DOTAC Racial Justice Journey

In 2020, and again in Lent 2021, 30-40 diaconal siblings gathered five times for emotionally and spiritually powerful learning, prayer, scripture study and discussion about being allies in racial justice. Representing an ecumenical spectrum, people attended from throughout the DOTAC region.

The anti-racism events begun in the fall of 2020 and again in Lent 2021, were continued this summer.  In June and July, Marlene Britton, David Rojas Martίnez, Hyerim Park, and Colleen Bernu, led 35 diaconal participants in this important listening and learning.  We are most thankful for their courageous vulnerability, clear challenges, and depth of spirit. 

Videos from the June Session

Leadership

Marlene Britton is a diaconal minister currently serving the United Church of Canada. She received her theological training in her homeland of Jamaica, after which she was served 4 years in Belize, and 16 years in Barbados and 7 years in Canada. Currently she serves at the General Council Office of the United Church of Canada as the Program coordinator for Admission and Pastoral Relations.

David Rojas Martínez, originally from central Mexico, is currently living and working in Minneapolis, U.S.A. He serves as the Community Engagement and Education Coordinator for a Luther-an Church (ELCA) and is a consecrated deacon of the Lutheran Diaconal Association. His faith commu-nity and he have been at the forefront of responding to needs in light of George Floyd’s murder last year, the social unrest which followed, and the current climate of uncertainty in the Twin Cities of Minnesota as well as its suburbs. He is a graduate of Valparaiso University (’15) and Luther Seminary (’20).

Hyerim Park studies in the Diaconal Ministry program at the Centre for Christian Studies and the Mas-ters of Theological Studies at St. Andrew’s College. In 2018 Hyerim moved to Canada from South Korea. She has training as a teacher and taught in Korea prior to coming to Canada. She also has studied English in the United States and the Philippines. Over the years, she has played lots of sports, participated in the-atre, and even was in a rock band. An advocate for inclusion and diversity, Hyerim has been involved in, and very passionate about intercultural ministry, anti-racism training and the rights of sexual minorities.

Colleen Hankins Bernu was raised in Wisconsin, and now lives in Minnesota. Colleen’s desire to connect communities, her heart for the marginalized, and passion to lead others into meeting Christ through diakonia guide her ministry. As a mission developer, she led the devel-opment of Together Here, a ministry of mutual accompaniment with Ojibwe neighbors . Colleen is an approved Deacon candidate in the ELCA and the ELCA Deaconess Community. She is a descend-ant of the Fond Du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and lives with her family on the Fond Du Lac Indian Reservation.

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2 weeks ago

When newspapers.com had a free trial a few years ago, I spent a weekend searching key words. Just came across this 1975 file from that search about the World Federation of Deaconesses.

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When [newspapers.com](https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fnewspapers.com%2F%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR1V1ONP7kVXpqXWp-szhSm35jMBDM9j5HeHjAK3Tt-PZxDekV7tSO4vfy4&h=AT04DMVOufw0GdaVrdid3OMExzP84OXGc5-uro5QZNrp-9vOWuin2enQrIv25PCINHViZ_A5Vq24zG0pvXS7HS1n9M8SzXhk07gogith_l8M9JqZ1LSp9M9TnJHCAIEYwg&__tn__=-UK-R&c[0]=AT0SAOyhibQ2Al0hNJ_W2LuUoIUOiAqT5IWoTHZdg7L5iOyogDKu2nU5N0dxIJF1X4X8aO4FE1NAWySWvRkXLih08ylZWaqJnx-ADLy4PuryaMbmqRJEbabCCtRZ0NpgeJAJ88bo3nZsndtNDCojzlDx7HYi2L9U7phlgymCj2mbABwogM3Il4gOI74nfM5-WGPMThUl2UmALxBCVSVDnzM) had a free trial a few years ago, I spent a weekend searching key words. Just came across this 1975 file from that search about the World Federation of Deaconesses.
2 months ago

December 7 - Day 13 in 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence

Oh God, we pray for all victims of gender violence.

Be with them as they painfully struggle for equality.

Comfort them and their families.

Hear our pleas for women,

especially those oppressed in countries where women are enslaved and treated as objects, property, mutilated and killed,

just because they are female.

Help us to be instruments of your justice.

We pray for those who are persecuted due to their sexual identity,

sexual orientation and/or gender.

