Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, a way of life

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.
The Freedom of Reconciliation

SUNY, Geneseo
Join us for a morning workshop with the Rev. Canon Michael Hunn and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, which will coincide with our Presiding Bishop’s visit in November. Organized by St. Michael’s in Geneseo and to be hosted on campus at SUNY Geneseo, the workshop is scheduled for Friday, November 4, from 10 a.m. to noon. Canon Hunn, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Within the Episcopal Church, will lead the workshop - focused on the freedom of reconciliation as a means to non-violently address race and racism. Bishop Curry will open and close the event. Register now!

Sunday, November 6, 2016, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
From Nightmare to Dream
Overcoming the Unholy Trinity of Poverty, Racism, and Violence

Integrated Arts & Technology High School, Benjamin Franklin Campus
950 Norton Street Rochester, NY 14621

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...

Register now for free!

A Message from Bishop Singh

Dearly Beloved,

We have just started a new Church year.  The season of Advent calls us to ponder and act with the important reminder that the Lord is near, accompanying us.

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:

Pilgrimage Brochure

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!

Click here to submit your story. 

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.