The second kind of (multicultural) community consists of a time and place where these different monocultural communities can encounter each other in true dialogue. This requires the leaders of the communities to be intentional about drawing culturally diverse people together. — Eric H. F. Law, in The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb
This workshop and Workshop 18 move participants from an internal focus on themselves and the congregation to a focus on the larger community. As recommended in the program Introduction, invitations and arrangements for guests from the community should have been made weeks in advance. Though some Building the World We Dream About field test congregations reported that they successfully organized panels that involved people from the congregation, we recommend inviting people who are not congregation members to talk with the workshop group about issues concerning antiracism, multiculturalism, and inclusion.
Be aware that some feedback about the congregation may be difficult for participants to hear. Remind participants that this is an opportunity to learn new things about their congregation and forge relationships of trust and accountability with the larger community.
The activities in this workshop are a launching place for discussion. A subsequent workshop, Workshop 19, gives participants the opportunity to make meaning out of what they learn during this workshop and apply those lessons to congregational life. At this juncture, the goals are to hear the missing voices in your midst and to gain new insight(s).
Before leading this workshop, review the accessibility guidelines in the program Introduction under Integrating All Participants. Make sure you take food allergies and sensitivities into account when planning the post-worship refreshments.
This workshop will:
- Offer an intentional process for reaching out to various constituencies in the wider community to develop an informed understanding of the issues, gifts, and challenges of living multiculturally.
- Gain knowledge of the perspectives of People of Color and other people marginalized by racial or ethnic identity who live in the community surrounding the congregation.