United Church of Christ Sacred Conversation on Race
Introduction to the questions
The questions below are designed to assist you in preparing for the Sacred Conversation on Race. These questions are for your personal use only; your responses will not be handed in. Our hope is that they will offer you the opportunity to reflect on your experiences, values, and longings with regard to issues of race, racism, and your Christian faith. Please remember: there are no wrong answers.
We suggest that you set aside some quiet time to ponder these questions and write your responses in advance of the first meeting of your congregation’s Sacred Conversation. It may be helpful to first read through all the questions and begin with those that most deeply resonate with you. You might also find it useful to consult the Multiracial, Multicultural Glossary if you come across terms in the questions that are unfamiliar to you. We recommend that you return to these questions after the Sacred Conversation has begun and continue your reflection and writing over time. Use as many sheets of paper as you need for your responses.
1. What hopes, expectations, and needs do you bring to these Sacred Conversations on Race?
2. What fears do you have about what might happen?
3. What could you and others do to help create a safe and welcoming conversation where: a) everyone’s voice is heard and respected and; b) challenge and growth are encouraged?
4. Are there Biblical passages or spiritual themes that you believe are particularly relevant for this Sacred Conversation on Race?
5. In what ways were you aware of your racial/ethnic background when you were growing up? How would you describe that background?
6. In what ways has your racial/ethnic background shaped your current values, habits, practices, ways of worship, and personal priorities?
7. In what ways have you intentionally sought out experiences that helped you learn more about people who are racially different from you? What have you learned about yourself and others in those experiences?
8. In what ways do you experience disparity between your values/dreams about racial justice and your daily life? What feelings come up for you as you name that disparity? What do you intend to do about that disparity? (be as specific as possible)
9. How has racism affected your life in specific, tangible ways?
10. How does your Christian faith affect the way you feel or think about issues of racism and racial justice?
11. What or who has helped you become more aware of how race and racism are at work in your life and your community?
12. What or who has inspired you to become more involved in efforts to confront and challenge racism in your life and your community?
13. When and how have you challenged racism (please be as specific as possible)? What happened and what did you learn about yourself and/or others?
14. When and how have you failed to challenge racism? What happened and what did you learn about yourself and/or others?
15. What do you personally and spiritually have to gain by participating in these Sacred Conversations on Race?
16. What do you personally and spiritually have to lose if you do not participate in these Sacred Conversations on Race?
17. Do you have additional reflections about the upcoming Sacred Conversation on Race?