Sacred Ground Lesson Topics

Session 1: Stepping onto Sacred Ground


1. Materials: Watch and read all materials as listed on the Sacred Ground Webpage.   


A. Watch:

  • PBS video: American Creed (86 minutes)


B. Read:

  • Summary sheet: Becoming Beloved Community: The Episcopal Church’s Long-term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice

  • Sacred Ground preparatory documents: ”Invitation and Introduction” and “Participant Preparation Guide.”

  • Column: “Black History Is Everyone’s History” by Leonard Pitts, Jr.

  • Excerpt from essay: “Not Somewhere Else, But Here” by the Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

  • Selection from book: America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis (bottom of p. 103 to p.109 from hardback edition)


C. Handout to print ahead of time for use during sessions

  • ‘Key distinctions for Understanding Race and Racism” by Katrina Browne and James Perry. Found on Sacred Ground Website below Session 1 materials.


2. With regard to the video American Creed, we’ll invite your thoughts on:

  • Moments/stories in the video which most resonated with you (e.g., as “aha” moments or perhaps poignant “ouch” moments)

  • What the video suggests might be the keys to effective conversation/dialogue

  • The importance of personal stories (as reflected in the video)


3. With regard to “Black History Is Everyone’s History” by Leonard Pitts, Jr. and “Somewhere Else, But Here” by Rebecca Ann Parker:

  • Your reaction to “racial” history is everyone’s history

  • What Rev. Parker mean by “We’ve been absent too long?”

4.  With regard to “America’s Original Sin. . . “ by Jim Wallis

  • How does this relate to becoming a beloved community?

  • What is the difference between being color-blind and embracing diversity?


5. Consider: where you might have relevant personal stories to share. These might be experiences you have had or stories from your family’s history that bear on the matter of equality and opportunity, of hope or disappointment in America.

Session 2: The Roots of Whiteness, and Deeper Roots


1. Materials: Note that the following reflects some minor changes from the TEC website.  


A. Watch:

  • Vox Video: “The Myth of Race debunked in 3 minutes”

  • Video: “Decoded: Are Cracker, White trash & Redneck Racist?”  (5 min)


B. Read:

  • Article: “Roots Deeper Than Whiteness” by David Dean

  • Article: “A Geography Lesson for the Tea Party” by Colin Woodard

  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin

  • DiAngelo (15 assorted pages from paperback edition)

  • “On the Five Stages & White People Waking Up to Racism” by Tad Hargrave

  • Core Book:  Waking Up White – Chapters 1-3 and 31


C. Optional

  • Article: “On White Tears” by Tad Hargrave


2. Regarding the readings, we’ll invite your thoughts on:

  • How White defenses hinder conversation, block change, and promote white supremacy

  • Why understanding “whiteness” might be key to understanding racism


3. Regarding the videos, we’ll invite your thoughts on:

  • “Race” as a human construct,

  • The relationship of race and class

  • What purpose do racial categories serve?

4.  Finally, we’ll invite you to share

  • family stories of migration to America

  • family or regional influences upon your values and thoughts on racism

Session 3: Whose Land? Exploring Indigenous History


1. Materials: Watch and read all materials as listed on the Sacred Ground Webpage as well as the additional materials listed below.  


A. Watch:

  • PBS series: We Shall Remain, Episode 1: “After the Mayflower” (77 min)

  • The Episcopal Church Exposes the Doctrine of Discovery  (14 min)


B. Read:

  • In the article “The Map of Native Americans Tribes You’ve Never Seen Before”, be sure to look at Aaron Carapella’s map – the link is at the bottom of the article. Note that you can enlarge it by using the zoom-in feature along the right hand side of the map.

  • “Unshackled by Visions and Values”  by Martin Brokenleg

  • Core book: Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman – forward & preface

  • Core book: Waking Up White by Debby Irving – chapters 4-6, and 30


C. Additional Material:

  • Read “Doctrine of Discovery” – found on ASEC webpage for Sacred Ground under “Additional Resources”

  • Optional: Watch the following 6-minute video on the theme of justice in scripture and society. It’s excellent and very relative to our program!

  • Optional: If curious, read “Indigenous People of Beaufort County” – found on ASEC webpage for Sacred Ground under “Additional Resources”.


2.Regarding the videos and readings, we’ll invite your thoughts and/or reactions to:

  • Doctrine of Discovery

  • The Church’s resolution re: the Doctrine of Discovery

  • Share one way in which your views of Native Americans have changed since your youth.

  • Have you experienced or have stories from your family’s history that bear our country’s treatment and understanding of Native Americans?


3. Regarding “Waking Up White”

  • Can you personally relate to the notion of unearned “white privilege” in your life / experience?

  • Have you experienced “emotional restraint” as an American cultural prototype?

  • Do you agree that racism is the way America has sorted and ranked people?

4.  Regarding “Jesus and the Disinherited”

  • Is his message still relevant today and for whom?