In our Baptismal Covenant we promise, first, to “continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers.” We do this by gathering for worship at the Eucharistic table and participating in various forms of education and formation together.
We then promise to “proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ,” to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” These promises come directly after we declare our Christian beliefs, as outlined in the Apostles’ Creed. We promise, in other words, to live in such a way as to put our faith into practice for a world where the whole of God’s creation can thrive and flourish.
An array of obstacles, however, prevents that full flourishing. The daily news makes clear the various ways people today are hurting and wounded, whether because of systemic racism, or gender-rooted oppression and violence, or ecological degradation that makes its greatest impact on the poor and most vulnerable among us. For Christians, our faith urges us to name that brokenness and to help facilitate healing. Some of the most important work in that regard happens where those topics of concern intersect and overlap.
Issues of race, gender, class, and sexuality often mutually inform each other in complex ways. For this and other reasons, we turn to the visual arts at All Saints’ Parish to help us engage more fully—mind, heart, and body— with social and economic justice, and in ways that are imaginative, creative, and expansive, we all as provocative, troubling, and disorienting. Indeed, there is a long history of icons and religious art in Christian traditions for this very reason—visual images invite us below the surface of things and into deeper encounters with the infinite mystery of the living God as well as the often mysterious complexities of human life and community.
We take advantage of social media platforms to invite shared engagement with images for the sake of better world. We do this especially for Black History Month (February), Women’s History Month (March), Mother Earth Month (April), and LGBTQ Pride Month (June), a calendar we hope to expand and grow. Click HERE for recent statements concerning these online observances. (PDF statements from Jay)
Social Justice Contacts:
Dcn. Francis Berghuis – email@example.com – 616-403-6556
Bobbie Gaunt – firstname.lastname@example.org – 616-550-3497
“I speak of love based on my actual experience of people who have taught me about love, shown me how to love and who loved me. I saw it at Standing Rock. I saw it in our church’s struggle for true equality, baptismal equality … we are all equal at the baptismal font, we must all be equal at the holy table, we must all be equal in all of the sacramental rights of the church, which includes marriage.”
— The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church