Sacred Ground in the New Year

By: Lallie Lloyd

In this season of Epiphany, when the church celebrates Jesus’ birth and the revelation of God’s love to the wider world, it’s appropriate for us to reflect on how to continue to increase the impact of Sacred Ground, The Episcopal Church’s film-based dialogue series on the histories and legacies of racism in the United States….with your help! We invite you to reflect on whether you have gifts or skills to share. 

For people raised—as I was—in and by whiteness, Sacred Ground brings us to a precipice from which we can see the harm done by racism: the absence of right relationship and the cruelly unjust disparities—the unfair struggles for some and unearned privileges for others. We look around for leaders to show us the way toward healing, but find our politicians are not helping heal these wounds. At best they gloss over them, and at worst they exacerbate them.  

The faith community has the voice to lift the vision of beloved community up before the wider world. The faith community can bring racial justice to the world, and Sacred Ground is one vessel for doing that. 

Our nearest guess is that over 35,000 people have walked this path, but known gaps in our data lead us to suspect the actual number is substantially higher. This scope of the series’ reach far exceeds our initial hopes and plans, and we are so pleased that a new staff position of Sacred Ground coordinator has been announced elsewhere in this newsletter.  

Even with that new person in their position, we suspect Sacred Ground’s needs will still exceed our capacity, and it would be wonderful to have a team of volunteer leaders to help them take things to the next level. 

Will you join us as we discern–and act—together how to grow Sacred Ground’s capacity?  

We are specifically looking for leaders who will help us:  

  • Gather a virtual community of experienced trainers of Sacred Ground facilitators; we don’t want to reinvent the wheel, and we’re not starting from scratch. We do want to connect with and learn from and alongside Episcopalians who have developed training and support for Sacred Ground facilitators. 
  • Build and lead a social media community with multiple on-ramps, connecting hubs and pathways, so our beautifully diverse Sacred Ground community can connect and grow organically. One example might be moderated, closed Facebook pages so Sacred Ground facilitators and graduates can connect with each other, share lessons learned, and pass along resources, tips, and ideas.  
  • Generate and curate a flow of stories about the impact Sacred Ground is having on lives, communities and the world (to share with the wider Becoming Beloved Community through our monthly newsletter). 
  • Select, curate, and sequence a few sets of past webinar recordings so they are both searchable and selectively threaded together. These would allow facilitators to take them in a series. For example, for beginners, or those facing specific challenges.  

So, if you are a trainer of facilitators, an organizer with social media skills or with a happy home on Facebook; or if you are a storyteller with writing or editing skills, or a teacher, or have experience developing curriculum, you might be a good fit. 

And if there’s something we haven’t listed that you could offer as a gift to Sacred Ground, we’d love to hear from you; please let us know! 

To learn more about these opportunities, join our online information session Thursday, Feb. 1, at 3 p.m. ET for updates and a question-and-response session. 

Lallie Lloyd is the lead consultant for Sacred Ground. She served on the Episcopal Church ministry and policy commissions at the local, diocesan, and national levels for many years.