Blessed are you who know that the work of the church is transformation of society, who have a vision of Beloved Community transcending the present. — Rev. John Buehrens
This workshop marks a transition in the program. Previous workshops explored the concepts and manifestations of identity and privilege; this workshop invites participants to integrate what they have learned and prepare to move forward. A worship service for racial healing and reconciliation offers the primary vehicle for acknowledging and affirming the important spiritual work participants have done to date. Incorporating participants' previous dialogues and experiences, the worship service will address the spiritual costs of racism and encourage participants to remain steadfast in understanding, healing, and transforming racism's hurting power.
Invite the minister and the music director or other musician to help you develop and lead the worship. Other than professional leaders who are assisting with the service, only members of the Building the World We Dream About workshop group should take part.
Following the worship service, participants turn their attention to the journey ahead, both for themselves and for the congregation. Participants have gained a grasp of some issues and challenges inherent in building such a world, but have yet to explore skills and ongoing practices they will need to sustain it—a broad set of skills and practices called "cultural competency." This is a pivotal workshop, not only for participants, but for the congregation's efforts to build an antiracist/multicultural community. Participants must decide whether to:
- Continue with the remaining 11 workshops in the program and build cultural competency skills and practices
- Take a break from regular workshops for a period of time and then do the remaining 11 workshops
- Complete their work in this program at the conclusion of this workshop.
Additionally, the group will decide whether and how to support the formation of new Building the World We Dream About groups in your congregation.
Before leading this workshop, review the accessibility guidelines in the program Introduction under Integrating All Participants. Consider food allergies and sensitivities when planning post-worship refreshments.
This workshop will:
- Engage participants to pause and reflect on the spiritual journey they have taken through the first 12 workshops
- Ask participants to assess and articulate their ability and willingness to move forward with remaining workshops, either immediately or after a specified break
- Invite participants to assess and identify the commitments they are willing to make in order to deepen and expand their shared journey toward becoming an antiracist/multicultural congregation.
- Express through worship how racism oppresses and wounds all people
- Express through worship their own experiences in the workshop and its impact on their own spiritual journey
- Articulate next phases, challenges, and needs at this point in their own spiritual journey toward integrating and holding a deep understanding of what it means to fully participate in an antiracist/multicultural community
- Consider next phases for the congregation and express their own ability to commit to supporting and advocating for further antiracist/multicultural learning and action as a congregational practice.
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