Updated: Dec 1, 2020
Brave Space & Frequently Asked Questions
Conversations on Race, Grounded in Faith
Especially for White Episcopalians
Join a small group of Sharon Chapel parishioners for a multi-week series as we work, study, share, learn, and act to undo the power of racism and white supremacy in ourselves, our history, our parish, and our church.
1) I'm pretty sure I'm going to say the wrong thing (lots of times) and embarrass myself, should I still come?
ABSOLUTELY! We are all going to say the "wrong" thing; we are all going to make mistakes; we are all going to need someone(s) to be there to challenge us, question us, correct us, and to LOVE us still. That is what this is all about! Loving each other through the work, bumps, and bruises while we undo the embarrassment and shame that keep us from doing this work in the first place. Conviction, courage, persistence, and love are gifts from God. Shame and embarrassment are not.
2) I don't know very much at all or anything really about race and racism in this country, should I still come?
ABSOLUTELY! We will have plenty of resources from which to learn and lots of space for people at all different points in their work. If you are interested and willing to do some reading, watching, and learning, definitely come.
3) What do I need to know or do or have done before I'm ready to start this?
You need a loving and open heart and mind, a willingness to try and try again even when it's a little (or a lot) uncomfortable, and a desire to be in community with people working together to be and learn and grow and maybe even change our selves, our church, and our neighborhood along the way.
Brave Space: we will seek to be a brave space for our Sacred Ground group.
Brave spaces help us, white people, move beyond the confining boundaries of "comfort" and "safety" to recognize that such comfort is part of our privilege. All manner of systems are working daily to make sure we are comfortable and to prioritize our safety, often over the comfort and safety of others.
Recognizing that to break out of the system we will need to be uncomfortable (and at some point become willing to risk our own safety), we purposefully designate our work-space as a "brave space," highlighting our willingness to sacrifice the comfort we're used to in order to do the work we have been given do. Speaking the truth in love, laying down our lives for our sisters and brothers, these scriptures help us understand what is possible in brave spaces.
Brave spaces are communities where these are the norm:
"Controversy with civility," where varying opinions are accepted
"Owning intentions and impacts," in which students acknowledge and discuss instances where a dialogue has affected the emotional well-being of another person
"Challenge by choice," where participants have an option to step in and out of challenging conversations
"Respect," where participants show respect for one another's basic personhood
"No attacks," where participants agree not to intentionally inflict harm on one another
Want to talk more, grab me at coffee hour or call or email me with questions and to sign-up: firstname.lastname@example.org
1st Meeting - Wed March 18th, 7:30pm - 9:00pm
(9) Subsequent Meetings - every other Wednesday (tentative); schedule to be determined by the group
Introduction videos, including from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry found at: https://episcopalchurch.org/sacred-ground
More details about the series can be found below and at: https://episcopalchurch.org/sacred-ground/invitation