Joining the St. Paul’s History Project

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Since June of this year, a small group of St. Paul’s parishioners led by Gail Bindley-Taylor,
and including Kristine Dennehy, Diane Drozd, Diane Jellerette, Fran O’Gorman, Charlie
Taney, Lamont Thomas and David Westmoreland; and who have been joined by Sharon
Pearson, one of our friends from St. Matthews, Wilton, have come together to begin
the work mandated by the Diocese of Connecticut at its 236 Convention to “direct each
Parish, Worshipping Community, and Intentional Episcopal Community to take steps to
discover and document historic complicity in racism in their parish and communities.”
This is also in keeping with helping to attain two of the Vestry’s goals for this year,
healing and satisfying our hunger for learning. We have begun our work of researching
historical documents and have involved the Norwalk Library, our Diocesan archivist as
well as the invaluable research work done on our graveyard by our own David
Westmoreland for his Master’s thesis. We are now at the stage of beginning to piece
together a narrative and to cross reference what we have read with gravestones in our
burial ground, so we learn more about who owned enslaved persons, who they were
and what they meant to our community. Our project is meant not to engender guilt but
to learn and to use that knowledge to enhance our racial healing and social justice
As our history group researches and documents our past as a Church community and
our complicity in the racism not only in our parish, but in the larger community of
Norwalk, we also need trained teachers and young people who will help us explore this
through their own learning, which they in turn will teach others in our community as we
begin the process of building beloved community. A lot of our teaching work will be
centered around fun projects like creating “biographies” in whatever creative format
our prospective teachers or their students wish to respond – written, video, art, music,
dance, etc.  We also hope to create a podcast to collect personal stories from members
of our community so that we can all continue to learn together.
The purpose of all this work as our Convention resolution stresses is to “respect the
dignity of all individuals, and to work to create inclusive environments within our
Parishes, our Worshipping Communities, our Intentional Episcopal Communities, and
the wider ECCT that nurture and allow all of God’s children to succeed, grow, be
respected and valued, to contribute to the building up of the Body of Christ, and to
share in the benefits and rewards of those contributions.” Lofty goal perhaps, but oh so

To find out more, or to join the project, please contact Gail Bindley-Taylor at

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