United Church of Christ

Welcome to Sacred Conversations To End Racism

Introduction Videos

The United Church of Christ has a long history of working towards eradicating systemic and institutional racism. In 2003 General Synod 24 adopted a resolution calling for the UCC to be an anti-racist church stating that "racism is rooted in a belief of the superiority of whiteness and bestows benefits, unearned rights, rewards, opportunities, advantages, access, and privilege on Europeans and European descendants."

In 2018 Sacred Conversations to End Racism (SC2ER), a Restorative Racial Justice Journey curriculum was created to address and dismantle racism within the Christian Church and society. The study guide and resources offer lessons to dispel myths of white skin and dominant culture supremacy. SC2ER seeks to acknowledge the historical development of humanity being separated and assigned into hierarchical categories based on skin color. The construction became known as “race.” The men, all of European descent, systematized and institutionalized humans by race categories of superior and inferior, which was taught as truth, and adopted and supported through government laws and policies. Today, we are the beneficiaries of the myth of white skin supremacy within the United States. The architects of the myth constructed language and beliefs identifying Euro-American descendants as superior and non-European descendants as inferior. The myth was used to justify practices of genocide against Indigenous communities and enslaving Africans. The Protestant Christian Church was among those institutions supported by and benefited financially from the practices.

Sacred Conversations to End Racism includes restorative racial justice resources as a corrective to the historical and contemporary harm, injury, and trauma enacted upon non-European descendants. The ongoing impact of racism and xenophobia in contemporary society requires Christians to commit to a journey of restoration and repair among God’s people impacted by individual and systemic oppression and marginalization.

SC2ER features resources and spiritual practices from people groups marginalized by white skin supremacy education perpetuated within the Christian Church and society. The SC2ER study guide is not a self-guided resource. SC2ER requires training from restorative racial justice practitioners.

SACRED CONVERSATIONS TO END RACISM (SC2ER): A RESTORATIVE JUSTICE JOURNEY
You are invited to begin a restorative racial justice journey with Sacred Conversations to End Racism (SC2ER). Participants will be relying on the facilitator to create a welcoming environment, understand the material, communicate well, listen intently, and provide structure for a healthy environment and interactive group dynamics. You do not have to be an expert, or have all the answers to everyone’s questions. The facilitator’s role is to lead the group, keep the space respectful, open, and encourage people to go deeper.

There are three Journey Modules requiring an 8-to-10 week time commitment per Module. Facilitators are required to spend time reviewing and preparing for weekly sessions. Facilitators should be committed to and comfortable with leading Christian groups in culture-based dialogues about the Bible, theology, and historical narratives and current events. Facilitators will invite diverse groups of people to share the SC2ER restorative justice journey experience.

If you are interested in being a SC2ER Facilitator, fill out the application, here for the 2020 SC2ER Facilitator Training Cohort.

SC2ER facilitator training begins Tuesday, January 28, 2020. Applicants will be notified by email regarding their eligibility. Accepted applicants will receive an email confirmation from the UCC Minister for Racial Justice, Rev. Dr. Velda Love.

The SC2ER Restorative Racial Justice Study and Facilitator Guides require facilitator training. The study and facilitator guide frameworks are culture-centered learning approaches. Resources have been developed to assist trained facilitators lead participants through each learning module of SC2ER.

SC2ER Module One – Two - & Three Requires Facilitator Training
The Module outline, training schedules, materials, and resources will be distributed by email to accepted applicants. After trainees have successfully completed the required training, SC2ER facilitators will be equipped to lead groups and:

  • Explore practical ways to have “sacred conversation to end racism”
  • Discover the true origins and beginnings of human beings before the construction of race categories
  • Engage with biblical texts regarding equitable treatment of all God’s people
  • Learn about the mythological construction of race and the reality of racism in America
  • Participate in role plays to strengthen active listening skills and construct new language and response techniques
  • Learn how to invite others to be on the journey to dismantle structural, institutional, and individual racism
  • Develop strategies to move from conversations to advocacy and activism
  • Work toward actively dismantling and eradicating racism within your church, community, city, state, and nation

For more information contact Rev. Dr. Velda Love, Minister for Racial Justice and Local Church Ministries Lovev@ucc.org (216) 736-3719 or Alegra Martin martina@ucc.org (216) 736-3712


Click Here To Read The Full Announcement


View Anti-Racist Church Webpage.