Instill in them the knowledge that they are beloved children,

made in the image of God's goodness.

God, let your love engulf and empower those who are and have been persecuted,

so they may proudly be voices for change.

We pray fervently, that those in power (governing officials as well as our church leaders),

will promote and protect the rights of gender, sexually vulnerable people,

encouraging and enacting laws on their behalf, by calling a halt to abuse,

(be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual).

Call us all to be advocates on their behalf.

Remind all humanity, that God's love, calls for peace, compassion, justice, and equality.

God embraces diversity in all creation.

Continue to shine your light of compassion in the hearts of the mistreated and oppressed,

calling them to become bright beacons of hope.

Deaconess Ruth Dyer, Lutheran Diaconal Association

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December 7  - Day 13 in 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence

Oh God, we pray for all victims of gender violence.

Be with them as they painfully struggle for equality.

Comfort them and their families.

Hear our pleas for women,

especially those oppressed in countries where women are enslaved and treated as objects, property, mutilated and killed,

just because they are female.

Help us to be instruments of your justice.

We pray for those who are persecuted due to their sexual identity,

sexual orientation and/or gender.

Instill in them the knowledge that they are beloved children,

made in the image of Gods goodness.

God, let your love engulf and empower those who are and have been persecuted,

so they may proudly be voices for change.

We pray fervently, that those in power (governing officials as well as our church leaders),

will promote and protect the rights of gender, sexually vulnerable people,

encouraging and enacting laws on their behalf, by calling a halt to abuse,

(be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual).

Call us all to be advocates on their behalf.

Remind all humanity, that Gods love, calls for peace, compassion, justice, and equality.

God embraces diversity in all creation.

Continue to shine your light of compassion in the hearts of the mistreated and oppressed,

calling them to become bright beacons of hope.

*Deaconess Ruth Dyer, Lutheran Diaconal Association*
2 months ago

December 10 International Human Rights Day

Last Day of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence

Almighty God, who created all of humanity in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against all forms of gender-based oppression and violence, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual; may we reverently seek justice, healing and new life for those who have been victims of such oppression and violence, seeing in all affected the very body of your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Margaret Light, deacon-in-training;

The Rev. Joy Walker-Miller, a transitional deacon;

and Rev. Deacon Tracie Middleton, (Association for Episcopal Deacons),

the team of diaconal ministers serving at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Beaumont

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**December 10 International Human Rights Day **

**Last Day of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence**

Almighty God, who created all of humanity in your own image:  Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against all forms of gender-based oppression and violence, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual; may we reverently seek justice, healing and new life for those who have been victims of such oppression and violence, seeing in all affected the very body of your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

*Margaret Light, deacon-in-training;*

*The Rev. Joy Walker-Miller, a transitional deacon;*

*and Rev. Deacon Tracie Middleton, (Association for Episcopal Deacons),*

*the team of diaconal ministers serving at St. Marks Episcopal Church in Beaumont*
2 months ago

December 9 --

15th Day of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence

God of wisdom, God of strength.

We are loved and accepted by you.

You see beyond our earthly woes

to the heart and soul of who we are and who you created us to be.

Help us define ourselves by love.

Help us to be wise when we approach one another and act with kindness.

Let us appreciate one another for the beauty within each of us and

for the gifts we have to share with the world.

Let us gain strength by lifting one another up and

triumphing over the pains of ignorance and damaging words.

Let our words be ones of honor and grace not hate and bigotry.

As God’s love seeps into the world, in every corner and place,

may we be open to receiving it.

May we be the momentum of harmony and reconciliation

towards a world filled with respect and dignity.

Amen

Deacon Kelly Brooks, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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**December 9 -- **

**15th Day of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence**

God of wisdom, God of strength.

We are loved and accepted by you.

You see beyond our earthly woes

to the heart and soul of who we are and who you created us to be.

Help us define ourselves by love.

Help us to be wise when we approach one another and act with kindness.

Let us appreciate one another for the beauty within each of us and

for the gifts we have to share with the world.

Let us gain strength by lifting one another up and

triumphing over the pains of ignorance and damaging words.

Let our words be ones of honor and grace not hate and bigotry.

As God’s love seeps into the world, in every corner and place,

may we be open to receiving it.

May we be the momentum of harmony and reconciliation

towards a world filled with respect and dignity.

Amen

*Deacon Kelly Brooks, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America*
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