Faith Statement: Racism is a grievous sin that injures people of color and the whole community. Working to heal racism is an important part of St. Mark’s ministry to our community. We value the diversity within our own church and our surroundings, and we seek to reconcile with one another through faith, action, and education.
Purpose: St. Mark’s Healing Racism Ministry (HRM) helps the congregation engage in healing the sin of racism by changing how we think about, and respond to, the sin of racism in our midst.
History: St. Mark’s Vestry created its HRM in January 2000, following mandates from the Episcopal Church of the USA and the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. Since then, HRM has conducted Welcoming Diversity Inventory for Congregations discussions resulting in recommendations monitored by HRM, hosted Institutes for Healing Racism, and Elimination of Racism trainings, and participated in Partners for a Racism-Free Community’s Annual Summits/Forums, committees and events.
- Increase parishioner awareness of the sin of racism;
- Promote racial healing for ourselves and others; and
- Develop and present an annual plan of activities that encourages our whole parish to continue our Christian journey for better understanding and healing.
- HRM News can be found in St. Mark’s Sunday bulletins, “On-Lion” newsletters, and on HRM’s Facebook Page.
- Episcopal Church of the USA: The Sin of Racism: A Call to Covenant A Pastoral Letter from the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church March 2006
- Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan: The Diocese of Western Michigan’s Commission on the Elimination of Racism.
- Partners for a Racism-Free Community (PRFC), and its predecessor, Grand Rapids Area Center for Ecumenism (GRACE), have been valuable resources in the development and ongoing work of HRM. Having earned Full Partner status in the PRFC-ICARE Assessment process, HRM is striving to make St. Mark’s a racism-free environment for staff, parishioners, vendors, and visitors.
- St. Mark’s has hosted, and members have participated in, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s Institutes for the Healing of Racism. HRM highly recommends the Institutes to people wishing to explore anti-racism more deeply.
- Planning a purchase? Consider using the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s Minority and Women-Owned Vendor List.
- To learn more about racism in the US, visit The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI.