Opening (10 minutes), Workshop 7: Discerning Race/Discerning Power
In "Building the World We Dream About," a Tapestry of Faith program
Materials for Activity
- Worship table or designated space
- Chalice, candle, and lighter or LED/battery-operated candle
- Participant evaluations from previous workshop
- List of this workshop's Goals
- Covenant established in Workshop 1
Preparation for Activity
- Practice reading the chalice lighting aloud.
- Review participant evaluations from the previous workshop. Discuss with your co-facilitators any patterns or concerns that have emerged. Prepare to briefly share feedback with the group, while keeping confidentiality.
Description of Activity
Light the chalice or invite a participant to light it while you read these words from Rebecca Parker aloud.
It is not enough to think of racism as a problem of "human relations," to be cured by me and others like me treating everyone fairly, with respect and without prejudice. Racism is more: It is a problem of segregated knowledge, mystification of facts, anesthetization of feeling, exploitation of people, and violence against the communion/community of our humanity. My commitment to racial justice is both on behalf of the other—my neighbor, whose well-being I desire—and for myself, to whom the gift of life has been given but not yet fully claimed. I struggle neither as a benevolent act of social concern nor as a repentant act of shame and guilt, but as an act of desire for life, of passion for life, of insistence on life—fueled by both love for life and anger in face of the violence that divides human flesh.
Share feedback from the previous workshop evaluations. Acknowledge shared patterns and observations to give participants a sense of how people in the group are thinking and feeling about the program. Be conscientious about maintaining confidentiality. One technique is to say, "Some people felt... ," rather than saying, "One of you felt... ." If time allows, invite participants to share one-minute observations or new insights they may have gained since the last workshop.
Remind participants of the spirit of their covenant.
Share the goals of this workshop.
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Last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011.
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