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Sacred Ground: Dismantling Racism Together

Sacred Ground: Dismantling Racism Together
Published by Josh Hosler on Mon, Sep 21, 2020 2:36 PM


Join the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd and Calvary Lutheran Church on a walk through SACRED GROUND.

Racism is an indelible legacy in America. While its presence has never abated, white folks’ awareness of it and willingness to address it has increased greatly even this summer.

The Episcopal Church has created a curriculum called Sacred Ground designed to help us do our part to dismantle racism in our society. Good Shepherd is partnering with Calvary Lutheran to form two “dialogue circles”—small groups in which we can share the Sacred Ground series together.

This is an opportunity to be responsive to the profound societal challenges of race and racism, as well as the difficult but respectful and transformative dialogue we need to have with each other about them. The Sacred Ground series invites you to walk back through history and peel away the layers that have placed us where we are, and to do so in a personal way, reflecting on your family histories and stories, as well as important narratives that shape the collective American story. Join us as we work to fulfill the vision of Beloved Community, where all people are honored and protected and nurtured as fellow children of God.

For what would I actually be signing up?

Full participation in the twelve sessions of the series, to be scheduled throughout the program year. This will include completion of assigned materials prior to the online discussion sessions, along with participation in each of the two-hour online discussion circles.

Format, times and dates:

On Zoom.

Mondays, 7:00-9:00 pm with Billie Stockton and the Rev. Lori Cornell
October 19; November 9, 30; December 14; January 11; February 1, 22; March 15; April 12; May 3, 24; June 14


Thursdays, 1:00-3:00 pm with Mary McClellan Aronen and the Rev. Josh Hosler
October 22; November 12; December 3; January 7, 28; February 11, 25; March 11; April 8, 29; May 13; June 3

Each group will contain a mix of people from Good Shepherd and Calvary. The two groups will function separately and will begin and end the series together.

Cost and materials: There is no cost for the materials themselves, but you must have copies of two books: Waking Up White by Debbie Irving and Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman. In addition, you’ll need a functional computer with access to online materials that will be provided and the ability to participate via Zoom.

Join us in a spiritual journey grounded in the Christian faith -- in the example of Jesus Christ and the power of scripture, prayer, God’s grace, and the Holy Spirit -- as we step closer to God’s dream of Beloved Community.

Here are some key characteristics of the Sacred Ground Dialogue Series:

  • It is built around powerful documentary films and readings that 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 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.
  • 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.