Inter-church Sacred Ground gatherings

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Inter-Church Sacred Ground gatherings

Members of four churches, St. Simon of Cyrene, Lincoln Heights, Ascension & Holy Trinity, Wyoming, Christ Church, Glendale, and St. Barnabas, Montgomery, have gathered together their Sacred Ground groups for discussion around Becoming Beloved Community. Several members of the churches checked in to share their thoughts and experiences about their first event.

Peggy Sanchez, St. Simon of Cyrene, Lincoln Heights

Members of Ascension-Holy Trinity, Christ Church Glendale, and St. Barnabas joined the people of St. Simon of Cyrene for worship on Sunday, January 19 and stayed for lunch and a Becoming Beloved Community session. The St. Simon Gospel Choir provided moving music during the service and we all enjoyed having lunch together. Guest speakers Cherie Patrick Bridges and Derek Peebles facilitated small group conversations. I think we gained a sense of connection. I felt that meeting in the church space, sitting in the pews, confirmed the sense of God’s presence in our conversations. It also felt that sharing a meal together first facilitated breaking down barriers and making people feel more connected.

 

The Rev. Mary Laymon, St. Simon of Cyrene, Lincoln Heights

Sacred Ground Facilitators from Christ Church Glendale, Ascension and Holy Trinity and St. Simon’s met with Derek Peebles, our interchurch Sacred Ground facilitator to plan our first Interchurch gathering. We crafted an agenda and wondered how much of our time should be spent on reviewing the curriculum together, and how much time should focus on other shared initiatives related to Becoming Beloved Community.

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On January 19, we had a GREAT inter-church gathering. It began with shared worship at St. Simon’s. Cherie Bridges Patrick was our preacher. We celebrated MLK Day with the Gospel choir and drums. We all ate lunch together, and then 32 of us gathered for our Sacred Ground conversation. The energy was warm and connected. The time went too fast.

We checked in about sessions 1-3 of Sacred Ground. Cherie talked about the importance of understanding whiteness. Derek Peebles, our facilitator, shared very vulnerably about some of his story. Lunch conversations about the curriculum reflected the pain of watching the “We Shall Remain” movie, and difficulty understanding “whiteness” in session two. Cherie did a great job unpacking that more in our large group gathering. I felt very encouraged and uplifted by the energy of the experience.

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Sacred Ground Facilitators from Ascension & Holy Trinity and St. Simon’s met after our first inter-church gathering at Christ Church Glendale with Derek Peebles, who facilitated our gathering. We de-briefed our event, and prepared objectives for our next interchurch gathering.

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A member from Ascension and Holy Trinity joined in the St. Simon’s Dialogue Group as we discussed Session Four of the Sacred Ground curriculum. We discussed the history of slavery and how it changed into a race-based practice in America, as well as how slavery practices continue today under the name of human-trafficking.

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Sacred Ground Facilitators from St. Simon’s met with Larry James from St. Barnabas. His congregation is interested in the Becoming Beloved Community work and wondered if Sacred Ground would be a good curriculum for them. After discussions with us, they joined our Sacred Ground team and signed up for our next inter-church gathering at St. Simon’s.

Laverne Mitchell, St. Simon of Cyrene, Lincoln Heights

I was able to connect with a childhood friend that I did not realize still considered herself an Episcopalian.

Deb Ramsey, St. Barnabas, Montgomery

Being on BBC has made me aware of what we can do in our community

Mary Evelyn Hammond, St. Barnabas, Montgomery

An amazing time to share stories and learn about racial challenges.