For the past few months, one of the primary topics dominating the news is race. Perhaps the goings-on related to race have prompted you to do some research, some reading, some thinking, or participate in some discussions. Many of us have experienced a range of thoughts and emotions while digesting new information and perspectives. As a church community, it is important that Immanuel creates a safe place to participate in learning and dialogue related to race. Beginning in September, a six-week program will be offered to provide information and allow for discussion and reflection. None of the program facilitators are expert on race; together we will share and discuss aspects of race.

These essential understandings are key to setting the foundation for our conversations:
1) Jesus calls us to love one another as ourselves.
2) We are always striving to be a beloved community.
3) Understanding and ending racism is not a finite endeavor; it’s a lifetime journey.

The goals of these conversations are:
1) Provide a safe space for open and honest discussion and reflection
2) Understand Cultural Proficiency
3) Understand terminology and symbols related to race
4) Understand the history of racism
5) Provide resources and opportunity to continue awareness, discussion, and activities on our journey towards being a beloved community

Two options will be offered. In either case, we ask that you commit to the full six weeks.

Option 1—Live (Virtual) Meetings
Group discussions will be held on:
-Tuesday evening at 7 pm, beginning on September 15
-Thursday morning at 9:30 am, beginning on September 17
-It is important that you select Tuesday OR Thursday and stay with that group throughout the six weeks

Option 2—Self Study
Group discussion and reflection is encouraged, as the opportunity for broader understanding and growth is realized when listening to many perspectives. Some people may wish to experience the learning but are not comfortable participating in a group.
-Attend a kick-off session (from those listed in Option 1 to participate in the covenant and instructions
-Use YouTube videos provided for individual study

You can find all the details for participating in these discussions in the September Open Door

Each session will include prayer, covenant, Bible reflection, presentation, and discussion. A variety of tools will be provided to help you gauge your current proficiency and feelings on race, and track progression throughout the course of the conversations. Whatever your background and training on race, all are invited to participate. Mark your calendar and bring your thoughts, questions, discomforts, open mind, and caring heart. Together, we journey forward as a Christian community striving to be a beloved community.