Becoming Beloved Community
Church of the Holy Comforter | September 6, 2022
Welcome to the September edition of the Becoming Beloved Community (BBC) newsletter.
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amos 5:24
What is Becoming Beloved Community at Holy Comforter?

As we reel from the effects of multiple viruses—systemic racism, COVID 19, and environmental devastation—we look to our Church and its understanding of Jesus’ call to us. At Holy Comforter, we seek to build and become a Beloved Community, respecting all people as “made in the image of God.” In alignment with the National Episcopal Church, Holy Comforter’s Becoming Beloved Community ministry is our multi-generational commitment and journey to growing a community of reconcilers, justice makers, and healers. Questions about Becoming Beloved Community? Contact us at:
BBC Calendar:

  • Sept. 12: Sacred Ground Session #1 - 7–8:30 p.m.; Zoom
  • Sept. 19: Book and Movie Club - 7 p.m.; Zoom
  • Sept. 24: From Enslavement to Statesmen - 2:30–4 p.m.; Vienna Community Center
  • Sept. 26: Sacred Ground Session #2 - 7–8:30 p.m.; Zoom
  • Oct. 14: Blood Drive - 10–4 p.m.; Ministry Center
Sacred Ground
First Session is September 12
7–8:30 p.m. on Zoom

Sign up now for Sacred Ground, a ten-session multi-media program, grounded in Christian Faith, exploring racial injustice in the U.S. We will meet every other Monday night on Zoom from 7 to 8:30 p.m., beginning September 12 and ending January 30, 2023. This program includes films and readings accessed from home between sessions.

Registration is required; deadline is September 9. To decide if this is for you, please read more HERE. Questions? Please contact the Rev. Ann Gillespie or a member of the facilitators team: Norma Williamson, Laurie Pedry, and Lolly Mixter.
Sacred Ground Fall Kickoff
with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Thursday, September 15
1:30 p.m. ET

For: Sacred Ground facilitators and participants—and all Episcopalians interested in learning more about this dialogue series on race.

What: Bishop Curry will share his vision for racial reckoning and justice ministry over the next two years and how to engage using Sacred Ground curriculum. Other leaders will discuss how to welcome people into race conversations and explore strategies for transitioning into action and community engagement.

Join: Find out how Sacred Ground furthers the work of racial justice, healing, and reconciliation—and how these small groups become experiments in Beloved Community.
Book and Movie Club
The Farewell
Monday, September 19
7 p.m. on Zoom
Sponsored by Becoming Beloved Community

Billi’s family returns to China under the guise of a fake wedding to stealthily say goodbye to their beloved matriarch—the only person that doesn’t know she only has a few weeks to live. The movie is streaming on Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other services. Watch the movie in advance. We’ll discuss over Zoom. Questions? Contact Peter Brownrigg. Join the Zoom discussion HERE.
First Black Congressmen
From Enslavement to Statesmen
Saturday, September 24
2:30–4 p.m.
Vienna Community Center
Presented by the Patrick Henry Library in partnership with the Vienna Community Center

Join Kenya J. Finley-Jean, Supervisory Park Ranger, Civil War Defenses of Washington, who will share insights from the National Park Service.

A few years between Reconstruction and the beginning of the Jim Crow era, African Americans rode a wave to reform some of the most important political offices in the land. Roughly 2,000 Blacks took office on the state, local, and federal level, and nearly a dozen former slaves served in the House of Representatives and the Senate. These trailblazers faced mistreatment and intimidation from both the public and their fellow lawmakers, but they also served as some of the nation’s most prominent advocates of racial equality. From a former manservant to a little-known Civil War veteran, meet five men who rose from slavery to become part of the United States’ first generation of Black congressmen.
The Great Debate: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley, and the Civil Rights Revolution
The riveting 1965 debate between two writers—one white, the other black—held at the Cambridge Union. The motion: The American dream is at the expense of the American Negro.
The Episcopal Church Exposes the Doctrine of Discovery
The Doctrines of Christian Discovery (DoCD) originate with 15th century Papal Bulls that were issued by the Vatican and implemented by Monarchies, sanctioning the brutal Conquest and Colonization of non-Christians who were deemed “enemies of Christ” in Africa and the Americas. These Papal Bulls were a continuation of what had been going on since at least the 8th century from Charlemagne, through the Crusades, the Inquisition, the war on witches, to the Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula. In 1823, the “Doctrine of Discovery” was first articulated as a legal formulation in U.S. Supreme Court case, Johnson v. M’Intosh in 1823. As this case fundamentally defines international property law today, it continues to be used by multi-national corporations and Nation-States in their extraction of resources in indigenous territories around the world. The global scale with which the DoCD expressed itself in the “Age of Discovery”—first in Africa, then the Americas, and beyond—created a unified Christendom, which became the opposing force against the great global plurality of cultures. This Doctrine governs United States and international law today and has been cited as recently as 2005 in the decision City Of Sherrill V. Oneida Indian Nation Of NY. (Source: HERE)
VA Episcopal Diocese to spend $10 million for reparations. But how?
Growing up, Dorothy Davis was not welcome in the “other” Episcopal Church in her rural Virginia community—the White one. When their bishop many decades ago tried to integrate Black and White Episcopalians, Davis recalls, her fellow Christians balked. So, Davis, now 86, wept this fall when the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia voted to repair its centuries-long break with Black members like her. Read The Washington Post article HERE.
Donate Blood Donate Life
Upcoming Blood Drive
Friday, October 14; Ministry Center

Appointments Available 10 a..m.–4 p.m. Register to donate blood HERE or by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App. Would you like to welcome donors? Volunteer HERE!
Future Blood Drives

  • December 12, 2022
  • March 30, 2023
  • June 7, 2023