C032 Designating the Third or Fourth Sunday in Advent as a Day to Offer God Thanks for the Abolition of Slavery and to Ask God's Help in Assuring Always that Black Lives Matter
Resolved, That the 80th General Convention acknowledge that although the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States took effect on December 18, 1865 abolishing American chattel slavery -- the ability of white people to purchase and own black people and decide in all respects their fate, and the fate of their children -- nonetheless white supremacist and anti-Black thoughts, words and deeds persisted causing years of the subjugation and segregation of black people and still persist today as systemic racism causing grave ongoing disadvantage, dehumanization and violence to black people, up to and including the loss of their dignity, liberty and lives; and be it further
Resolved, that the 80th General Convention acknowledge the Episcopal Church contributed to this state of affairs, in violation of its core tenets, not only because it tolerated the misuse of scripture to support slavery but also because at the General Convention held in October, 1865, the House of Deputies twice decisively defeated resolutions to give God thanks for the abolition of slavery so as not to embarrass the reunion of Church with the Bishops of the Confederacy, who during the war had been meeting separately and who would not be willing to say that their minds about slavery had been changed by the war; and be it further
Resolved, that designating a Sunday each year around the December 18 anniversary of the Thirteenth Amendment for offering a prayer of thanksgiving for the abolishment of slavery and seeking God’s aid in conforming our lives to his way of love and equality where black lives assuredly matter is a fitting step, building on the October 4, 2008 service of repentance directed by the 2006 General Convention, for the making amends for our errors which have caused a delay in the rectification of slavery, the consequences of which delay persist today; and be it further
Resolved, that the 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church directs that at parish option the Third or Fourth Sunday in Advent be designated as a day to offer God thanks for the abolition of American chattel slavery and to ask God’s help in always assuring that black lives matter; and be it further
Resolved, that the President of the House of Deputies and the Presiding Bishop of the House of Bishops are respectfully called on to appoint a drafting group to prepare a prayer of thanksgiving and supplication to be used throughout the Episcopal Church on the Third or Fourth Sunday in Advent.