Equity and Justice Committee
The Equity and Justice Committee at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension (AEJC) is a congregation-based committee formed in 2020 in response to the social unrest and ongoing, systemic inequities that permeate our culture and country. We root our work in Scripture and engage in activities to promote justice and dismantle injustice. The committee holds events and excursions, provides resources, and partners with other organizations to raise awareness and deepen knowledge of issues such as criminal justice reform, gun violence prevention, immigration, efforts to reimagine public safety, disability rights, Holocaust remembrance, LGBTQIA+ rights, how to do advocacy, and the history and culture of African Americans, Indigenous people, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and others. See our mission statement below. We meet via Zoom every first and third Thursday of the month at 7:00 pm and welcome you. Contact us at [email protected].
My commandment is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
As our Lord commands and to which we commit in our Baptismal covenant, our mission is to take active and deliberate measures to assure that the inherent dignity of all peoples is acknowledged, respected, and protected. By all peoples, we mean every adult and child of every race, ethnicity, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, religious background, and socioeconomic status under God’s creation. We do not overlook but rather respect and celebrate our differences as God intended. We remember and live into our interconnectedness, knowing that we are only as strong, healthy, happy, and satisfied as the least of our human family. We use our God-given talents to lift up every member of our human family.
We will achieve this through active and deliberate measures such as:
- Creating a safe space to discuss inequities within our church and in our community
- Becoming a Beloved Community by moving from an inclusive congregation to a connected congregation where all feel they belong
- Encouraging members to work toward actively eliminating injustice
- Participating with activities/organizations that are already working to bring equity (e.g., Habitat for Humanity and Identity Inc., Gaithersburg)
- Providing educational opportunities for the congregation and community on issues of social justice, race, and inequity that empower them to speak up and speak out against instances of injustice
- Celebrate culturally important days/activities that are present in our community.
- Make use of national and diocesan programs such as the Episcopal Diocese of Washington’s Sacred Ground dialogue series and the national Episcopal Church’s initiative “Becoming a Beloved Community,” which includes the “From Many, One” project.
- Host seminars, town hall–style meetings, vigils, film viewings, lectures, discussions, and service projects for our congregation and the community, including other faith groups.
- Encourage the sharing of stories and experiences.
- Recommend media (films, books, articles, lectures, workshops, seminars) that provide diverse perspectives.
- Conduct a racial audit: research and write up Ascension’s history with regard to race and other aspects of its diverse history.