Justice Ministries

St. Bartholomew's Justice Ministries provide ways for parishioners to live into the promise in our Baptismal Covenant to: "strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being." (Book of Common Prayer, p. 305)


The national outcry over racial injustices in the summer of 2020 challenged faith communities, including St. Bartholomew's, to respond. St. B's led with a parish-wide book study on The Color of Compromise by Jamar Tisby, which addresses the Church’s historical role in racial oppression and its potential as a community for reconciliation and healing. In August 2020, Nancy Cason was named volunteer Assistant to the Rector for Justice Ministries, and several parishioners and clergy attended the five-week diocesan workshop "Becoming A Catalyst" in preparation to promote racial justice and healing in our diocese and in the world. Our work continues with involvement in The Episcopal Church's "Sacred Ground Dialogues," which is discussed more below, as well as book studies, relationship building, volunteering, and discernment about next steps. 


Sacred Ground Dialogues

St. B’s is pleased to offer Sacred Ground, a dialogue series on race and faith, on Wednesday evenings, September 8-November 10, 6:30-8:00 pm. Sacred Ground was developed by The Episcopal Church and run by the Diocese of Tennessee's Beloved Community Commission.


Through a powerful collection of documentary films and readings, we will examine chapters of America’s history of race and racism, with particular focus on how Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian/Pacific American histories intersect with European American histories. In doing so, we are invited to peel away the layers that have contributed to the challenges and divides of the present day—all while grounded in our call to faith, hope and love. Sacred Ground is part of Becoming Beloved Community, The Episcopal Church’s long-term commitment to racial healing and justice in our personal lives, our ministries, and our society. You can find more information on the national church's website.


This 10-part series will be held in St. B's Wallace Hall, and facilitated by Rev. Monna Mayhall of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Dr. Bill Gittens of St. Anselm’s Episcopal Church. Each class provides the opportunity for small group breakouts in which participants can process content and explore avenues for reconciliation. There is recommended preparatory reading and film viewing for each class that may involve 3-4 hours per week.

 

Sacred Ground comes highly recommended by the Diocese of Tennessee and the twelve St. B’s parishioners who completed the series in Fall 2020, who described it as “transformative,” “revelatory,” and “community-enhancing.” One added, “The Holy Spirit, who comforts those who are distressed and distresses those who are comfortable, is truly and fully present in this course.”


St. B’s parishioners are encouraged to ask questions and sign up by emailing Nancy Cason. Attendance is limited to 30 participants. After July 31, enrollment will be open to other churches in our diocese.


Walk in Love

On Sunday, April 18, 2021, 20 parishioners from St. Bartholomew’s participated in the annual Walk in Love to honor the life of Z. Alexander Looby, a Black civil rights lawyer and Episcopalian. The bombing of Looby's Nashville home in 1960 resulted in a 3000 student-led civil rights march on the Metro Courthouse and the subsequent desegregation of Nashville’s downtown lunch counters. We also read the Looby Litany at our Eucharist on Monday, April 19. Resources from the Diocese on The Walk in Love can be found here.