Over the years, I, like many others, have collected groceries and clothing for the elderly and the impoverished, worked at food pantries, tutored underprivileged children, made meals for the homeless, and provided resources for those who are in temporary need of housing. Additionally, I have participated in courses on racism and anti-racism and written relevant articles for our parish in-house publications.
It is becoming clear to me that that is not enough. Systemic issues are underlying the ongoing needs of the people served. It is essential not only to treat the symptoms but also to address the root causes of intergenerational poverty, economic immobility, and racial inequity. Joining forces under the ECS umbrella is one way to make a difference. That is why I am looking forward to the virtual ECS Forum on Justice and Opportunity, from Monday, October 18 through Friday, October 22.
Through the Forum, I hope to work with ECS and congregations throughout the Diocese to challenge racial inequity, push for a living wage and end the “benefits cliff.” Of special interest is the Thursday bonus session “devoted to faith-based advocacy for those who want to pursue social justice, using the power of individuals and congregations to effect real change in our communities.”
The Forum is an opportunity to discover new ways to live out our Baptismal Covenant, seeking and serving Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves, striving for justice and peace among all people, and respecting the dignity of every human being. I am grateful to ECS for taking the lead, opening up avenues to grow and participate in furthering God’s kingdom.
Barbara M. Billings
Chair, Outreach Community Services Committee
Church of the Redeemer, Bryn Mawr