Justice Pilgrimage Brings Together 20 Episcopal Clergy Members for Intensive Racial Healing Work

By David Paulsen | Episcopal News Service

[Episcopal News Service] Twenty Episcopal priests and deacons are wrapping up a weeklong pilgrimage in Atlanta, Georgia, organized by the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing as a pilot program that could become a new model for furthering The Episcopal Church’s racial reconciliation work.

Participants in the center’s Justice Pilgrimage were selected from all 20 dioceses in the church’s Province IV, which encompasses all or part of nine states in the Southeast. Diocese of Atlanta Bishop Robert Wright spoke to the group on May 19 to welcome them.

“The common purpose is to understand the American story in all of its nuance and figure out where the opportunities for healing and justice are,” Wright said May 23 in an interview with Episcopal News Service. That nuance, Wright explained, is what allows people from different backgrounds to come together and feel comfortable openly and honestly discussing difficult questions of race and racism.

“It doesn’t really call for self-flagellation. Shame is not the goal,” Wright said. “It is to understand our role in this very complex thing and to seek healing and justice.”

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