Processing Space Conversation

This last Sunday we offered a “Processing Space” after worship for youth and adults to have a safe space to share emotions following the shooting of Tony Robinson. We began and ended the time with prayer and Biblical text. The scripture used was Micah 6:6-8. 

With what shall I come before God, and bow myself before God on high?

Shall I come before God with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?

Will God be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil?

Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does God require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

First Congregational is a justice-driven church, but the foundation of working for and toward justice are the two bottom pieces of the triangle: love kindness and walking humbly with God. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture above shows how the youth shared feelings, wrote them on cards, and laid them “on the table.” Our hope was to give people the opportunity to share a wide variety of feelings. All the feelings felt are valid, because they are held within our hearts. 

              After giving our emotions the opportunity to find a home, we talked about how First Congregational might specifically address the issues of racial disparities, harkening back to our triangle. Most participants agreed there is not one solution, but racial disparity needs to be addressed at multiple levels and in multiple ways. However nothing can happen without conversation, with all the parties at the table. Below are some of the activities suggested:

Teach In – held at First Congo, led by Young Gifted Black, in coordination with MUM

Read about history of racism, current materials about racism, and historical trauma

Series of educational events learning from other groups/traditions – and how to continue the conversation and work (not let it drop)

Educational time to listen and learn

Continue preaching diversity – and consistently living it inside and outside the walls

Not run away from the pain, let the pain help move us

Participate in daily “every day” activities with those we consider “different” from us 

Enter conversations to UNDERSTAND, not necessarily to be UNDERSTOOD (quoted from Michael Johnson, CEO of Dane County Boys and Girls Club)

Reconnect with S.S. Morris Church, or another church with African American culture

The real challenge to us as a congregation is to stay engaged in the process of understanding the racial disparities that exist, and commit to being part of the solution.

~ Eldonna Hazen

 

Posted on March 17, 2015 at 9:05 am in Featured Content.

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