Racial Justice Resources

In the wake of protests around the country following the death of unarmed black people during encounters with police, we've posted sermons, essays, and links to books, articles, videos and reading lists about racial justice.

Check out the new resources and send your contributions to the Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, director of networking, via email.

Communion is a Gift from God: A Letter from Bishop Lee

January 15, 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Some of you will have seen the news that the meeting of Anglican primates concluding today at Canterbury Cathedral in England has voted to issue what they call “consequences” to the Episcopal Church for our adoption of equal marriage at this past summer’s General Convention. For more context, I commend to you Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s video statement, filmed outside the gates of Canterbury Cathedral and released this morning. 

Read more.

A Paradoxical Feast Day

The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas is coming to Chicago to help the diocese celebrate what she calls “a paradoxical feast day.”

In Absalom Jones, she says, the Episcopal Church is commemorating not only its first African American priest, but also a man who faced discrimination throughout his life and ministry. “We can’t celebrate like we are celebrating the advent of racial justice,” says Douglas, Susan D. Morgan Professor of Religion at Goucher College in Baltimore.

Douglas, whose most recent book is “Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God,” will speak at the diocese’s Absalom Jones celebration at St. Thomas, Chicago at 3 p.m. on February 7. The event is sponsored by the local chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians.

Read more.



Responding to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Bishop Lee asks all members of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago to learn and pray about refugees fleeing Syria and how the church and its people can respond.

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting agencies in Syria, the Diocese of Jerusalem's Holy Land Institute for the Deaf and relief efforts for large numbers of people traveling out of crisis areas into Europe. Read more about Episcopal Relief & Development's work to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis and a prayer for victims of the Syrian Conflict from the Church of England.

Read more.

Bishop Lee on Facing the Death of Laquan McDonald

Everywhere we turn this morning in Chicago, we are confronted by images of Laquan McDonald, a young black man, being gunned down on one of our city streets by Jason Van Dyke, a white Chicago Police officer.

The video of Laquan’s death, released by the mayor’s office just hours after the officer was charged with first-degree murder, makes it impossible for us to turn away from the violence that has been done in our name by this police officer and by too many other police officers who are charged with protecting us. It makes it impossible for us to discount the power of systemic racism to distort our community. And it makes it impossible for us to tell ourselves that the peril of being young and black in Chicago is not our problem.

Read more.