Seeing the Face of God in Each Other: A Year-Long Pilgrimage of the Diocese of Rochester
Upcoming Pilgrimage Events
November 4, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Sunday, November 6, 2016, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Integrated Arts & Technology High School, Benjamin Franklin Campus
Join the Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and leaders from around the Rochester region for a forum discussion on three interlocking forces that continue to challenge our society: poverty, racism, and violence. The event will focus on exploring practical steps toward change.
Moderated by Hélène Biandudi Hofer, host of WXXI’s “Need To Know,” the forum will be held at Rochester’s Integrated Arts & Technology High School, Benjamin Franklin Campus. The Mayor’s office, Teen Empowerment, Rural & Migrant Ministry, and others will participate.
The event is free, but registration is required. More info...
A Message from Bishop Singh
Every once in a while, we sing gustily that in Christ there is no east, no west, no south and no north. We are taught that we are one family of God where there is no value difference in male or female (Galatians 3), Jew or Greek (Romans 10), black or brown, superior caste or outcast, etc. This is the heart of Christian theology. This is why I choose to be a Christian, a sinner striving to follow Christ.
We are family because of our brother Christ who helps us overcome and reconcile various forms of alienation. Alienation is another way of saying "sin." Sin is that which divides and keeps us apart. It is anything that causes indifference to come in the way of our connectivity with God--source of all good--with each other, and with all creation.
Racism is sinful because it makes us behave like we are not family. It reduces the sense of self of some, while heightening suspicion all around. It erodes the fundamental assumptions of family: trust and equal value. The worst impact of racism is its capacity to self-perpetuate a lie, that "I am of less value than you." Sociologists refer to this as the internalization of racism.
Of course, racism is only one manifestation of alienation like many other forms. It reduces our capacity to be family and beloved community in Christ. We overcome racism by acknowledging it when we see it, and by paying attention to it within us, our communities, and our systems. We must do this holy work if we are to be Church, the body of Christ. We need each other to do this. It is not easy work and it is holy work. Let us do this work thoughtfully over this year.
As we resolved at the 2015 Convention, I commend to you these and other resources to help us engage in a year-long-pilgrimage of seeing the face of God in each other. Let us read, mark, inwardly digest, pray, act, and reflect as a diocese. Let us do this work with each other in pairs, and in small and large groups.
May this discipline form, inform and transform us to better recognize and reflect the Christ within each of us and in each other! May we sing new songs of a new heavenly reality into being! May God bless you as you intentionally enter this holy work in the name of the Holy One in whom south, north, east and west converge!
Your fellow pilgrim in Christ,
Download the Brochure
Have you seen the pilgrimage brochure yet? You can see the PDF here:
Share Your Pilgrimage Story
Are you on pilgrimage with the Diocese? If so, please consider sharing your story with us. We'll add it to this page and use it during Convention, to help others learn about all of the journeys undertaken this year!
About the Pilgrimage
At Convention 84, the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester elected to begin a year-long pilgrimage to See the Face of God in Each Other - to overcome racism as it expresses itself in our Church, our culture and our communities. (Click to view the Convention resolution.)
Ending with a Day of Repentance, Healing, and Reconciliation in conjunction with the 85th Convention in November 2016, this pilgrimage will present several opportunities for parishes and individuals to engage the topic of race - and to see God in others.
Diocesan Reading Program
Guidelines & Help
The Diocesan Reading Program (DRP) has been created to support Bishop Singh’s year-long pilgrimage ”Seeing the Face of God in Each Other” which will culminate with a healing Service of Repentance and Reconciliation for the sin of racism which will be held at the Rochester Diocesan Convention in November 2016. Books which address aspects of racism in the United States have been selected to assist us in traveling on this journey. Each parish will select which three of these books in 2016 it wishes to read and discuss prior to the 2016 Convention.
Below are some steps that need to be taken to assist you in creating a reading program on a timely basis at your parish.
The Reading List:
More titles to come soon.
Parishes can coordinate their own efforts around this.