The purpose of the Mosaic Task Force is to help the diocese become more hospitable in an increasingly diverse world and to become more aware of the presence of structural and institutional racism within the Church. A 2015 Diocesan Convention initiative called for deanery conversations around congregational vitality. The purpose is to bring together members of different congregations together for the common growth of the diocese as it lives out its mission and ministry.
The Task Force is composed of members appointed by the Bishop with current co-chairs being the Rev. Dr. Erin Kirby, Rector of St. Matthias, Minocqua and the Rev. Jim Harrison, Rector of All Saints, Appleton. Other members include the Rev. Meredyth Albright, the Rev. John Ambelang, the Rev. Dcn. Brien Beck, the Rev. Dcn. Sue Burman, Missy Harrison, Martina Mims. If you would like to join the Task Force, please tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
To fulfill its purpose, the Task Force is developing a training program for clergy on “the Church’s teaching on racism” per the Canons of the Episcopal Church – III.6.5.(g).(4) and III.8.5.(h).(4) with the hope to offer such training to laity and congregations. The Clergy Continuing Education in the Fall of 2017 will use this program. The Task Force also facilitates ongoing charitable and respectful conversation across differences of race, ethnicity, culture, politics, etc.
In 2016, the Mosaic Task Force held “Engaging One Another Across Our Differences” for laity and clergy in each deanery of the diocese. Each session was facilitated by Laura Smythe, an attorney, mediator and professor who addresses topics of cultures and change, critical thinking, creative problem solving and social diversity. She addressed how our upbringing, our cultural background and societal trends have formed values around race which affect our relationships more than we assume.