The charge of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE Pacific Northwest) is to help safeguard the path for lay persons and ministers of color in our region to thrive and flourish throughout The Episcopal Church.
We unite the dreams of Black Episcopalians, people of color, and their allies to identify, equip, and sustain lay and ordained leaders of color through faith, education, and advocacy in the Pacific Northwest.
Who is The Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE)?
According to Wikipedia, The Union was formed on February 8, 1968, by a group of African American clergy who met in St. Philips Episcopal Church to identify the church with the growing Black Power movement in their communities. The desire to articulate the problems of minority populations had been expressed by the Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity. However, it was felt that its agenda was influenced largely by white Episcopalians, and did not necessarily express the aspirations of African-Americans.
The organization meets annually, and includes clergy and laity, men and women, without distinction. Chapters are organized by dioceses and are joined in regional groups to express local concerns more effectively. The goals of the union are to help the church eradicate racism within its structure, to indicate the importance of an authentic African-American voice in decisions of diocesan and national governing bodies, to develop liturgical styles in worship, and to encourage and participate in the political and religious concerns of the African American community.
UBE and Pacific Northwest Chapter Facts and Figures
- The Union has six (6) regions covering the continental US, Africa, The Caribbean, South America, and Canada.
- The Union has over 55 Chapters
- The Pacific Northwest UBE interest group began in March 2020 and became officially recognized by The Union in the Fall of 2020.
- The Pacific Northwest Chapter has members from the Dioceses of Olympia and Oregon.
- UBE Pacific Northwest has over 50 members, covering the states of Oregon and Washington.
What the UBE is not?
The Union of Black Episcopalians, “The Union”, is not the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, which is the legal name universally known as The Episcopal Church (TEC).
The Union is an international, independent organization which works closely with TEC to facilitate increasing the representation of Black Episcopalians in the church and to ensure issues which indeed affect all people of color do not go unaddressed.
The UBE is not exclusive to African American people.
The UBE strongly encourages anyone to register who wants to advance social justice initiatives and the restructuring of how TEC functions to make its norms and processes more equitable to minorities.
We have European American, Latino, Asian, Asian American, First Nations, African, Afro-Caribbean, and African American members who want TEC to more closely resemble the church of which Jesus spoke.
African Americans have been leaders in the Episcopal Church since the 18th century. Our historical role is sacred, and therefore, our longevity, faith, and resilience give us a powerful voice as representatives of all People of Color in service to the Church.
What does your UBE Chapter membership help to achieve in the Pacific Northwest?
- We provide a community forum for Black Episcopalian and People of Color to build deeper connections with others like them in the Pacific Northwest.
- We are building a regional network of advocates which include clergy, lay leaders, parishes, diocesan committees, and other Episcopal organizations who want to see parishioners fully participate in church life wherever they live.
- After 18 months of meetings, discussion, and reflection, we have developed plans for programs to prepare our members for lay and ordained ministry opportunities throughout the Episcopal Church.