St. Anne’s Reconciliation Ministry

Introduction

The St. Anne’s Compass Rose adorns the top of our church steeple and signifies the universal call of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the mission of St. Anne’s Parish to our entire city and county.  This Gospel call guides St. Anne’s Reconciliation Ministry as part of our parish’s Journey to Becoming Beloved Community. The work of reconciliation also is a fundamental calling for the Diocese of Maryland. Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton in his 2019 pastoral letter on reconciliation calls us to “acknowledge that there can be no love without justice, and there can be no justice without some form of repairing an injustice.”  Our commitment is grounded in the Gospel as we seek to do the transformative work of healing and justice. Our baptismal convenant guides us: “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?”

Roots of Faith: A Legacy of Witness
As we build a community of love, this ministry is focused on our future but grounded in our past.  This opportunity for transformation and witness is rooted in the mission of the church, going back to the beginning of our state and parish.  The Rev. Thomas Bray, whom we honor in the Episcopal Church on February 15, is part of this legacy.  As an English clergyman and abolitionist, he helped formally establish the Church of England in Maryland.  Having been commissioned in 1696 to report on the condition of the church in the colony, he radically reorganized and renewed it, founding 39 lending libraries, including a parish library in the colonial capital of Annapolis. In Maryland, he preached in defense of the rights of enslaved Africans and of Indians who had been displaced from their land. The Honorable William Wilberforce, whom the church honors on June 30, headed the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade for two decades until the passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1807. He is honored for his persistent, uncompromising, and single-minded crusade for the abolition of slavery and the slave trade.

“As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.” – Galatians 3:25-29

Vision, Mission Statement and Goals
Our VISION:

The vision of our ministry is to have become a fully reconciled and beloved community with our neighbors at St. Philip’s and other area congregations, and to be actively engaged in truth and reconciliation and social justice efforts in the wider Annapolis community and in the diocese.

Our MISSION:

To listen to, learn about, and share the whole history of St. Anne’s with respect to the surrounding community, especially the congregation of St. Philip’s.

To work toward reconciliation with communities and individuals who have been harmed by racist, discriminatory, and exclusionary practices.

To encourage and support a culture at St. Anne’s that welcomes all people in everything that we do.

To join our brothers and sisters in the Annapolis community in helping those in need and advocating for social justice.

Our GOALS:

To live into the mission of the church of restoring all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. (BCP, p. 855)

To use uncovered history to support such restoration, and to live into the words of the Baptismal Covenant of The Episcopal Church. (BCP, pp. 304-305)

To engage with our history not based on shame but based on the redemptive and generative love of Jesus Christ.

To create an oral history of racial and race-related actions and practices at St. Anne’s, and to share it with the wider St. Anne’s community and the public in order to move toward understanding and healing.

To research the written history of St. Anne’s with respect to black community members and enslaved people who lived in Annapolis, and to share those stories with the wider St. Anne’s community and the public.

To build community with the congregation of St. Philip’s by hosting joint events, by participating in ministries together, and by joining in community events that center black history and remembrance.

To share our findings and activities with the congregation of St. Anne’s and to help situate this work as an integral part of St. Anne’s mission and identity.

To consider mindfully which community groups St. Anne’s might join, and to make recommendations about these to the Vestry.

Learn More: Recommended Reading
Autobiography/ Memoir

  • Maya Angelou. I know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Random House, 1969, 2009, 2015.
    The first of seven autobiographies by this great American poet, singer and Civil Rights
    activist, relating her story and reflecting upon her life from ages 5 to 17.
  • Frederick Douglass. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Millennium Editions,1845,2018.
    This famous account of Douglass’s life as an enslaved person and his escape to freedom through his entrance into the political life of the Republic is the classic work in this genre.

History

  • Ibram X. Kendi. Stamped from the Beginning. Bold Type Books, 2016.
    Winner of the National Book Award for its account of the history of racist thought and practice in America from the colonial period to the present.
  • Nell Irvin Painter. The History of White People. W.W. Norton & Co., 2011. (+ kindle)
    The origins and invention of the ever-changing concept of race through its long and eventful history by this eminent historian.
  • Gilbert King. Devil in the Grove.
    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 for General Nonfiction, it combines the story of a Florida case in the late 1940s with the legal career of Thurgood Marshall. He was a defense attorney on the case. It is a fascinating, superbly researched book.

Theology and Social Justice

  • James H. Cone. The Cross and the Lynching Tree. Orbis Books, 2011
    James Cone examines the power of the Cross as the source of hope and courage in the Black experience through centuries of violence, oppression, and prejudice.
  • Howard Thurman. Jesus and the Disinherited. Penguin Random House, 1949, 2016 (+Kindle)
    A work of liberating spirituality that brings the African American experience to what Thurman calls “the Religion of Jesus.”

Literature

  • Yaa Gyasi. Homegoing. Penguin Random House (Vintage Book) 2016.
    The story of two half-sisters born in Ghana in the 18th century in different villages; one who marries an Englishman, the other, captured and enslaved; their paths and descendants.
  • Toni Morrison. Beloved. Penguin Random House, 1987, 2004.
    Pulitzer Prize winning novel about Sethe, an African American woman who escapes Enslavement, only to be recaptured and confronted with a horrible, haunting choice.

Books for Children

  • Kristina Brooke Danielle. Civil Rights Then and Now: A Timeline of the Fight for Equality in America. Wendybird Press, 2018.
    Engaging account of the struggle for Civil Rights.
  • Gabi Garcia. I Can Do Hard Things. Skinned Knee Publishing. 2018.
    How to speak up, when to say no to friends, how to be kind are among the questions faced by children in their daily lives and discussed in this engaging and accessible book.
What’s Happening: Events

We are offering continuing updates on the St. Anne’s Reconciliation Ministry Facebook page. It can be found by going to Facebook and searching for @stannesreconciliation.

Connect: Ministry Information