Justice work and reflection
Justice work is an important part of Christ Church, as we seek to build God's kingdom in the world through addressing chronic issues that underpin our society, including racism, sexism, poverty, heterosexism, and educational inequity. At the same time, we seek to continue that work inside ourselves, growing in our own self-awareness.
Read the border diary of member and immigration attorney Ayo Gansallo, from her January 2019 trip to the Southern border to volunteer. And stay tuned for more stories of faith and service.
Thanks to all who participated in the June 21st March for Education Justice! It was powerful to walk the short distance from Samuel Gompers Elementary in Overbrook to Merion Elementary in Lower Merion with so many others from POWER and other organizations - and to consider the vast discrepancies in per-student funding across this short distance. While the state legislature did not enact Governor Wolf's full education proposal at the end of June, the budget did include increases in basic education funding. The pursuit of education justice must continue. For a more detailed synopsis of what is happening in PA education funding and an upcoming lawsuit regarding fair funding in PA, see this article from the non-profit Chalkbeat. And if you decide to share the article on social media, don't forget the hashtag! #Enough4AllPA
POWER takes a brief summer break, so we thought this would be an opportune time for a book study for anyone who would like to participate. In one of our meetings this Spring, the book The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee was suggested as an excellent read on anti-racism. We would love to get together and discuss this book with all who are interested on the evening of August 3rd. Please let us know if you are "in" for the book study!
The Christ Church Preservation Trust, which oversees our education program, recently sponsored a special presentation via Zoom of Anne Bailey, who spoke on the legacies of Pierce Butler and Pierce Mease Butler (both buried at and sometime members at Christ Church). That family presided at "The Weeping Time," the single largest slave sale in United States history. Her presentation is titled, "Why Memory Matters."
Christ Church supports an ongoing partnership with Episcopal Community Services to meet the needs of families in transition from homelessness to permanent housing through specific identified projects throughout the year, including Fill the Bus (school supplies in summer), Christmas presents for those in need, and a spring-cleaning drive for cleaning supplies. We also partner with Philabundance in late January to help fill cupboards empty during the lull after Christmas.
Contact: the Rev. Susan Richardson
The Antiracism and Social Justice Committee of the Vestry
We are pleased to share this exciting news: we have received a grant from the Becoming Beloved Community initiative of The Episcopal Church! The funds will allow Christ Church to collaborate with the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas and St. Peter's Church. We will formally launch a project called “In the beginning: Telling the Truth About Our Churches and Race at the Founding.” The $7,000 seed grant will build on the ongoing archival work and the various programs and articles over the past decades. In working together, we seek to tell a clearer story about race and racism in our past, trusting that research and collaboration will lead us towards a more just contemporary response."
Meals for those struggling with homelessness
We gather monthly during the colder months to shop for, prepare, and share a meal with men in the Bethesda Project program, in the nearby facility at Old First Reformed Church. Join in for a delicious meal and company; it's fine if you can only stay an hour or take on one task.
Contact: the Rev. Susan Richardson
St. Mary’s 350
Help make sandwiches to provide lunch for the homeless shelter at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. When not under COVID restrictions, this group meets on the third Saturday of every month at 8:30 a.m. at Neighborhood House.
Contact: Grace Layne