For the history behind the Beloved Community vision, how these Beloved Community principles were formed, and the vitality practices to live into these priciples, visit The Beloved Community page.
Embodied Justice is an awareness of how our decisions impact others and intentionally working against discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or age; standing in solidarity with the poor and marginalized; and caring for God’s creation with reverence.
The Diocese of California is involved in social justice issues on diocesan and congregational levels. Several commissions speak directly on current events through the lens of what is our Christian response. Here are a few stories of how across the diocese we embody justice:
The Peace, Justice, and Hunger Commission meets regularly at St. Paul’s, Oakland, to award grants and plan events in the diocese. The commission held a one-day workshop on Spirituality and Racial Justice with small group conversation and a video series featuring Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who spoke about The Episcopal Church as committed to Racial Reconciliation.
The work of the Rev. Richard Smith and the congregation of St. John the Evangelist, San Francisco have been in the forefront of justice issues in the Mission District. Smith has spoken out against police violence against citizens in the cases of Amilcar Perez-Lopez and Alex Nieto, including hosting the memorial service for Amilcar at St John’s. Additionally the congregation is a site host for the Gubbio Project; which opens sacred space for homeless persons to have a safe quiet space for sleep and rest during weekday mornings. There are many news articles on the congregation’s work against police violence, but here's a DioCal piece on the one year anniversary vigil and march for Amilcar: http://diocal.org/pcn/news/one-year-memorial-vigil-and-march-amilcar-perez-lopez.
Members and clergy of Holy Trinity, Richmond and All Souls, Berkeley attend the interfaith vigils at the West County Detention Center in Richmond. The center houses persons held by ICE awaiting hearings or deportation. The vigils have prayers, songs, and testimony from family members. Congregants have provided support for people released from the West County Center. Read more about the interfaith vigils here: http://diocal.org/pcn/news/all-souls-berkeley-leads-may-interfaith-immigration-vigil.
Episcopal Charities convened its annual Action Network meetings in each deanery: groups of congregants and community members came together to identify and research local nonprofit agencies that are addressing root causes of poverty in their communities. With the insight and local knowledge of participants, the Action Networks identified candidate organizations for Episcopal Charities grant funding and mentorship. The 2016 Action Networks met at St. Luke’s, San Francisco; St. Clement’s, Berkeley; Trinity, Menlo Park; St. John’s, Ross; St. Paul’s, Walnut Creek; and Holy Cross, Castro Valley.
Episcopal Charities has been partnering with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and other local nonprofits and government agencies to bring the life-changing benefits of Proposition 47 and other criminal record remedies to San Francisco residents. Under Proposition 47, certain nonviolent felonies are eligible to be reduced to misdemeanors, but the process is complex, costly, and time-limited — the opportunity to apply ends in November 2017. Through a combination of free community outreach events and legal clinics, Episcopal Charities and its partners have helped people access their records and begin the process of changing them.
Episcopal Charities, California Interfaith Power & Light (CIPL), and Urban ReLeaf mobilized local faith congregations and the wider community to plant trees in East Oakland in support of environmental justice. Planting trees provides important health benefits to undeserved neighborhoods. For more on these efforts, read this article: http://diocal.org/pcn/news/interfaith-tree-planting-east-oakland.