[Brotherhood of St. Andrew] Floridian Joe McDaniel Jr. has been appointed national vice president of the Brotherhood of St Andrew’s newly created Committee on Racial Reconciliation.
He is tasked with creating a strategy to expose the 5,000-member men’s ministry to the Episcopal Church’s Ministry of Racial Reconciliation.
A former corporate finance attorney in New York City, McDaniel was a deputy to General Convention in 2018. He also served as the legislative assistant to the House of Deputies Committee for the Confirmation of the Presiding Bishop at the 2015 General Convention.
He is a trained facilitator in conducting racial reconciliation workshops in the Episcopal Diocese of The Central Gulf Coast, where he also serves on its Commission on Ministry and its Cursillo Commission. He has been a delegate at numerous diocesan conventions and has served as senior warden for Christ Church Episcopal Parish and on a various number of its committees and sub-committees.
“We are very excited about the ability to make a statement about expanding the men’s ministry movement into this vital area, which is a priority for The Episcopal Church,” Brotherhood President Jeffrey Butcher said making the announcement July 21 in Louisville during the Brotherhood’s annual national council meeting.
“We need men to address the issue of racism within the wider church and within our own organization.
“The creation of this Committee on Racial Reconciliation is a statement that tells the church and our members we are very serious concerning the challenges that racism presents us in bringing men and youth closer to Christ,” President Butcher said. “We are stepping up to the plate to address this serious issue.”
McDaniel quoted Matthew 15:21-28, where it states: “Yea. Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ tables.” This story in Matthew’s Gospel details Jesus’ encounter with a Canaanite woman. Her nationality makes her an outsider and on this basis even Jesus rejects her when she comes seeking help for her daughter. But the Canaanite woman challenges Jesus on his refusal and Jesus praises her faith and heals her daughter after all.
This story demonstrates that God’s love is so expansive, it can surprise and stretch even Jesus Christ himself. It encourages Christians to be mindful of our own prejudices and understand that God’s love isn’t as restrictive as our own.
It is in this spirit of the furtherance of justice, that the Brotherhood of St. Andrew has created the Committee on Racial Reconciliation where we will conduct an examination of our own unconscious and in some cases conscious prejudices. The work will sometimes be painful for some but it will be enlightening and hopefully rewarding as we seek to bridge an understanding between the races that led to the killings in Charleston at the AME Church of nine African American parishioners as they welcomed Dylann Roof to join them in a Bible study.
Roof is a self-confessed white supremacist whose goal was to create a race war. Yet in a move that stunned many observers, many of the family members of those who were murdered expressed their forgiveness to him for the unbelievable carnage which he had unleashed upon them and their family members.
It is this sense of reconciliation for the past sins of racism that we must achieve if we are to move forward reconciled to one another in a sense of love and unity, and to do so we must acknowledge the sins of the past. We must engage in active dialogue to discuss it, no matter how uncomfortable such a discussion may be.
As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “Our common experience in fact is the opposite – that the past, far from disappearing or lying down and being quiet, has an embarrassing and persistent way of returning and haunting us unless it has in fact been dealt with adequately.
“Unless we look the beast in the eye we find it has an uncanny habit of returning to hold us hostage.”
To confront the beast, our goal is to conduct a series of workshops across the nation and invite all the Brotherhood of St. Andrew chapters in the applicable dioceses to attend these one-day workshops, where they will be exposed to the national curriculum developed by The Episcopal Church on Racial Reconciliation. The goal of such training is to expose and uncover the unconscious biases, in a non-threatening way, which we all harbor towards one another, with the purpose of learning who we are and why we think the way we do.
The goal is for The Brotherhood to be on the forefront of the Jesus Movement in its Ministry of Racial Reconciliation as we seek the furtherance of the beloved community.
— Jim Goodson is editor of the St. Andrew’s Cross, the publication of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew.