SAVE THE DATE: ECM's next Annual Celebration will be held on June 4th, 2019!
Thanks to all who attended
Episcopal City Mission's
2018 Annual Celebration
Prophetic Hope: The Soul of the City
Our Annual Celebration this year was focused on Prophetic Hope. Our understanding of “Prophetic Hope” is the capacity to fully see the world’s brokenness alongside the hope of what God might create through us.
Our Award Recipients
The Bishop Barbara C. Harris Award: The Reverend Dorothella Littlepage
Dorothella Littlepage is the Director of Roxbury-Dorchester Power in Community, a collective founded by three Episcopal Parishes and the Diocese of Massachusetts that seeks to celebrate, connect, leverage, and enhance the gifts of the neighborhoods along the Dudley Corridor. Prior to this role, she served for four years in Urban Episcopal Congregations in the Boston Area.
When asked to give a four word summary of what God is calling her to do she said, “Magnify holiness on (the) margin.” Her journey to this ministry has been formed by, among other communities, Virginia Theological Seminary where she earned an M.Div and Spelman College where she earned a B.A. and B.S. She is blessed to journey through life with her partner Kristen and their dog Caleb.
In reflecting on the impact of Bishop Barbara Harris on her ministry she states, “Bishop Harris has always been a model for me of bold advocacy alongside those who are on the margins. In one sermon about the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the Church she asked, “How can you initiate someone and treat them like they’re half-* baptized?” A variation of that question has stayed with me since then: ‘How can the Church allow anybody in our community to be treated as though they are half-created in the image of God?’ This commitment to doing whatever I can to be a bold witness that ALL are created in the image of God and deserving of dignity, regardless of country of origin, religion, or any other category that we would use to divide us, is why I am involved in the Sanctuary and Immigrant Solidarity Movement.”
The Robert W. Tobin Award: Alexie M. Torres
Growing up in the Bronx, Alexie Torres watched her borough burn. As a little girl perched on the ledge of her ninth floor window in the Bronx River Public Housing Projects, she witnessed the fires that led to the devastation of the South Bronx in the late-1960s and 1970s. Although she was too young to understand things like ‘Planned Shrinkage,’ ‘Urban Renewal,’ ‘Divestment’ and ‘White Flight,’ she knew that it was a frightening and tumultuous time for her and all of the children of the South Bronx. When later urban planning initiatives sought to transform the rubble of her neighborhood, Alexie grew determined to see that local residents had a role in the rebuilding process.
Alexie Torres herself left the South Bronx in her 20s to live and start a career in Manhattan. During that time, she learned the power of grassroots organizing through her involvement with the Williamsburg activist group, El Puente. She returned to the South Bronx in 1992, joining a community action group at the Holy Cross parish. When the church organized an anti-drug rally, local drug dealers attempted to burn down the church in an attempt to intimidate the activists. Rather than retreating from the threat of danger, Alexie and other leaders realized that they had the power to make a real difference. She founded Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice (YMPJ) in 1994 with the mission to rebuild the Bronx River neighborhoods of the South Bronx by preparing young people to become prophetic voices for peace and justice. Faith has been a central component of YMPJ’s work. Alexie believes that the desire to promote justice and healthy community growth is at the core of an individual’s belief, and that faith gives people the will and the courage to stand up and do something.
Today, Alexie continues her public speaking and writing while also serving as Executive Director of Access Strategies Fund, a philanthropic foundation that harnesses the collective power of underserved communities to use the democratic process to improve their lives.
The Bishop M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE: The Episcopal Parish of St. Paul, Newton Highlands
The Episcopal Parish of St. Paul has always been deeply committed to social justice and work that honors the dignity of all. After the 2016 presidential election, that commitment was ignited by a renewed energy and urgent call to put their resources to work as Christians who take the radical message of Jesus Christ seriously. Among the first and most egregious assaults of the new administration was the targeting of immigrant populations that come to this country seeking sanctuary. Like almost every other community in this nation, the Parish of St. Paul is blessed to include the stories of immigrants in their midst, some of them undocumented. And so when the need for sanctuary in sacred space became known through the work of MCAN, Episcopal City Mission, and other justice organizations, they felt called, willing, and able to respond.
“We had the mandate of our faith. We had the space in our undercroft. We had a long-standing desire to work with other communities of faith in the name of God’s justice-love. And we had the guidance and help of many activists, including the Cambridge Coalition at University Lutheran, who shepherded our fledgling initiative into this transformative work. We believe that this work of sanctuary and solidarity is fundamental to our integrity as Christians who are ever called to welcome the stranger and offer the unending solidarity and hospitality of the Beloved. As Christians, we are nothing if not sanctuary. And as we continue to grow more fully into this calling, we are learning that sanctuary is not only our offering but also our need; we are getting as much as we are giving, if not more. Onward!”
Our Keynote Speaker: Christena Cleveland
"Our work as justice seekers is pursuit of a new reality in which all people have an empowered seat at the table, and there is no longer "US" and "THEM" -- but simply us."
Christena Cleveland is a social psychologist, public theologian, author and professor. She is an Associate Professor at Duke University’s Divinity School and the author of Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart. Visit her website to learn more.
ECM Gives thanks to all our contributors
Maloney Properties Inc.
Episcopal Diocese of MA
Episcopal Diocese of Western MA
Christ Church, Cambridge
Trillium Investment Group
B-PEACE for Jorge
Church of Our Saviour, Milton
Church of the Good Shepherd, Watertown
Church of the Holy Spirit, Mattapan
Emmanuel Church, Boston
Episcopal Church of Our Savior, Brookline
Grace Church, Medford
Livingston and Haynes
Old North Church
Parish of the Epiphany, Winchester
St. Christopher’s, Chatham
St. John’s, Hingham
St. Cyprian's Church, Roxbury
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Dorchester
St. Mark's, Burlington
St. Michael's, Milto
St. Stephen's, Lynn
St. Stephen's, South End
The Cathedral Church of St Paul
Alice E. Kidder
Amy Whitcomb Slemmer
Arrington Chambliss, Hez Norton and Nevaeh Chambliss
Bud and Ruth Ann Cederholm
David K. Johnston
Elinor A. Horner
Ella and Tom Auchincloss
Ellen Sheehy and Scott Aquilina
Ellen Theriault and Leah Hoover
Emily S. Sugg
Frances A. Kurker
Holly L. Antolini
Jack & Peggy Roll
Jim Gammill & Susan Alexander
Leanne and Skip Jenkins
Margaret E. Smist
Michael Paul Melendez
Mike and Peg Stevens
Mohamed A. Turay
Nancy Jeanne Martin
Robert and Maurine Tobin
Sallie Craig-Huber and Douglas Huber
Spencer Alphonso Felder
Steve and Sue Abdow
Steven and Rebecca Taylor