Sacred Ground: In a Sentence
Sacred Ground is a structured converastion built around films and readings that invites people to discuss deeply divisive issues around Race in Ameriva as people of faith.
Want to join a Dialogue Group? Take the survey to tell us when you are available...
Click the link to take the survey: Doodle Poll
RECORDING of Preview Night hosted on ZOOM 2-23-2022
Click the link to watch: Recording of Preview Video (on youtube)
To say a bit more! (Why is this important?)
Conversations about Race and Identity are complicated, and that is an understatement. If your first reaction to reading the previous sentence is to feel anger at the Church getting “too political,” I encourage you to stick with me. This conversation is not a veiled attempt to lift up a partisan viewpoint. The Sacred Ground Dialogue Series comes from the Episcopal Church because we recognized the underlying tension that exists in our country and our churches. It is an opportunity to get past the superficial talking points and to look more deeply at the history. It is an opportunity to begin to understand ourselves and one another better, however we make sense of issues around race and identity. It is a tool to help us make space for a real conversation about Race, not one in which we simply talk past each other. The shared assumption of the vast majority of our country is that racism is harmful and wrong. And yet, even the question of how we talk about Race has become so politicized we have lost the ability to listen to one another. Yet, for Christians, we come at these questions with a different kind of need. For Christians, the heart of the matter is how do our commitments, as people of faith, shape the way we understand our relationships and commitments to one another? This conversation does not presume that there is a single answer. What this conversation does presume is that by making space to talk about our own history and how it has shaped the present, we provide ourselves with an opportunity to wonder about how God is calling us to live in the future. It is about taking the time to explore our history with care and attention. It is not designed to make us comfortable, but rather to invite us to grow by allowing us to discuss issues that are difficult to talk about. However, we are committed to making our groups a safe space for these conversations.
We have been having regular conversations about Race and Identity at Trinity for over a year. Those involved felt called to engage with this more structured resource in the coming year. It also provides a great opportunity for others to engage with these conversations. So, given all that, I want you to prayerfully consider joining a Sacred Ground dialogue group.
An invitation from the National Church:
This is a race dialogue series designed for these times. It is 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.
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 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.
Details about how this will work at Trinity
This will be an online offering (at least to start). This will cut down on the “commute” time and allow parents of young children to more easily participate.
Depending on the level of interest, we may form multiple groups.
The time for meetings will be adjusted based on who signs-up.
More information about this series can be found at: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/sacred-ground/
Questions, concerns - contact The Rev. Kevin Caruso