The Episcopal Stance on Social Justice

The Episcopal Church believes that our call to social justice is rooted in the promises we make in the baptismal covenant. This was addressed at length during General Convention in 2015. The following promises taken from the Baptismal Covenant, found beginning on page 304 of the Book of Common Prayer, challenge us to think about how we respond to the needs of the world in light of those promises.

Promise #1 - We will persevere in resisting evil and whenever we fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord.

Question in response to Promise #1 – What have we done and left undone in the world and in our lives regarding the evils of poverty, injustice, and discrimination?

Promise #2 – We will proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ.

Question in response to Promise #2 – How can we publicly acknowledge things done and left undone? What behaviors and commitments foster the healing of poverty,injustice, and discrimination?

Promise #3 – We will seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Question in response to Promise #3 – How can we grow as reconcilers, healers, and justice bearers? How do we actively grow relationships across dividing walls and seek Christ in the other?

Promise #4 – We will strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.

Question in response to Promise #4 – What institutions and systems are broken? How will we participate in the repair, restoration, and healing of people, institutions and systems?

If we are to fulfill the promises we make each time we recite the Baptismal Covenant, then we must look at the ways in which we have contributed to poverty, injustice, and discrimination in our own lives and in the world. And then in response to those promises, we must find ways to keep those commitments we have made to God.

For more information, see The Episcopal Church’s Long Term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation, and Justice.

Susan Cardone