Union of Black Episcopalians

For over fifty years the Union of Black Episcopalians has served The Episcopal Church and world by uniting the diverse cultures, concerns and gifts of black Episcopalians to promote the inclusion of blacks at every level of Church governance and to eliminate racism within the church and society. In 2019, UBE reaffirmed this longstanding mission and embraced our role as leaders in pursuing God’s Beloved Community and standing with all oppressed peoples.

Highlights of 2019 activities and achievements include:

> In celebrating our history past and present, we were proud to support the ordination of three Black female Diocesan Bishops in TEC and the first Black female Bishop in the Church of England with gifts and most importantly with our presence in organizing receptions and participating in all their consecrations and seating.

> We hosted our 51st Annual Business Meeting and Conference in which we honored Black clergy in California, paid tribute to the 400th Anniversary of the first enslaved African arriving in Virginia through our worship services, and continued to highlight the critical issues of Black Lives Matter and Mental Health in our plenaries.

> We developed strong partnership on shared goals and priorities with the Missioner for Black Ministry to include programming on Consultation Services, Leadership Development (Lay & Clergy), Conflict Management and Internalized Oppression.

> We continued our commitment to keep before the Church the importance of Historically Black Colleges and have actively fundraised and promoted the colleges to ensure their longevity.

> We networked with groups who share our vision for justice and inclusion (e.g. Episcopal Network Collaborative, The Consultation) to include follow-up on General Convention resolutions for Mass Incarceration, Gun Violence, Racial Reconciliation, Immigration Rights etc., filling critical national roles and advocacy within the TEC hierarchy.

> We continue to host our weekly conference call Prayer Line and monthly Bible Study with growing participation from our membership nationally.

> Our regions hosted informative conferences, conducted inspiring worship services and events in celebration of Absalom Jones and Alexander Crummell, and grew our number of new chapters while continuing the work of revitalization.

> We began work with the Episcopal Church Foundation and the Office of Black Ministries to launch a Congregational Leadership Initiative (CLI) for historically black churches aimed at enhancing the missional, strategic and stewardship capabilities of the Black Episcopal Church.

We were awarded a 2019 Beloved Community Grant by the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church to undertake a “Sacred Ground Circles and Episcopalians of Color: Best Practices Project” in collaboration with Katrina Brown, Sacred Ground curriculum developer/coordinator.

For the ongoing triennium, our priorities include leadership development and preparation for the next General Convention and we look forward to The UBE Annual Business Conference will take place in Montgomery, AL from June 29, 2020 through July 3, 2020.