MORE group or for more information, please contact Jenny Hoil at email@example.com or David Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is a holiday traditionally celebrated in African-American communities – its name comes from the combination of “June” and “nineteenth”, the day on which it is celebrated each year. Juneteenth honors the official end of the Civil War and freeing of all slaves. On June 19th, 1865, Union general Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free. Texas was the last of the former slave states where this proclamation occurred. General Granger and roughly 2,000 Union soldiers were in Galveston, Texas to enforce President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had actually gone into effect more than two years earlier, on January 1, 1863. However, the more than 250,000 slaves in Texas were still shocked to hear the by then years-old news that they were free. Granger’s General Order No. 3 stated: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves.”
The first celebration of Juneteenth as a holiday occurred one year later, in 1866. In addition to marking a date of major significance in American history, Juneteenth has always been both a day of remembrance and an opportunity for African-Americans to honor their history and celebrate Black culture. In the years since the original Juneteenth, African-Americans have honored Juneteenth in various ways, but in some cases were limited in doing so because of oppression from white society, such as in Jim Crow Laws.
Today we gather to honor Juneteenth as a very important date in American history – not just for African-Americans – as a holiday of celebration and hope. But we also gather to express our frustration with the ongoing injustice and discrimination in our society against people of color, especially African-Americans. So we are demonstrating support for the plight of African-Americans and recognize that we are all beloved children of God. We need to act now for justice. We need to remind society that God loves every one of us equally. We need to heed Jesus’ words: “Love one another as I have loved you.”
For more information, please see: www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/what-is-juneteenth/ or www.juneteenth.com
Explore These Resources
In October 2019 Adult Forum, MORE representatives presented how MORE seeks to help all of us more fully live up to our baptismal covant to respect the dignity of every individual. Review the slides from the presentation for an overiew.
Arlington celebrates the centennial of the naming of Arlington County. Special events (Feb. 13th 7PM Central Library Auditorium) will highlight the contributions of African-Americans and immigrants and refugees.
Challenging Racism: Learning How now offers workshops for interfaith groups. Through stories, activities and conversations, participants learn to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. Learn about upcoming workshops.
A Guide to the African American Heritage in Arlington County, VA, is a 68-page PDF that documents important facts, history and local context.
In this video, recorded in 2017, Bishop Michael Curry talks about “when the stain of bigotry has once again covered our land…we must now remember new martyrs of the way of love.” Watch Where Do We Go From Here?
Scene on Radio is a podcast that tells stories exploring human experience and American society. Scene on Radio comes from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University..
MORE Additional Resources
- White Folks Facing Race Blog by Arlingtonian Emily Vincent
- Arlington Opportunity Gaps Today
- 26th/Old Dominion History Memo
- Episcopalians and Race: Civil War to Civil Rights, by Gardiner Shattuck, especially Chapters 7-8
- America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, by Jim Wallis, especially chapters 5 and 6
- “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” by The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “The black-white wealth gap is unchanged after half a century” The Economist (print edition, Apr 6th 2019)
MORE is St. Mary’s initiative, blessed by the vestry, and informed by the Virginia Diocese and national Episcopal Church.
In relationship with one another and our neighbors, we will work together to find meaningful, informed and active ways to seek racial reconciliation and “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being” (Baptismal Covenant in The Book of Common Prayer, p. 305).
Our individual experiences and background shape our personal starting place when thinking about race. We will share some first-person narratives on the topic of race future issues of the Messenger newsletter. Considering many perspectives and remaining grounded in our common faith we seek to grow into more loving men and women.
MORE Ministry Team: Jenny Hoil & David Smith (co-chairs) Dennis Carter-Chand, Rebecca Carter-Chand, Susan Cunningham, Paul Douthit, Marjorie Green, Gordon Mantler, Stacey Tevlin, David Palmer (vestry liaison), Deacon Pete Nunnally, Mother Sara Palmer, and Father Andrew Merrow.