Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Episode 28: Talking Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation with the Rev. Rowena Kemp
Today’s guest is the Rev. Rowena Kemp, priest in charge of Grace Episcopal Church in Hartford. She is also a member of ECCT's Standing Committee, chaplain for the national Girls Friendly Society USA, and participates in or leads numerous other committees and groups including one we'll be talking about today, the Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation Ministry Network.
Her first two advanced degrees came from New York Medical College: She has a Master's in Clinical Research Administration and a Master's of Public Health, Health Policy and Management. Before her work with the church, Rowena worked as a program manager for Yale University School of Medicine and is skilled in molecular biology, biochemical research, DNA sequencing, and biomarkers.
Rowena graduated with an M.Div from Yale in 2013 and was ordained that year. She then served as a priest for the Middlesex Area Cluster Ministry, then assistant rector at Trinity on the Green in New Haven, and since 2016, as priest-in-charge of Grace Church, Hartford.
Rowena started us with prayer, then we jumped right into conversation about the Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation Ministry Network. The name of the ministry network is long but it describes their intention, she said. The network started after the 2016 Trinity Institute as a follow-up to that, and grew over time in partnership with other groups addressing the issues.
Currently the RJHRMN is helping ECCT to get involved in the Season of Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation, called for by a resolution of ECCT’s annual convention, and other related initiatives. (More on this page.) Rowena said that the hope for the Season is for it to be a time of education, of safe space for healing and reconciliation to take place, and there would be opportunities for each of us to look at how we’re complicit.
We talked about others engaged in this work including a working group from the Leadership Gathering, which merged with the ministry network earlier this fall. There was a Planning Summit recently at which different groups met to look at the tasks involved in rolling out the Season and providing related resources and opportunities.
One of those early opportunities was to attend a play in October at the Ivoryton Playhouse, “The Queens of the Golden Mask,”a story about the women of the KKK. Two hundred tickets had been made available to Episcopalians across the state. Rowena talked about the impact of watching that show, and particularly how it impacted her as a person of color. And, how it provided an opportunity for conversation.
Over the Season there will be more opportunities for Episcopalians to -- as Rowena said -- “sit together in uncomfortable spots and at the end be able to hold each other and love each other and be able to see each other for who God calls each of us to be.”
We talked about the planning summit held Nov. 28. She described the six areas of work that the RHJR Ministry Network had identified, and the work of other participating groups.
Rowena shares some personal experiences, and invites us all to participate in the Season, as true allies.
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Episode 50: Illuminating the Cosmic Christ: Seeing in a new way; yearning for connection
Episode 49: ¡Cuba Si! No more lines!
Episode 48: Be not conformed, a conversation with Kelli Gibson
Episode 47: Jerusalem Peacebuilders with the Rev. Cn. Nicholas Porter
Episode 46: Christ Church Cathedral's Centennial
Episode 45: Lay Preaching with Eliza Marth and Anne Hall
Episode 44: Good Friday Meditation with Bishop Laura J. Ahrens
Episode 43: What can we do together that we can't do alone: Community Purchasing Alliance (CPA)
Episode 42: Archives: the quilting point of our history with Greg Farr
Episode 41: The Gift of Multiplicity of Expression with the Rt. Rev. Dr. Carol Gallagher
Episode 40: Witnessing Miracles at Shepard Meadows
Episode 39: International Women's Day & UNCSW with Lois Frankforter
Episode 38: The Way of Love with Jerusalem Greer
Episode 37: Young, Married, and Clergy with the Revs. Carrie and Nik Combs
Episode 36: Ears Tuned to the Holy with the Rev. Tuesday Rupp
Episode 35: Talking about Absalom Jones and the Union of Black Episcopalians with the Hon. Steven Mullins
Episode 34: Voices from the Black Diaspora
Episode 33: Surfs up with Matt Lindeman
Episode 32: Joining Jesus in the New Missional Age
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