Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Sacred Ground

Every other Monday; September 14–December 21
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Sacred Ground

Why Sacred Ground?

Then God said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5)

As described by Bishop Curry in this video HERE, the space where we tell our stories is holy ground. This program explores racial injustice in the U.S. and is grounded in Christian faith—in the example of Jesus Christ and the power of scripture. Prayer, God’s grace, and the Holy Spirit help us step closer to the dream of beloved community.

What’s involved?

The program at CHC will include:

  • Eight 90 minute Zoom meetings (every other week) of dialogue and exercises based on documentary films and readings done at home between sessions. Register online.
  • A focus on the history of race and racism, racial equity, and the concept of “whiteness” in the U.S.
  • Exploration of how people of color have been harmed by racism, while white people have been hurt in other ways, creating a shared – if deeply unequal—brokenness.
  • An examination of class status and regional identity (regional cultures, urban/rural divides, coasts versus heartland) and their effect on racial divides in our country.

Is this program for me?

To help you decide if this program is for you, consider these points:

  • Participants are expected to commit to the full eight-week program, as this will be a personal journey that evolves through our class community. This is not a “drop in” program. When you register, you will be given a password so you can access articles and videos.
  • Assigned readings and documentaries for each class are to be completed on your own prior to each meeting. Over the 4 months, you will read an assortment of articles and two books: Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman and Waking up White by Debby Irving.
  • The program emphasizes personal story-sharing and deepening relationships. Confidentiality and respectful listening are essential.
  • Because the original 10 (120 minute) sessions have been compressed into 8 (90 minute) sessions, we will not cover all the Sacred Ground curriculum.  The CHC program will focus primarily on black/white issues, with only brief mention of other groups.  We intend to have more programs in the future that broaden the focus.
  • Sacred Ground was written primarily for use by white people, in the spirit of building a stronger foundation for whites to engage in ongoing interracial dialogue in other spaces.  If you are a person of color, please contact us for more information about the curriculum to see if it speaks to you, even with its tilt toward a white audience.

Registration closes at midnight on Friday, September 11.

Register online. Upon registration, Zoom information will be provided. Questions? Please contact Norma Williamson.

Program dates:  9/14, 9/28, 10/12, 10/26, 11/9, 11/23, 12/7, 12/21