Seeking to Create Understanding Across Culture and Race
This ministry began in 2013. Over the course of the next three years, we offered three training sessions from the Kaleidoscope Institute. These trainings included members of St. Elisabeth’s, as well as members of St. Paul’s AME Church in Glencoe, and St. Andrew’s Pentecostal Episcopal Church in Evanston. The principles of these trainings have guided all our outreach ministries and our vestry meeting.
Starting in 2017, St Elisabeth’s began planning a cultural exchange with parishioners from Holy Trinity Church in Nantes, French. This culminated in a 2-week visit in October 2018 from a dozen French women and men who joined members of St. Elisabeth’s in experiencing the rich diversity of Glencoe’s multi-faith community and a variety of different worshiping communities in the Chicago area. We visited diverse cultural neighborhoods and experienced the arts, culture and food of metropolitan Chicago, as well as worshipping together at St. Elisabeth’s and sharing meals and fun with St. Elisabeth’s families and local friends. The communities visited represented the deep relationships our parish has developed over many years of advancing multicultural and interfaith understanding.
Pilgrimage to National Memoria for Peace and Justice and other Alabama Sites
In late 2018, members of St. Elisabeth’s began preparations for a pilgrimage to the newly dedicated National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. This dramatic memorial and the Legacy Museum honor the over 4400 known lynchings that took place throughout the United States between 1877 and 1950 and expose how these horrors are reflected discussed the books Just Mercy, written by Bryan Stevenson, and The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone. While only eight people ultimately traveled to Alabama in April of 2019, reading resources were shared with the parish and several families took advantage of the opportunity to visit Chicago area sites and museums that highlight the ongoing violence of racism. Those who traveled to Alabama added visits to Birmingham and Selma and sites on the Civil Rights Trail and prepared notes and reflections to share with St. Elisabeth’s members. These reflections and other resources can be viewed on this site. Please add your own reflections and suggestions for new resources and opportunities to share.
Plans for building on these experiences and learnings around racism in America were interrupted when we entered a period of transition between rectors, but national events in the spring of 2020 have provided new urgency for moving forward.
Advocating for Racial Justice and Healing in America
As we renew our commitment to deepening our understanding of White Privilege and Racial Injustice, we reach out once again to partner with other faith communities and use our collective voices to work for change. As we marched together for Black Lives Matter in 2015 following the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Gardner, we joined forces to create a large display of solidarity in a Glencoe Car Rally in June 2020 following the nationally highlighted deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.
Now the hard work begins. It will require engaging for the long haul, and we invite you to join us.
Recently, on June 7, 2020, the Glencoe Clergy Association hosted a Car Rally for Racial Justice.
The Glencoe Clergy Association asked all communities of faith in Glencoe to:
- Enter into an immediate process of anti-racism – specifically anti-blackness – work in our congregational communities.
- Engage elected officials and leaders of Glencoe’s civic bodies in an honest discussion of historical and current institutional failures in policies and practices as they pertain to African Americans. The discussion will be ongoing and will carry with it the expectation that meaningful changes will be instituted on a systemic level, guaranteeing that African Americans will be treated equally in all aspects of life in the village.
- Push for voter registration and getting out the vote in November.
- Redouble efforts to strengthen the bonds between our congregations and our members through programs, gatherings, actions, and meaningful dialogue.