Old First's Sacred Conversation on Race– the latest iterration

Old First's Sacred Conversation on Race– the latest iterration

“It is not upon you to finish the work, but you are not free to ignore it.” — Rabbi Tarfan

From the Talmud, Tikkun Olam, “repairing the world”, offers us a way to see our Conversation on Race as a journey rather than a project with a beginning and an end.

A group of about thirty Old Firsters gathered last Sunday to continue the Conversation begun at Lenten House Meetings. There was great interest in continuing to explore how issues of race permeate our lives as individuals, in interpersonal relationships, and in society as a whole. The heart of our conversation last Sunday took place in groups of three, focused on these two 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, racial justice and your daily life? What feelings come up for you as you name that disparity? What do you intend to do about it?

We concluded the meeting by discussing next steps. All agreed that this conversation is so important that we must continue it and involve more people. By sharing our stories and our concerns, we can begin to understand how Issues of race and racism permeate our lives and our communities and are evident in both small and large contexts.

As our Conversation continues, we want to feel more hopeful than cynical, to be equipped and empowered to recognize and confront racism when we encounter it.

During the summer, you can help continue our Sacred Conversation.

• Join our Ministry Team to plan a fall program, possibly a Conversation with another church in the Penn Southeast Conference, and/or
• Invite others to an informal, small group conversation — all you need is at least three people and a place to meet. Multi-racial groups are encouraged. Let the Ministry Team know of your plans, and if you like, one of us will help you get started.

For more information, contact any of the following members of the SCoC Ministry Team:

Mimi Copp-Johnson
Michael Johnson
Delilah Marrow
Bob Polk
Margaret Rohdy
Jackie Williams
Gerry Woodroffe
Michael Caine
(all contact info. can be found in our on-line directory on REALM, or from the church office)

These resources will be helpful as you think about further participation in the Conversation.


What is the Conversation Why are we having it in the UCC? What role can you play ?

UCC Sacred Conversation on Race Resource Guide
Handbook for the Conversation.

The Appendices are the best places to begin:
Appendix D: Individual Reflection Questions
We used questions 5 and 8 in last Sunday’s discussion
Appendix F: Multi-Racial, Multi-Cultural Glossary
Because words matter.
Appendix H: Annotated Bibliography of Racial Justice Resources
Appendix I: Recommended Videos and DVDs

Submitted for the SCoR Ministry Team,

Margaret R.