EES and the Witness for Racial Justice

I’m excited to announce the most significant reform in Evangelism for the 21st Century grants in their history. EES is making the witness for racial justice the priority of our work. Evangelism is sharing the Good News of God’s restorative work in Jesus Christ, and there are many authentic expressions of it. We believe that, in this critical moment, the Spirit is leading Episcopalians to an evangelistic witness that incorporates racial reconciliation and justice. We invite applicants to respond to that vision with proposals for innovative projects that explore the intersection of evangelism and racial justice.

Our conversations about the intersection of evangelism and racial justice have been developing over several years, as we have learned from our grantees about evangelism in cultural contexts that are foreign to us. Also, we have been formed by grant work that crosses society’s artificial borders, in mutual witness to God’s loving presence and active work in those places. And then, this summer, as leaders in the Episcopal Church began preaching, teaching, demonstrating and bearing witness to the Way of Love that follows a radical peacemaker who was a victim of injustice and oppression, we responded by issuing a statement on racial injustice and beginning the internal work necessary to implement it.

We are convinced that the Episcopal Church, which stands for justice and peace, and respect for the dignity of every human being, is well-positioned to repair the breach between church and society IF we also work to repair our own legacy of white supremacy culture and empire. We’re also convinced that those who are in formation for leadership in the Episcopal Church want to invest themselves in this work; they want to take a risk and be transformed by ministry that will have an impact in this moment that is ripe for lasting change. It’s our mission to support them in that task.

All of this has led to a makeover of our grants program. Read an expanded version of our vision here; applicants are invited to respond to an aspect of that vision with a proposal for innovative grant work. As always, applicants are encouraged to reach out to me early in the process. I’m ready, willing and able to help them craft a successful application, and to get the support necessary for those for whom English is not their first language. Applications are due February 8, 2021.

So, to all our readers and stakeholders: who do you know who’s in formation for leadership in the Episcopal church (Episcopal seminarians, students in local formation programs, faculty, staff and spouses and partners) who might respond to this challenge? Please pass this on to them. 

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