The Episcopal Church is committed to eliminating the sin of racism from the life of the Church. Through grants and outreach, and programs like Sacred Ground, the Church actively supports the work of Becoming Beloved Community. Our long-term commitment to racial healing, justice, and reconciliation includes developing and recommending best practices for dismantling racism training and collecting information from dioceses and provinces about their successes and challenges in fulfilling this bedrock mission.
St Clement’s Becoming Beloved Community Ministry is reaching out to our community by giving out free coffee and Hershey Kisses for Valentine’s Day and promoting diversity.
“If it is not about Love, it is not about God” – Bishop Curry
WHAT IS THE SACRED GROUND RACE DIALOGUE SERIES?
- Sacred Ground is a sensitive, prayerful resource that creates space for difficult but respectful and transformative dialogue on race and racism.
- It invites participants to walk back through history in order to peel away the layers that brought us to today, reflecting on family histories and stories, as well as important narratives that shape the collective American story.
- It holds as a guiding star the vision of beloved community – where all people are honored and protected and nurtured as beloved children of God, where we weep at one another’s pain and seek one another’s flourishing.
WHAT IS A DIALOGUE CIRCLE?
The invitation is to form a dialogue circle or circles in your congregation that would meet for 10 sessions to engage with the films, videos, written materials, and each other – a study group essentially. Please arrange for a designated facilitator, co-facilitators, or rotating facilitators. When there are distance constraints, you can consider holding virtual circles.
By way of overview, here are some key characteristics of the Sacred Ground Dialogue Series:
- It is built around powerful documentary films and readings, which we are pleased to bring you and which will serve as the jumping-off point for dialogue.
- The series brings participants’ attention to various key chapters in U.S. history of race and racism, as well some of the latest thinking by scholars and practitioners of racial healing, racial equity, and whiteness.
- It focuses on Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian American histories as they intersect with European American histories.
- It emphasizes personal story-sharing and deepening relationships.
- It invites exploration of how people of color have been harmed by racism, and how white people have been hurt in other ways, creating a shared – if deeply unequal – brokenness that compels us to overcome these legacies in deliberate partnership. This work can take various shapes.
- It strongly encourages people to constitute dialogue groups with socioeconomic and political diversity, which may involve partnering with another congregation or organization.
- It puts attention on issues related to race, while also examining how those issues intersect with family history, class status, regional identity (regional cultures, urban/rural divides, coasts versus heartland), and political identity (red states/blue states, Trump-related divides).
- This series, framed as a spiritual journey, is grounded in the Christian faith – in the example of Jesus Christ and the power of scripture, prayer, God’s grace, and the Holy Spirit to help us step closer to the dream of beloved community.