Social Justice and Engagement

Ferguson: A Way Forward

December 4, 2014
Social Justice and Advocacy

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s question “Where do we go from here? Chaos or Community?” continues to resonate today. The shooting death of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014  continues to reverberate in Missouri, the United States and around the globe.  The aftermath of the shooting raised questions about race, structural racism, racial justice, and criminal justice throughout the United States. Concerns about police and local government’s relationship with the community – including the sort of emotions stirred when predominantly minority communities are policed by majority-white law enforcement – are compelling and urgent in Ferguson and beyond.  Moreover, concern about the dignity and treatment of Black youth and young adults more universally challenges us to embrace the unique role of the Church in bringing about racial justice and reconciliation in Ferguson and beyond.  The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri’s response to the pain of the people of Ferguson provides lessons for the broader Church.  The clergy and laity of congregations in Greater St. Louis joined the people of Ferguson, Florrisant, and St. Louis County in deep solidarity.  The Missionary Society and Episcopal Relief & Development provided a significant grant to assist local parishes in their local mission of justice, transformation and reconciliation.

As we move forward, we offer this resource page to share stories, resources, and practices from Greater St. Louis, and throughout The Episcopal Church. Please take a moment to engage in these resources as we work toward racial justice and reconciliation in our local, regional, and global contexts.

Please click on a photo below to explore voices, pratices, and resources.

Voices: Stories from our Church

Practices: Communities respond

Talking about Ferguson in our Congregations
As we prepare for Advent, our nation finds itself facing the realities of racial inequality. In the words of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, “The Episcopal Church joins many others in deep lament over the tragic reality that continues to be revealed in Ferguson, Missouri.” Faithful Episcopalians may hold many different views on the legal questions surrounding the death of Michael Brown. What should bind us together is our sorrow and grief at the death of a young man, a precious child of God, and what his death reveals about our culture. The events of Ferguson – born out of deep structural inequality, division, brokenness, and mistrust – could have played out in almost any town or city in a nation with such a troubled racial past – and present – as ours. American communities are in lament because the events in Ferguson show us something about ourselves and the work each of us must undertake to build the beloved community that affords all people the dignity God intends for them.
Presiding Bishop’s statement on the way forward from Ferguson
The Episcopal Church joins many others in deep lament over the tragic reality that continues to be revealed in Ferguson, Missouri. The racism in this nation is part of our foundation, and is not unique to one city or state or part of the country. All Americans live with the consequences of centuries of slavery, exploitation, and prejudice. That legacy continues to lead individuals to perceive threat from those who are seen as “other.” The color of one’s skin is often the most visible representation of what divides God’s children one from another.
Resources and reflections on the Ferguson decision
Following the recent announcement of the grand jury decision in Ferguson, MO, The Episcopal Church is providing resources for understanding, reflecting, praying and participating in a spirit-filled response.

Neva Resource Release (link)
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Be in Touch

Engage on issues of racial reconciliation and social justice and advocacy engagement in The Episcopal Church.

Heidi Kim, Missioner for Racial Reconciliation,

Charles Wynder, Jr., Missioner for Social Justice and Advocacy Engagement,


The Rev. Isaiah “Shaneequa” Brokenleg

Staff Officer for Racial Reconciliation

The Rev. Melanie Mullen

Director of Reconciliation, Justice and Creation Care