Our Sacred Conversation began almost a year ago when a few Old First members heard about this UCC program and said “We want to do this here.” We want to understand how both white people and people of color have seen and experienced racism. Current events add urgency to our undertaking, and we are convinced that having this conversation will make a difference in us as individuals, in our relations with others, and in our city and world.
In February, several dozen Old Firsters began our conversation at small House Meetings. There were troubled moments, powerful moments, and moments of grace as we told our stories and shared our questions and insights. When our meetings ended, we agreed that we are just beginning a journey of discovery and understanding, so we invited those who attended the House Meetings and all who are interested in this conversation to attend a potluck and discussion after worship on June 7.
We hope these discussions will challenge us and change us, and then encourage us and empower us to make a difference.
Here’s what our agenda for the day looks like:
12:30-1:30 pm – Lunch and 1:30-3:00 – Meeting
Song and Opening Prayer
Review of purpose, expected results, and agenda for the meeting
Overview of our accomplishments in Phase 1 of our journey and highlights from the House Meeting evaluations
3:3 discussions, sharing our thoughts and insights on these questions
— In what ways were you aware of your racial/ethnic background when you were growing up? How would you describe that background?
— In what ways do you experience disparity between your values and dreams about racial justice and your daily life? What feelings come up for you as you name that disparity? What do you intend to do about that disparity?
Sharing our stories in the larger group
Next steps (keeping our momentum during the summer):
~ Expand the SCoC Mission Team to work on plans for the next phase of our journey, especially on a meeting in the fall with other churches in the Penn SE Conference.
~ Form small groups to meet informally for discussion, mentored by members of the phase 1 Mission Team.
See you in church next Sunday— and after worship for lunch and good conversation!
Margaret R. (for the SCoR Ministry Team)