New Leadership and Covenant

Several events signaled an evolution in the Church’s understanding of race and the uses of power. These included the 1988 and 1991 General Convention resolutions on racism and accountability, the Pastoral Letter declaring racism a sin, and the election of Barbara Harris, the first woman and an African American to the Episcopate. A corner had been turned.

Prejudices and institutional blindness were no longer the problem, but complacency and untested racial categories have continued to intrude on and constrain the vibrancy and health of the Church. Black leadership has been more widely recognized and honored. The institutional Church continues to be tested, however, for being truly open to the full participation of all people of God and transparency in the everyday decisions involving issues of race, ethnicity, and inclusion. The journey for justice and reconciliation both in the Church and in the larger society remains a work in progress. [Sources]