Harriet Tubman

Join the Episcopal Church at it gathers virtually on March 10th for a new observance of Harriet Ross Tubman, honoring her 110 years after the day of her death. 

 By act of the 2022 General Convention, this year is the first time she will be honored on this day, prioritizing her as one of the great cloud of witnesses that inspire our faith. 

All are invited to wonder about this amazing woman together in a zoom gathering March 10 at 8 p.m. Eastern time, and through videos suitable for children and adults, including a welcome message from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. 

 The Rev. Will Bouvel and Jen Enriquez are honored to have created an offering that will lift up Harriet’s unstoppable and inspiring Christian discipleship. Their previous work in storytelling through their program “Tell Me the Truth About Racism” informs their approach to wondering about Harriet and exploring how her faith is connected to the many well-known (and some lesser known) things that she did. 

Here is a sample video by our very own Rev. Michelle Dayton,  Superintending Presbyter Pine Ridge Mission.

 Their offering will include some video reflections on her life and faith, including a Montessori-based story of her life suitable for children, and a video pilgrimage to Harriet’s birthplace on the Eastern shore of Maryland. Video offerings are posted here:https://www.tellmethetruthabou...

The Zoom gathering on March 10 will invite the Church to wonder more deeply about Harriet’s life and also why we as the Episcopal Church are celebrating her and lifting her up. Register now for this virtual celebration. https://us02web.zoom.us/meetin....

 Will and Jen’s work in “Tell Me the Truth about Racism” inspired them to wonder about Harriet as a model for our Episcopal Church. “Tell Me the Truth About Racism” is a story in six parts that frames racism through the lens of Christian faith. Will and Jen first built the foundation of this work in Lent 2021 to teach to children at their churches in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. Soon thereafter, they began training other Christian formation leaders to do this work in their own churches. The training program received a Becoming Beloved Community Grant from the Episcopal Church in July 2021. So far, they've walked alongside more than 50 communities across the United States and Canada to share the gift of antiracism with people of all ages. You can learn more about their program, watch their stories, and apply for their next April-May online training here at their website: www.tellmethetruthaboutracism.....

 Will and Jen both identify as white and have worked extensively with people of color who have shared their perspectives, supported them, and encouraged them. For too long, people of color have been asked to shoulder the burden of dismantling racism and have been asked to teach white people. Affirmed by their consultants, who are people of color, Will and Jen believe that dismantling systemic racism is primarily white people’s work to do. Moreover, dismantling racism is not something that is only done by white people to fix injustices wrought on others who are “less fortunate”. Dismantling racism needs to take place within white communities as well, to liberate them from debilitating burdens of perceived superiority and the shame and guilt carried from the actions of their ancestors. The faith-based language used for this process is that racism has told people a lie that some are better than others. Through our faith we know that all people are equally loved children of God. Racism distorts all people, white people and people of color, away from the fullness of life God has for them. For some, the lie is that they deserve to be inferior, and for others, the lie is that they deserve to be superior. Any system of human hierarchy where anyone is made out to be intrinsically better than anyone else is not the Gospel message that we know of God through Jesus Christ. 

 It is through this lens that Will and Jen come to wonder about the life of Harriet Tubman, to be curious about how her faith empowered her to recognize her full human dignity and earnestly guided her through great uncertainty and personal risk. They believe she is exactly the Christian witness the Episcopal church needs now to guide the church’s work of dismantling racism. 

 Please add your wondering to theirs by gathering with them March 10 at 8 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Central, 6 p.m. Mountain, on Zoom.