Sacred Ground Series
An Invitation to All to Participate in the Sacred Ground Dialogue Series
Sacred Ground is a race dialogue series, built around powerful documentary films and readings to serve as the jumping-off point for non-judgmental dialogue. It invites participants to walk back through history in order to peel away the layers that brought us to today, and to do so in a personal way, reflecting on family histories and stories, as well as important narratives that shape the collective American story.
All are invited - you do not need to be a St. Mary’s parishioner to participate. The curriculum is directed at adults and young adults. We hope over time that all members of St. Mary’s will participate in a Sacred Ground group, engaging in transformational conversation about race.
Visit the Sacred Ground page to learn more from Katrina Browne, Bishop Michael Curry and Stephanie Spellers.
- The dialogue group(s) will be held remotely via Zoom on alternate Thursdays, starting July 29, 2021. For this round, each session will last 90 minutes, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (We plan to offer other meeting options in the Fall of 2021.) There are eleven sessions; it is important to commit to all eleven (barring emergencies). The reading and videos will require about 1.5-2 hours study before each session.
- The series is lay-led. There will be room for rotating leadership among participants who hear that call.
- The documentary films and readings have been curated and are provided online to each participant. There are two core books that are not provided; these are strongly encouraged but will be optional in St. Mary’s groups.
Read testimonials of those who participated in the Fall 2020 Series.
Sacred Ground was an inspiring program. The videos and readings were thought provoking and eye-opening. I appreciated the sharing of others in our group. Gave me insight and thoughts I didn’t get on my own. I felt a real connection and honesty. I thought Mike Stafford’s leadership was excellent. He led by example by sharing his story...Nancy Clothier
I thought at the beginning of Sacred Ground that I had already done a lot of social justice reading and work, but all of the videos and articles and our group discussions gave me so much more to consider....Sandy Briggs
Several members of our group voiced the sentiment that this course is “a game changer” and it certainly feels that way to me. Many of us were so positively affected by the course that we are hoping to find a way to continue these important conversations...Kathleen Murray
The 10 session ’This Is Sacred Ground’ course is an eye-opener. The material covers broad sweeps of U.S. history (with a nod to world events affecting and interacting with the U.S.). In particular, the history and treatment of American Indians, Blacks, Latinos, and Asian-Americans by government, churches, courts, and ‘white’ society. This history has led to unequal current economic and political issues. One such example being problems with the criminal justice system which is now being addressed with ‘restorative justice practices’... Adele Zachrisson
The program greatly expanded my awareness of racism in America. The readings presented viewpoints and the videos dramatized circumstances that expanded my knowledge, while group members contributed personal and thoughtful perspectives. A valuable experience for me and my husband...Sandra Gary
1 The Sacred Ground series is 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. The (National) Episcopal Church has gifted us all with the curriculum to continue our prayerful study of historical and institutional racism woven into our society. St. Mary’s is forming groups to engage this curriculum starting July 29, 2021.