Sacred Ground is a ten-session Episcopal Church curriculum focused on understanding and addressing systemic racism in our communities and in society and on Becoming Beloved Community. In 2020-21, five small groups of St. Mark’s parishioners and others completed this curriculum, meeting once a month for ten months. We read articles and watched videos related to the histories of Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latin Americans and discussed the ways that systemic racism has influenced all of our lives, often in dramatically different ways.
After completing the curriculum, participants recommended the establishment of a Sacred Ground Task Force to pursue ideas that arose from their discussions. The Task Force, working with Rev. Matt, has developed three ways in which the St. Mark’s community can learn about and participate in Becoming Beloved Community through any or all of the following:
- A five-week Lenten program developed by the Episcopal Church inviting participants “…into a journey to commit in new ways to becoming Beloved Community and growing loving, liberating, life-giving relationships across the human family of God.” The program will be offered in facilitated small groups in the Forum time after church beginning on March 6, the first Sunday in Lent, and continuing through April 3, in person and/or on Zoom, depending on circumstances at that time. These small groups will stay together for the five-week program. There will also be drop-in sessions for those who are not able to attend most of the five sessions. All members of the parish are invited to take part in this program, whether or not they participated in the Sacred Ground program.
2. Reading and discussing our featured Lenten book The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for Beloved Community by Stephanie Spellers. Rebecca Lyman and Margalynne Armstrong will lead the discussion in two evening Zoom sessions on March 16 and 23. There is no advanced signup for these discussions.
3. Listening and learning from personal stories inspired by the Sacred Ground experience as part of Sunday services during Lent. Further details will be forthcoming as Lent approaches.