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Closing (10 minutes), Workshop 19: Exploring Our Communities

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

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Copy Taking It Home and Handout 2, Not By Ourselves Alone, for all participants.
  • Write on newsprint, and post:
    • What ideas were most interesting or challenging to you?
    • What powerful ideas, concerns, or puzzlements are you holding as a result of this session?

Description of Activity

Distribute lined paper and pens/pencils. Invite participants to spend five minutes writing feedback in response to the questions you have posted.

Distribute Taking It Home and Handout 2, Not By Ourselves Alone. Invite participants to read the handout and journal their response or talk with a trusted conversation partner before the next workshop. Read these words of Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley, from the lecture, "Not By Ourselves Alone," as a closing:

What continues to challenge my personal faith is wondering whether I will ever see the day when our religious movement moves beyond its Eurocentric norms. We would probably all agree that a life of faith cannot be nurtured in the face of endemic evil. But it's more difficult to see that it is also impossible for many people from non-European heritage to be nurtured by an upper middle class Euro-centric norm blessed by self-satisfaction.

In most of our congregations that I have been a part of or worked with, structures that create and sustain whiteness are normative. There is presumption from some clergy and some laity that these cannons... rooted in the European experience, are normative. These presumptions make it extremely difficult for culturally oppressed groups to find a place in our congregations.

If I and other colleagues who are rooted in cultures outside Europe are to be nurtured in our movement, then I must keep the faith that things can be different. Being open to and supporting new possibilities in ministry, different cultural forms in worship, new ways of seeing—these too are important to keeping the faith, to nurturing the spirit. If you will stand with me in solidarity in an expanding circle of culture so that it includes all of us, you too will be keeping the faith.

Extinguish the chalice.

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Last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011.

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