An invitation to heal racism by talking about it. That is what author Emmanuel Acho believes is the only way to cure our nation’s oldest disease, talking, ”Until it gets uncomfortable…and then some.” We will use Mr. Acho’s book “Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man” as our guide. We’ll discuss topics like implicit bias, the N-word, reverse and systemic racism, black family struggles, interracial relationships and how to be an ally. The segments are short, so I will send out excerpts ahead of our conversations and share some to open the meeting. I’m not requiring, but highly recommend that you purchase the book as a valuable resource, especially as you may want (hopefully) to start conversations of your own.
We will meet on Zoom every 2nd and 4th Tues. of the month from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Topics and intro will be sent out the week before along with the Zoom link. If you are interested in joining these conversations at any time, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will put you on the list to receive notices. Feel free to forward invites to family and friends. The more people talking, the greater the impact.
Here’s an excerpt from Mr. Acho’s introduction, “Consider this book an invitation to the table. It’s a special table- but don’t worry, this isn’t one of those uptight, where’s-your-VIP-reservation places, rather a come-as-you-are joint for my white brothers and sisters and anyone else inclined to join us. The room where this table sits is a safe space, by which I mean a space to learn things you’ve always wondered about, a place where questions you may have been afraid to ask get answered. For all of you who lack an honest black friend in your life, consider me that friend.”
He also has a you tube channel and has created other content. I encourage you to check him out in advance of our first meeting.
I think of God as a Presence that I can be in relationship with, one that I can draw wisdom from, who guides me, and fills me with peace and love. The spiritual practice of meditation helps bring me into that presence. Meditation reduces stress, cultivates a sense of inner peace, helps us to find clarity of purpose, and can produce healing, as some in our medical profession have been finding out.
Each Thursday evening for 20 to 30 minutes I lead a guided meditation, followed by a short time of sharing. The meditations draw from Christian, Buddhist, and Inter-spiritual traditions i.e. Loving Kindness Meditations, Tonglen, Relaxation Meditation, Examen, Lectio Divina, Centering Prayer and meditations focused on themes of Gratitude, Peace and Love.
All are welcome to join us on ZOOM. Just fill out the contact form below, and I will send you the link to join.
The book jacket reads: “How do we labor for the world we want when the labor feels endless? Valarie Kaur — renowned Sikh activist, filmmaker, and civil rights lawyer — declares revolutionary love as the call of our time, a radical, joyful practice that extends in three directions; to others, to our opponents and to ourselves. It enjoins us to see no stranger but instead look at others and say: You are part of me I do not yet know. Starting from the place of wonder, the world begins to change: It is a practice that can transform a relationship, a community, a culture, even a nation.
Kaur takes readers through her own riveting journey — as a brown girl growing up in California farmland finding her place in the world; as a young adult galvanized by the murders of Sikhs after 9/11; as a law student fighting injustices in American prisons and on Guantanamo Bay; as an activist working with communities recovering from xenophobic attacks; and as a woman trying to heal from her own experiences with sexual assault and police violence.
Drawing from the wisdom of sages, scientists, and activists, Kaur reclaims love as an active, public, and revolutionary force that creates new possibilities for ourselves, our communities, and our world. See No Stranger helps us imagine new ways of being with each other —and with ourselves – so that together we can begin to build the world we want to see.”
This is a book for the time we live in. I invite anyone who would like to join us to contact us using the form below.
I look forward to hearing from you. Rev. Susan Brecht
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