SACRED GROUND 2020
Sacred Ground is a film-based dialogue series on race and faith and part of the ‘Becoming Beloved Community’ initiative of The Episcopal Church, a long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice in our personal lives, our ministries, and our society.
Following the killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, many in our congregation were seeking ways to work for racial justice. Following some conversations with the Rev Stephen Harding at Grace Church, Vineyard Haven, we decided to offer the Sacred Ground curriculum to our parishioners, and then decided to make it available to the island community. More than 115 participants, including 20 capable facilitators, did considerable work prior to each of the ten meetings in the curriculum schedule, and met in “Dialogue Circles” to process the materials. Individuals from a number of our island’s faith communities of various faith traditions and Christian denominations and people of various races and ethnicities, found themselves meeting and talking about a whole host of topics, and became more informed about the nature of the issues challenging all of us. The overwhelming response of the facilitators and participants has been positive. No less than 14 members of St Andrew’s Church—including 4 talented and faithful facilitators—joined in the effort.
At this juncture, members of the Island Clergy and others are discussing how our shared experience may continue in some way, including the possibility that another Sacred Ground program series will be offered.
The Rev Vincent G Seadale
From three Sacred Ground facilitators 2020
“Sacred Ground was an eye-opening, life-altering experience for me. I learned so much about the long, sad, history of racism in this country. It has spurred me to want to do more and be better. I am encouraged that the Episcopal Church, through Becoming Beloved Community, is committed to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice in its ministries, our personal lives and society.”
“I am forever grateful to have experienced (one of the most challenging years in modern history) within the framework of the Sacred Ground group work. For me, I am forever changed by this work and grateful to have this small group to share ideas, information, and feelings with. I am additionally so impressed with the material chosen for the lessons which do not shy away from the difficult truth of racism in America in politics and religion identifying the hypocrisy and amoral actions that were condoned and enforced by both church and state. By opening our hearts, our minds and our eyes to these realities and not sweeping truth under the rug, we can be hopeful that we are building a future where the truths we share bring us closer as a community with the possibility of becoming a beloved community.”
“On August 23rd I became a co-facilitator for a ten-part series called Sacred Ground, a filmed-based dialogue series on Race and Faith that is designed and sponsored by the Episcopal Church.
It was an interfaith group of deep discovery, learning, and sharing, of truths.
Everyone involved was changed to the core and encouraged to do the hard work of reconciliation, in many ways. The small groups created a safe space where people could share freely the hard truths of our past and present blindness to race in our country.”
St. Andrew’s is launching a book group that we, Mathew Tombers and Palmer Marrin, have agreed to co-lead.
With so many of us staying at home, we are all looking for connections with people, ideas and something to read.
So, please come join us and let’s decide what to read together.
We’ll enrich our minds and each other. Small groups are where it’s at these days. Let us know if you are interested. We’ll start in January, and would like to start discovering what we all want to read before then.
This will be fun! ALL are welcome!
Episcopal 411: February 2021
**WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Father Chip will be facilitating FOUR “Zoom” sessions covering the material in this book.
Great way to learn more about our faith (Christian) and our faith tradition (Episcopal).
Great way to have some good dialogue and conversations about our deepest beliefs.
Great way to stay connected with others during our winter of social distancing.
Great way to realize some important epiphanies—and perhaps experience real conversion.
Open to ANYONE who gets this email / would like to participate in this class (wherever you are)!
Annual Retreat SSJE 2019
This past November found five of St. Andrew’s faithful on our annual retreat to the monastery of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist in Cambridge on the banks of the Charles River. This quiet retreat involves five (optional) daily services, substantial meals, prayerful surroundings, a warm and comfortable physical atmosphere, and the always welcoming Brothers.
With private rooms and access to a wonderful library, kitchen and chapel, this is a retreat of 3-5 days that each person can use to accommodate their own spiritual needs: praying, meditating, sleeping, reading, walking, etc. There is the lovely outdoor scene of rowing activity on the river and, if desired, some sight-seeing and window shopping in Harvard Square.
The retreat is a peaceful respite from the everyday frantic pace of “real life” and a trip well worth considering. All of us are repeat attendees, and hope that more folks from St. Andrew’s will join us in 2020.
Respectfully edited and submitted,
Susan Kelly and Christine White
The Rev. Chip Seadale, Caroline Evans, Christine White, Susan Kelly and Bonnie Deitz