The Becoming Beloved Community

The Episcopal Church of the Ascension’s Becoming Beloved Community Ministry

The Becoming Beloved Community Ministry at Ascension was formed in the summer of 2020 after the death of George Floyd. The ministry is chaired by Sylvia Peters (who also sits on the diocesan task force) and co-chaired by Pat Rutenberg. For a full list of task force members, please see below. This task force has become a vital ministry at our parish that seeks to work together to share education, build awareness, engage in honest conversations, and go about the work of the prophet Micah: do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.

The Diocese of East Tennessee Becoming Beloved Community Ministry

Bishop Brian Cole started a Becoming Beloved Community ministry for our diocese with a diocesan task force dedicated to discussing, researching, educating, and doing ministry with the people of this area around racial reconciliation and healing.

To Learn about the Diocesan Ministry, Please visit The Diocese of East Tennessee Website.

The Episcopal Church’s Becoming Beloved Community Ministry

The Episcopal Church is invested in a national movement regarding Becoming Beloved Community: As the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, we dream and work to foster Beloved Communities where all people may experience dignity and abundant life and see themselves and others as beloved children of God. The Becoming Beloved Community Vision Document and accompanying resources help us to understand and take up the long-term commitments necessary to form loving, liberating and life-giving relationships with each other. Together, we are growing as reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers in the name of Christ.

To Read More, Please Visit The Episocpal Church website.

​Book Discussion starts this Wednesday, Oct. 6th on ZOOM.
This class will run all four Wednesday evenings in October (6, 13, 20, 27).
Each class will meet from 6:30-7:30pm
Led By Sylvia Peters, Pat Rutenberg, & John Blanch – On Zoom 

Zoom Meeting ID: 834 9701 5742
Password: bbc-coa
Please join Ascension’s Becoming Beloved Community ministry as we read and discuss the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers’ new book, The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for Beloved Community. Canon Spellers is currently the Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Evangelism, Reconciliation and Stewardship of Creation. Canon Spellers writes in her introduction: “God is breaking open this church and pouring us out—pouring out privilege, pouring out empire, pouring out racism and human arrogance—in order to remake us and use us to serve God’s dream for the whole world.” Canon Spellers graduated from Bearden High School in Knoxville, Wake Forest University and Harvard Divinity School. Please join discussion leaders Sylvia Peters, John Blanch, and Pat Rutenberg as we continue our journey of Becoming Beloved Community at Ascension.
“This book will make a profound difference for the church in this moment in history.”
― The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry

Supporting This Ministry With Prayer

All parishioners are invited to support this ministry by participating in prayer opportunities. One is to do intercessory prayer for this work, our community and the world by praying alone but as part of a prayer team. If you think God may be calling you to this prayer ministry, contact Allie Brown at 865-679-7473 or email: .
The other opportunity is to walk the labyrinth on Sunday afternoons at 2:30 pm with Emily Vreeland. These walks will include opening and closing prayers, a walking meditation related to the work of the committee, and a time for sharing. In inclement weather, these walks/talks will be canceled or might be held in Parish Hall where masks and social distancing will be required. Contact Emily Vreeland at if you have questions.


If you have questions regarding
Ascension’s Beloved Community Ministry, please reach out to either ministry chair:
Sylvia Peters ( or co-chair Pat Rutenberg (

Beloved Community Task Force Members

Chair: Sylvia Peters
Co-Chair: Pat Rutenberg
Allie Brown
Dr. Kerri Everson
Tom Hale
Gary Knutson
Ann O’Connor
Venice Peek
Jim Phillips
Emily Rowcliffe
Marilyn Roddy
Emily Vreeland
Marianne Wanamaker
Donna Wertz
Chaplain: The Rev. Caroline Vogel