Understand that this is sacred ground and it hurts to walk here. But at the same time, I “need” to walk here, need the strength, the sense of purpose, the knowledge of self, that walking here imparts. … What do I want from you? I want you to be my sister and to walk here with me. I know it’s a hard walk. I know it causes you pain. But this much I also know: If ever we learn to tread this ground together, there’s no place we can’t go.
—Leonard Pitts, Jr.
My commitment to racial justice is both on behalf of the other – my neighbor, whose well-being I desire – and for myself, to whom the gift of life has been given but not yet fully claimed.
—The Rev. Rebecca Parker
"I thought I was relatively well-informed about American history, but Sacred Ground dramatically expanded my awareness. Once you know, you cannot not know anymore. I realize that the idea of race has been a steady and persistent driver of suffering in America throughout our history and not something past or peripheral. It has made me yearn for the American Dream even more--and the larger dream of the Kingdom of God for all peoples in Christ."
"Sacred Ground's high-quality videos and documents provide detailed information about key events in America's history dealing with diverse racial and ethnic groups. The opportunity to discuss these materials with a small group over several months was very valuable and thought-provoking."
"I would wholeheartedly recommend the program to others in the parish, but with the spoiler alert of "prepare to be shocked!"
"This ten-part series on race and faith is well worth the time and effort-it’s not easy. The short documentary films paired with well selected and coordinated readings bring to life a history beyond anything I ever studied. The experience is a true awakening, and the opportunity to discuss it in a small group was satisfying."
"Sacred Ground is an excellent course presented by the episcopal church. I’d recommend the series of films and books to anyone who wishes to have an accurate account of our history. As a result of reading and discussing the material with other task force members, I have a deeper understanding and heightened empathy for our people of color."
"The thought-provoking videos and readings provided by the Episcopal Church's Sacred Ground program show different aspects of America's story as experienced by Native, Black, Asian, and various ethnic and non-privileged groups and immigrants at various times of America's history. A very worthwhile and enlightening study and small group discussion opportunity."
"If you love learning about history and are interested in expanding your knowledge about the history of the United States, then Sacred Ground will give you a perspective you may never have come across before. The videos and multiple readings are wonderful and surprising. I came away feeling so enriched and aware of how each of us can create change in differing ways and I learned so much more than I ever imagined I would when I first started the sessions."
But the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends. The type of love that I stress here is not eros, a sort of esthetic or romantic love; not philia, a sort of reciprocal love between personal friends; but it is agape which is understanding goodwill for all men. It is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. It is the love of God working in the lives of men. This is the love that may well be the salvation of our civilization.
––The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.