The Story of Our Journey in Becoming Beloved Community

On February 8, 2020, a diocesan-wide community of practice including fifteen clergy and lay leaders gathered to conclude yet another phase of a learning journey. For many, this journey has been a year-long commitment of learning and spiritual formation.

This day provided the leaders an opportunity to reflect on their personal journey, share in small groups, and then with the whole community of practice. Together, we told the story of our journey in Becoming Beloved Community.

After sharing our collective story, we reflected on the personal responsibility each of us holds in following Jesus. We cannot rely on the Church or any institution or organization to lead us. Our journey has invited us to face our human suffering caused by systems of domination and White Supremacy, feel it, share it others, and use that shared suffering to transform ourselves and each other. This process has been both painful and joyful, sacred.

What is our story? Below, see insights that give that story texture, how we have been impacted along the way:

  • Talking with our (white) children about race and White Supremacy
  • Affecting personal relationships partners and friends
  • Show up
  • Try + Offer + See what sticks 
  • This collective is only space in my life for deep dialogue; a powerful space
  • It’s been both spiritual and action. 
  • As Black woman, this is my everyday life.
  • Help White people heal
  • Open my mind
  • Praying for my enemies with same love for loved ones
  • Path of spiritual growth–doing what God class us to do. 
  • Love ourselves.
  • I choose not to pass on this, as White woman. 
  • I’ve been hardened–how pervasive racism is and my role in it. 
  • Wellness and wholeness.
  • Waking up white–Who am I? 
  • If I can’t…who will? 
  • Stripping away of my faith…loss. 
  • Not hopeful. More Real. 
  • What does forgiveness and reconciliation look like when you are still living in it? 
  • Shame spiral. 
  • Found assets in our churches and communities. 
  • Experienced disconnects–gaps of understanding and awareness around race, racism, Becoming Beloved Community.
  • How do we be yeasty so that people can see? Raising heavy parts to a lighter way of being.
  • Appreciating points of suffering–I went to a safe place: doing
  • Feeling myself going to “what can we do?”–forces pull me there. 
  • More about being than doing
  • Wakening 
  • My body becoming much more perceptive so I can see
  • Recognizing the numbness of White Supremacy
  • Power of story
  • Whose shoulders we stand on–UBE
  • Music helps get us in bodies–Music that Makes Communities
  • Like most, started with focus on doing
  • Running trying to catch up, fell back on patterns and safety…
  • As I’ve been drawn into the work, my spirit has been set free 
  • I love where I am
  • What we do isn’t driving force of who I am
  • As a diocese, we are all over the map. We will need to be able to absorb that and be okay.
  • This is my life–not a year. 
  • There are things I’ve seen that I’d never seen
  • I’ve been liberated. I want to do what I can to change things.
  • Since I’ve started this journey, it’s been an everyday commitment to think about my race as White
  • Anger moves us past complacency
  • My people…who am I to say I can’t? 
  • When you hit that point of pain, move through it 
  • Baldwin: “Those who don’t suffer, can’t grow up.”
  • We have all suffered–just don’t feel it
  • More injury: How have this gone on under our nose? 
  • Hope of what can be 
  • Jesus’ death–His suffering and Forgiving
  • We have to keep marching on
  • Keep looking for ways to be…
  • Look for the joy