Sacred Ground

Have you heard about Sacred Ground?

But the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community.  It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends.  The type of love that I stress here is not eros, a sort of esthetic or romantic love; not philia, a sort of reciprocal love between personal friends; but it is agape which is understanding goodwill for all men.  It is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return.  It is the love of God working in the lives of men. This is the love that may well be the salvation of our civilization.   ––The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sacred Ground is a race dialogue series designed for these times, an attempt to be responsive to the profound challenges that currently exist in our society.  It is focused on the challenges that swirl around issues of race and racism, as well as the difficult but respectful and transformative dialogue we need to have with each other about them.  It invites participants to walk back through history in order to peel away the layers that brought us to today, and to do so in a personal way, reflecting on family histories and stories, as well as important narratives that shape the collective American story.  It holds the vision of beloved community as a guiding star – 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.

Some key characteristics of the Sacred Ground Dialogue Series are:

·  It is built around powerful documentary films and readings, will serve as the jumping-off point for dialogue.

·  It 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 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.

·  Framed as a spiritual journey, it 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.

If you’d like to know more, attend the organizing meeting on Thursday, Sept. 2 at 6 pm in the church library. We hope to see you there.

The Rev. Glennda Hardin, Deacon,
Crystal French,

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