Post-Worship Conversations

Developing a Common Vocabulary for Racial Justice

Since early July we have been holding a congregation-wide conversation immediately following our weekly worship service. Below you’ll find links to resources that have been shared Sunday-by-Sunday.

Race in America by Phil Vescher, a Holy Post video
Black Parents Explain How to Deal with the Police, a video by Cut
Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability (TedTalk, 20 minutes)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story (TedTalk, 18 minutes)
Jerry Kang: Immaculate Perception (TedxTalk, 14 minutes)

Intent vs. Impact: The UMC Logo

I didn’t immediately think of John Wesley’s heart being strangely warmed, I didn’t think of the flaming tongues of fire resting on the Apostles in Acts 2. I didn’t think of how each tongue of the flame represents the former denominations that came together to form The United Methodist Church… My mind went back to that night on the way to Shreveport and the large burning cross I saw on the side of the freeway. A symbol my mother told me was devised to invoke fear in black people.

Rev. Edlen Cowley

White Privilege
The 100 Dollar Race
White privilege, systemic racism explained by CBC Kids News
James Corden Gets a Lesson on White Privilege

Meaningful Conversations About Race, Featuring Rev. Dr. Hooker
Celeste Headlee: 10 ways to have a better conversation (TedTalk, 12 minutes)
5 Tips for Being An Ally by Chescaleigh

Guidelines for Structured Conversation

It may be that some serious conversations may benefit from a structure which facilitate diverse points of view cooperating in mutual space. This is the list we are working with for post worship discussion. Feedback is welcomed.

  1. No one knows everything; together we know a lot – Recognize every partner is invaluable to this work and respect one another.
  2. Move Up, Move Up – If you’re someone who tends not to speak, please move up into a role of speaking more. If you are someone who tends to speak a lot, please move up to a role of listening more.
  3. Embrace Curiosity – We make better decisions when we approach our problems and challenges with questions and curiosity.
  4. Acknowledge the Difference Between Intent and Impact – Do the work to acknowledge that our intent and the impact of our words are two different things and take the responsibility for any negative impact we have.
  5. Be Here Now – Be present and committed to co-creating high-quality work. Turn on your video, if possible. Eliminate other distractions.
  6. Speak from your own experience. Use “I” statements. Resist attempting to “convince” others.
  7. Expect unfinished business & conversations. Expect to experience discomfort and unexpected joy.