A mural featuring Harriet Tubman at the Harriet Tubman Museum & Educational Center. The mural shows Tubman with her hand outstretched, beckoning the viewer to join her on a journey to freedom. The mural was painted by Michael Rosato, a muralist who lives in Dorchester County, Maryland, where Tubman was born and lived in slavery for more than 25 years.

February 1, 2022

The Diocese of Maryland Reparations Task Force is pleased to announce that grant applications for the Diocesan Reparations Fund will open on Monday, February 21. These grants are open to any organization within the geographical region of the Diocese of Maryland that has a proven history of doing the work of restoring African American and Black communities, as well as startups whose mission and goals are the same. The task force anticipates awarding two or three grants during this funding cycle in the range of $25k – $50K. Awards will be based on a competitive points system.

On September 12, 2020, the 236th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland passed Resolution 2020-06, committing to creating a $1,000,000 seed fund for reparations. Our diocese is taking next steps to infuse money into programs that are building up Black communities and helping to repair the breach caused by systemic racism in Maryland and in the United States. “This is a time for us to live into our Baptismal covenant very deeply… This is a time for us to recognize how society uses race and class against all of us, separating us,” said Diocesan Canon for Mission The Rev. Christine McCloud.

We invite you to begin to think about organizations you might want to encourage to apply. Do they have a track record of serving African American and Black communities? Do they affect change to right the injustices of systemic and institutionalized racism?

Ministries created by and/or partnering with a congregation, who have their own 501(c)(3) non-profit status, are eligible to apply. Support for congregations and ministries within the Diocese of Maryland without their own 501(c)(3) status is available through the Financial Assistance for Congregations grants, the Ihloff Fund for Congregational Development grants and Sustainable Development Goals grants. The purpose of the reparations grants is not to benefit the institutional Church, but to help repair the lack of resources in communities of color in need and to repair our relationships with these communities.

The 2020 resolution called for the formation of a committee to launch the management of the new reparations fund. With careful discernment, the Reparations Task Force was named and began its work in February 2021. The task force recognized that to proceed it first had to build relationships and trust with one another, fostering a devotion to the work of transformation, which is the heart of reconciliation and repair of historical sins. The task force then turned its attention to discernment, reflection, soul-searching, and learning about shared history together. The work has now evolved to establishing a timeline, development of processes for application, review, communications and the criteria for awarding funds. Together with Diocesan Council the task force is working to ensure good stewardship of this seed fund, being committed to its growth and ability to assist in rebuilding communities of color into the future.

“We know that God has a greater vision for all of us. The hope of becoming and living as a Beloved Community, is one which is rooted deeply in our faith tradition and Baptismal covenant, and is a hope that promises even greater impact and transformation throughout the Church and the world that Christ has redeemed,” wrote Bishop Sutton in his pastoral letter to the Diocese, on reparations, in 2020. At our 2021 diocesan convention, in his address, Bishop Sutton remarked, “I am so proud of this Church for committing some of its financial resources for building up impoverished black communities. Is it going to hurt us? Yes, and it should,” remarked Bishop Sutton. “The past, my brothers and sisters, is gone. We remember it, we rightly lament it, we honor and cherish its memory, but then we must bury it. The past is past. The present moment is the only reality we’ve got right now. The past does not fit into this present….What is the present trying to say to us? The present moment is telling us that the church of Jesus Christ is on the move.”

Beloved siblings in Christ, we are on the move. We look forward to all God has in store for us with our new partners in reconciliation and reparations.


The Rev. Nancy Hennessey
Mr. Stephen Gibson, Co-Chairs
Diocesan Reparations Task Force

Important Dates:

  • February 17, 2022 – Informational Meeting via Zoom. Register here.
  • February 24, 2022 – Technical Assistance Meeting on how to fill out the online application. Register here.
  • February 21, 2022 – Application process opens
  • March 18, 2022 – Applications due, 5:00 PM
  • TBD, no later than June 2022 – Awards announcement ceremony

For more information on our journey to reparations, please see our reparations materials here.
For more information about the grant application process, please see our FAQs and the application on our reparations grants page when they are available February 21.

Diocesan Reparations Task Force Members

Mr. Stephen Gibson (Member, St. James, Lafayette Square, Baltimore)
The Rev. Nancy Hennessey (Rector, Sherwood, Cockeysville)

Diocesan Staff Liaisons
The Rev. Christine McCloud (Canon for Mission)
 Ms. Carrie Graves (Canon for Communications)

Ms. Karen Mercer (St. Mary the Virgin, Baltimore)

UBE Representatives
Ms. Celeste Morgan (Member, St. Michael’s and All Angels, Baltimore)
The Rev. Randy Callender (Rector, St. Philip’s, Annapolis) – on leave

Diocesan Members
The Rev. Karen Crosby (Rector, St. John’s, Frostburg)
The Rev. Lisa Siciliano (Deacon, Southern Maryland)
Mr. Al Collins (Member, St. Anne’s, Annapolis)
Mr. Sonni Aribiah (Member, Christ Church, Columbia)
Mr. John Merrick (Member, St. Philip’s, Annapolis)
Mr. Scott King (Member, Memorial, Baltimore)