Letter from General Minister & President

In 2015, the United Church of Christ issued a pastoral letter on race, calling for our churches to participate in a collective effort to heal a nation torn apart by an instantiated white power and privilege. In the years since, the nation’s white supremacists have found a new and more empowered voice – and the United Church of Christ has invigorated its commitments to be an agent of racial equity.

The election of Donald Trump has emboldened white nationalists. When Charlottesville erupted in racial violence and Heather Heyer was indiscriminately killed by a white terrorist, the President’s equivocations on the matter signaled to white nationalists that he would do little to suppress their brand of hate.

In this context, the United Church of Christ has stepped up its commitments to end racial discrimination and white privilege. Its curriculum on white privilege has been downloaded over 20,000 times not just by UCC churches, but by ecumenical and interfaith partners, by local governments and schools, and by at least one state highway patrol division. Since the release of the curriculum, I have had someone on every trip I have taken tell me about how their ministry setting used it, and what a difference it made for them.

Our Justice and Local Church Ministry Executive Minister, the Rev. Traci Blackmon has helped organize local resistance to racist bombast in places like Ferguson, Cleveland Charlottesville, Murphreesboro, Washington DC, Phoenix and other places. She is empowering local leaders in all those settings to find their voice, take back their streets, and organize for racial justice. She is helping the entire denomination not only commit fully to racial justice and equity, she is helping us gain new and more sophisticated responses and making sure our voice is heard and our actions matter.

The United Church of Christ is also partnering with the National Council of Churches to issue a clarion call for racial equity and to heal our long-festering wounds regarding race hate and racism. A Truth and Racial Justice Initiative has begun, and will launch with a call for Truth about Race campaign, A.C.T. NOW to End Racism. On April 4, 2018, Awake. Confront. Transform. Rally event will take place on the National Mall in Washington D.C.–the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As your General Minister and President, I am co-chairing this initiative – and am personally committed to ensuring that the United Church of Christ speaks its truth about its complicity with race hate and racism through the centuries.

In fulfillment of the UCC’s stated purpose to love God and our neighbor as ourselves, and our vision to build a just world for all, we are committing to what we are calling the 3 Great Loves campaign – a call to love children, love neighbor, and love creation. Central to those commitments is our ongoing participation in a new restorative justice journey curriculum created by Rev. Velda Love, Minister for Racial Justice called Sacred Conversations to End Racism. This new racial justice journey is a deeply rooted web based interactive learning tool our churches will appreciate because it moves the conversation beyond white privilege and racialization, but explores cultures participating in the life of the Bible, and contributing to our world as very good creations. And we’re proud to be partnering with the United Church of Canada in the celebration and acknowledgement of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent. The United Church of Christ remains committed to creating new pathways to racial equity and healing in America.

I believe we are embarking on a transformative path to modeling what it means to be an anti-racist church denomination with our newest resource. Commit to the journey and begin engaging with Sacred Conversations to End Racism.

The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister and President
The United Church of Christ
Built to create a just world for all


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction from the Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer

https://youtu.be/-JhIYsiDLLk

Prior to beginning, please watch the Sacred Conversations

to End Racism Video Introduction from Rev. Dr. Velda Love:

https://youtu.be/92PLQAtlvWo

Letter from John Dorhauer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Endorsements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Announcement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Restorative Justice Journey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Opening Liturgy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Week 1 – Sacred Conversations to End Racism . . . . . . . . . . 22

Week 2 – What Does it Mean to be a Human Being? . . . . . 25

A New Encounter with the Bible . . . . . . . . . 26

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J--iakP-4cU&feature=youtu.be

Week 3 – The Myth of Race . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Week 4 – What Does it Mean to be White? . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

 Week 5 – Who are My Neighbors?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Week 6 – #MYSTORYMATTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Week 7 – Movement Forward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Week 8 – Phase One––Self-Assessment and Group

Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Appendix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

  1. Racial Justice Task Force Committee . . . . 69
  2. Racial Justice Task Force Resources . . . . . 77
  3. Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
  4. SC2ER Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85

Facilitator Application







Welcome to SC2ER

Traci Blackmon Welcomes you to SC2ER



1. Welcome To Phase One – Page 6

Restorative Justice Journey – Page 7

Restorative Justice Journey – Page 8

Introduction - Page 9

Introduction - Page 10

Introduction - Page 11

Sacred Conversations to End Racism launched Phase 1 on April 3rd 2018 and can be found here

Become a Facilitator, fill out the appication here.