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Introduction, Workshop 13: Building Bridges of Trust and Accountability: A Service of Reconciliation and Healing

In "Building the World We Dream About," a Tapestry of Faith program

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.

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This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011.

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