The past is part of the present. And the Bible stresses the connections across generations: sometimes it is an act of memory (for example, the Eucharist) and sometimes an act of judgment. One pervasive sin that permeates our culture is the presumption of the concept of ‘individual’ that can be disentangled from family, community, and the past. An ‘I’ has emerged in our culture that operates with the illusion that is no need to recognize the connections with the past.
So this weekend is an important occasion. Today and tomorrow, at the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania there will an act of recognition and repentance for the involvement of the Episcopal Church in the evil trade of slavery. Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori will be the celebrant and preacher.
These two days are implementing the resolution A123 from the General Convention of 2006. The past continues to haunt the present in so many ways. As we reflect on our past, so we should resolve to create a new future. This is our Gospel obligation.
The Very Rev Ian Markham
Dean and President