Mission Center: The Episcopal Church: Community

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on the Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery

I urge you to learn more about the Doctrine of Discovery and the search for healing in our native communities.

But this is also a matter for healing in communities and persons of European immigrant descent.  Colonists, settlers, and homesteaders benefited enormously from the availability of “free” land, and their descendants continue to benefit to this day.  That land was taken by force or subterfuge from peoples who had dwelt on it from time immemorial – it was their “promised land.”  The nations from which the settlers came, and the new nations which resulted in the Americas, sought to impose another culture and way of life on the peoples they encountered.  Attempting to remake the land and peoples they found “in their own image” was a profound act of idolatry.

Repentance and amendment of life are the answer, and God asks us all – this Church, our partners and neighbors, and the nations which were founded under the Doctrine of Discovery - to the challenging work of reconciliation.

The abundant life we know in Jesus Christ is made possible through sacrifice – through repairing what is broken, and finding holiness and healing in the midst of that challenging work.  That work is often costly, but it is the only road to abundant life.

See a video on the lasting impact of the Doctrine of Discovery

Exposing the Doctrine of Discovery: A Call to Healing and Hope

Designed to engage congregations and dioceses in the painful history of our church and nation, "Exposing the Doctrine of Discovery" is an invitation to prayerful learning, reflection and worship, providing a safe place to explore the clash between the Good News, the settlement of the Americas, and the consequences that exist to this day.

Looking at Columbus Day through the Lens of our Baptismal Vows
The Four Directions and Magnificat


Resources »

Un Libro de Oración para el Discípulo


Why Serve 2012
6/6/2012  - 6/10/2012    - Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, VA

Back to Top