Building Beloved Community & Racial Reconciliation
"As your Bishop, I remain deeply committed to this work not just by the words I share but in action. For the past three years, I have encouraged and guided a concerted effort to expand our dedication to Building Beloved Community and dismantling racism and be at the heart of all we do, including all diocesan-wide programming, budget, discernment for holy orders process, leadership development, and recruitment of clergy.
Building Beloved Community also invites us to refine our diocesan Latino mission to equip and empower congregations to explore bi-cultural ministries as well as conversations and advocacy on immigration. Building Beloved Community invites us to listen and learn about our Eastern Band of the Cherokee brothers and sisters on the Qualla Boundary and how the Episcopal Church can partner with other Christian communities to serve alongside and support indigenous ministries.
Additionally, Building Beloved Community includes strengthening our commitment to racial equity and justice for African Americans in our communities, including our support for locally owned black business that have been hit harder by the impact of this pandemic and minority communities that are disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 health crisis.
As a diocese, we are committed to living by the words of John 13:34, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” It is with love that we will create a Beloved Community."
The Rt. Rev. José A. McLoughlin, Bishop, Diocese of Western North Carolina
For decades, the Episcopal Church has extolled a consistent message of education on the systemic sin of racism and taken action to eliminate racism wherever it exists--our institutions, communities, churches, and in ourselves. Indeed, "reconciliation is the spiritual practice of seeking a loving, liberating, and life-giving relationship with God and one another, and striving to heal and transform injustice and brokenness in ourselves, our communities, and society."
The Episcopal Church provides a variety of resources in the vital work of racial reconciliation. One such resource is Becoming Beloved Community, a set of interrelated commitments around which Episcopalians may organize our many efforts to respond to racial injustice and grow a community of reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers.
Beginning in February 2021, the Diocese launched a 4-week video series featuring the stories of voices of color from around the diocese. In August 2021, the series was brought back as a monthly feature, known as Barrier Breakers: Amplifying Voices of Color in the Diocese of Western North Carolina. Watch some of our Barrier Breakers below, or subscribe to our mailing list to get the newest video sent to your inbox each month.