One in the Spirit is a diocesan wide initiative focused on increasing our capacity to expand relationships and deepen connections across differences in order to strengthen our shared commitment to follow Jesus.

A response to the increasing polarization and deepening divisions in our church, our nation and our world, it is committed to equipping us to recover our deep connection to each other and to our world so we can participate more fully in the transforming work of love.

Vision:

  • To live more fully into our baptismal promise to respect the dignity of every human being.
  • To proclaim in Christ’s name that we will not submit to our era’s division and polarization.
  • To feed hearts that are hungry for connection and community in a secularizing, isolating age.”
  • To understand better how barriers of class, race, language, nationality, culture, politics, geography, orientation, and identification blind us to the image of the divine in one another.
  • To choose not to choose between challenging systemic oppression in all its forms and respecting the dignity of every single human being.

Mission:

  • Expand our capacity as a diocese to expand relationships and deepen connections across differences in order to strengthen our shared commitment to follow Jesus.
  • Compile and develop resources to increase connection to each other and our world, equipping us to more fully embrace the transforming power of God’s inclusive love.
  • Create conversational communities to drive bridge building across the differences that simultaneously enrich and challenge us as a diverse, multi-cultural diocese, utilizing existing diocesan programs and resources as well as creating new ones

Tackling the Truths of a Toxic Movement 

A three-session opportunity to explore the what, why and how of Christian Nationalism using Pamela Cooper-White’s brilliant book “The Psychology of Christian Nationalism: Why People Are Drawn In and How to Talk Across the Divide.” Compiled as part of the ongoing commitment to the work of engaging across difference by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, the study guide is available as a PDF for those who wish to convene discussion groups in congregational or community settings. You can download it here. Information on the October 2022 diocesan study group available here

Juneteenth

Juneteenth National Independence Day (June 19) – sometimes known as Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day or Black Independence Day – was named a federal holiday in 2021 by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden. It celebrates the end of slavery in Confederate states, which officially began with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. It took two and a half years more, until June 19, 1865, for slaves in Texas to be freed when victorious Union soldiers enforced the order. Regional celebrations of the day have been held since 1866.

The 2021 meeting of Diocesan Convention adopted a resolution establishing Juneteenth as a diocesan observance beginning June 19, 2022. The resolution also directs the Los Angeles deputation to General Convention to begin working toward inclusion of the holiday in Lesser Feasts and Fasts. Click here to read more about the Diocesan celebration

Click Here for resources and a liturgy from the Diocese of California.

Love is the Way: A five-week Lenten book study curriculum

A five-week Lenten study guide of Bishop Michael Curry’s book “Love is the Way: Holding Onto Hope in Troubling Times” is now available! Developed by One in the Spirit — our diocesan engagement across difference ministry — the curriculum is available in a downloadable PDF in both English and Spanish and is suitable for either group discussions or individual reflection. The study guide includes reflections from Canon Melissa McCarthy, the Reverend Antonio Gallardo, Dean Gary Hall, Missioner Gabriel Vasquez-Reyes and Bishop John Taylor — inviting  participants to explore differences that challenge us while encouraging reflection on the love that binds us together: God’s love and the reflection of that love in human lives.

Want to listen on the go? Love is the way is available as a podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts:

Engagement Across Difference: A Spiritual Practice of Love in Action

 “Conversation with others across difference is not just a nice thing to do. It is a spiritual practice of love in action.”

The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles invites you to put these words of Presiding Michael Curry into action as we seek to work together to be agents of change in our increasingly polarized and divided world. On February 17 & 24, members of the One in the Spirit ministry are hosting virtual conversations structured around “From Many, One: Conversations Across Difference” — the initiative inviting Episcopalians and our neighbors to engage in one-to-one listening and sharing across the many differences that challenge us. Participants will have a chance to see how this framework can enable them to communicate with others with whom they disagree on contentious issues and transform their relationships in the process. Join us as we continue to work together to be the change we want to see – living out God’s love in the world one conversation at a time!

February 17 & 24, 2022 via Zoom | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

For more information or to register, please contact Wendy Lords at wendylords10@gmail.com.

