Racism and white supremacy have continued to plague our country throughout the fall, culminating in the awful display we saw at the US Capitol on January 6. Many of you have reached out wanting to learn and do more. We want to offer you an opportunity to participate in Beloved Conversations, a program for Unitarian Universalists seeking to embody racial justice as a spiritual practice. Beloved Conversations helps heal the impact of racism on our lives, so we can get free together.
This is a revised program adapted for online participation. The curriculum for the spring session differs from the fall, and you can participate regardless of whether you have taken the fall course. It is staged in three parts: Within, Among, and Beyond.
This spring, “Within” will focus on the internal self-reflection work of Anti-Racism in small groups of 4 or 5 members. “Within” work will include:
- individual lessons with reflection prompts;
- bi-weekly small group conversations in a Learning Pod;
- and larger, monthly, facilitated Meaning-Making Sessions on Zoom.
You can watch this short video to learn more about the “Within” curriculum: https://vimeo.com/452406802
You can also read more about Beloved Conversations here: https://bcvirtual.meadville.edu/
If you would like to participate in Beloved Conversations with other First Church members, there are two stages to sign up.
The deadline is Friday, February 26.
1 – Please email BelovedConversationsFUSM@gmail.com by Friday, February 26, indicating your desire to participate in a First Church pod, and include four morning, afternoon, or evenings that generally work for you, (e.g.: “Saturday afternoon, Tuesday evening, Thursday evening, and Friday morning”). We will put you in small groups that have general availability overlap, and let your group find a day and time that works for everyone. Please send any questions to BelovedConversationsFUSM@gmail.com.
2 – Between February 1 and February 26, please register with the national Beloved Conversations program on their website at https://bcvirtual.meadville.edu/. They will ask you to fill out a registration form (the form will not be live until February 1, and your registration must be received by February 26).
On that form, check the box that says “I’ve already been podded with my congregation”—this will ensure you get into a small group with other First Church members.
The cost of participating in this program is $250/person. If you would like a full or partial scholarship, indicate so on the form, and it is highly likely you will receive one. If you would like to pay more than $250 to contribute to scholarships for other people, please indicate that on the form, and they will give you an opportunity to contribute.
We look forward to continuing to travel with you on our journey to dismantle racism and white supremacy.
Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom, Senior Minister