Racial Justice Initiative

RJI with friends from St. Paul’s in Natick

Welcome to Christ Church’s Racial Justice Initiative.

Our mission is as follows:

Through prayer and fellowship, and in a spirit of bold humility, our mission is to follow the example of Jesus and respond to the needs of our community and our parish:

  • To learn about the experiences of people of color, our own racial identities, and how our culture reinforces racial dynamics,
  • To offer fellow parishioners regular opportunities to do the same, and
  • To recommend and help our parish engage in Christ-like actions and practices, both within and outside our parish, that promote the equality and dignity of all people.

In these ways, we hope to make our church home more loving and welcoming to all. 

RJI’s History 

In the spring of 2020, a series of brutal and senseless deaths involving people of color led many to recognize the ongoing and systemic crisis of racial injustice in America. In response, our Vestry charged our rector to recruit a group of parishioners to help our parish explore how we are called – individually and together – to dismantle racism and, in doing so, to truly love our neighbor as Jesus calls us to do.  Here is the Vestry’s motion from its meeting on August 25, 2020:

Whereas, it is the call of Episcopal Christians by our Baptismal Covenant (BCP, p. 305) to seek and serve Christ in all persons loving our neighbor as ourselves; and to strive for justice and peace among all people, respecting the dignity of every human being; and Whereas, we believe that all humans are created in the Divine Image (Genesis 1.27-28); and Whereas, it is the call of all Christians to be “ministers of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5.18); 

Therefore, the Vestry of Christ Church, Needham, Massachusetts, as leaders of this Christian community, acknowledges the inequity of racism. 

In response, we will exert ourselves beyond our convenience to love our neighbors as ourselves by prayerfully:

 ~committing to exploration, listening, and reflection to understand the nature and sources of these sins.

 ~committing to engage in just actions and practices which promote the equality and dignity of all people.

The Racial Justice Initiative was formed as a direct result of this charge. It is co-chaired by Bob Keener and Cynthia Anderson, and currently includes these additional founding members: John Carr, Heidi Fieldston, Janet Haines, Sandy Kastantin, Donna Vello and our Rector Nick.

The RJI members are dedicated to finding offerings for our parish and ongoing opportunities for education and action.  Please consider joining us!

Activities and actions:

Want to become more involved?

Email us for more information.