More Resources:

Sacred Ground is part of Becoming Beloved Community, The Episcopal Church’s long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice in our personal lives, our ministries, and our society.  The 10-part everyone series is built around a powerful online curriculum of documentary films and readings that focus on Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian/Pacific American histories as they intersect with European American histories. During the sessions, small groups will be invited to walk through chapters of America’s history of race and racism while weaving in threads of family story, economic class, and political and regional identity.

An offering of Sacred Ground is in the works for Spring 2022. You may register here — or contact Canon Susan Russell at srussell@ladiocese.org for more information.

The Episcopal Church continues in the journey toward prayer book revision – an issue that will be very much front-and-center at the 80th General Convention in July 2022. In the words of Dr. Sylvia Sweeney, convener of the Anglican colloquium, North American Academy of Liturgy: “Effective formation involves providing needed information, engaging in dialog around issues that people are passionate about, and allowing experience coupled with conversation to form and perhaps reform perspectives, attitudes, and postures in worship.”

 

In anticipation and preparation for that important work, the Diocese of Los Angeles will host an online opportunity for engagement on issues of prayer book and liturgical revision – convened by members of our Bishop’s Liturgical Commission and the One in the Spirit initiative.

Discussions will be framed by “In Spirit & Truth” – a volume of essays offered as an invitation to “an open conversation about the direction our worship life will move in response to our current historical, social, and religious context.”

 

| The curriculum is still under construction. Stay tuned for publication date.

Session 1:  Reflection by the Rev. Canon Melissa McCarthy

| Chapters 1-2

Session Two: Reflection by the Rev. Antonio Gallardo

| Chapters 3-4

Session Three: Reflection by the Very Rev. Canon Gary Hall

| Chapters 5, 6 & 7

Session Four: Reflection by Missioner Gabriel Vasquez-Reyes 

| Chapters 8, 9 & 10

Session Five: Reflection by Bishop John H. Taylor

| Chapters 11-12

Racial Justice and Reconciliation

We are committed to the effort to compile and develop resources to increase connection to each other and our world, equipping us to more fully embrace the transforming power of God’s inclusive love” is part of the scope of work of One in the Spirit — our diocesan engagement across difference initiative.

At this moment in our history, there are no resources more crucial to that work than those which challenge, equip and empower us to dismantle the systemic racism that infects our nation, our church, and our world.

The Episcopal Church offers a list of resources for racial justice and reconciliation curated by members of the Presiding Bishop’s staff: www.episcopalchurch.org/racial-reconciliation/resources

The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles provides links to active programs and resources on its Countering Racism, Building Community webpage: diocesela.org/countering-racism-building-community

In addition to these excellent sources for information and inspiration, One in the Spirit highlights and commends the following:

Articles & Essays:

Books:

  • How to Be an Antiracist – Ibrahm X. Kendi
    | Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic
    concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly,
    understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems
    and in ourselves.
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Michelle
    Alexander
    | A stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that
    has denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement. Since its
    publication in 2010, the book has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for
    more than a year — telling a truth our nation has been reluctant to face.
  • So You Want To Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo
    | Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality
    and affirmative action to "model minorities" in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness – Austin Channing Brown
    | From a leading voice on racial justice, an eye-opening account of growing up Black,
    Christian, and female that exposes how white America’s love affair with “diversity” so
    often falls short of its ideals.

Videos:

Leadership:

Staff officer: 
The Reverend Canon Susan Russell, Canon for Engagement Across Difference
srussell@ladiocese.org | 214.482.2040 ex. 223

Steering Committee:

Ms Rise Worthy-Deamer
Canon Suzanne Edwards-Acton
The Reverend Norma Guerra
The Reverend Canon Dr. Gary Hall
Ms Karen James
Ms Wendy Lords
The Reverend Jennifer Wagner Pavia

 

The Rev. Canon Susan Russell, Canon for Engagement Across Difference, briefs Diocesan Convention on the new “One in the Spirit” initiative in November 2019 at Diocesan Convention.