What Does It Mean To Be A …People of Beloved Community?
Reflections on Liberation:
Community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but for one another. Community is the fruit of our capacity to make the interests of others more important than our own. The question, therefore, is not ‘How can we make community?’ but, ‘How can we develop and nurture giving hearts?’
Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.
The goal [of Beloved Community] is reconciliation, not to destroy your opponent, nor cast them out, but to stay in the struggle till love wins.
Rev. Victoria Safford
Beloved community is formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world.
bell hooks, Killing Rage: Ending Racism
The practice of bending the arc of the universe toward justice.
The practice of recognizing inherent worth.
The practice of dismantling the structures that divide us.
The practice of transforming opponents into friends.
Allow a Movie to Become a Meditation
Movies and the stories they contain allow us to engage challenging topics in ways that analytical essays and instructive quotes just can’t. That is certainly true with this month’s theme of Beloved Community. So this month, make movie-watching your spiritual exercise.
But here’s the catch, as you watch or after you are done watching, identify the one scene that engaged you the most. And then spend some time reflecting on it, digging into its personal meaning/message for you. Is there a challenge in it for you? An insight? An invitation? A message of healing?
What “Beloved Community movie” should you watch? Glad you asked. Here are a bunch to choose from:
Taking It Home: Ideas for All Ages
Bouncing into the Beloved Community
For this game, you will need a shoebox or similar box, 8-10 ping pong balls, and a Sharpie marker.
Decorate or cover the shoe box if you like, or keep it simple–undecorated is fine. Cut a large heart roughly in the middle of your shoe box lid so that when you set the shoebox on end, the heart is up-and-down, and in the middle to upper ⅓ of the lid (facing you). Above the heart, write “Beloved Community.” This is your target.
Next, draw all different faces on the ping pong balls. Maybe you want to portray different emotions. Maybe you want to use Sharpie markers in a rainbow of colors. Or maybe you want to write different names on the balls. These are your people.
Set the shoe box up on its end at the far end of a table. Sitting opposite the box, your task is to bounce the ping pong balls into the open heart. Your goal is to get everyone into the beloved community! Work together as a family, or set up a challenge to see who can do it the fastest.
We create two different playlists for each of our monthly themes: one in Spotify and another in YouTube. We organize these lists as a journey of sorts. So consider listening from beginning to end and using the lists as musical meditations. Follow the links below to connect with this month’s Beloved Community playlists.
Click here for the Spotify playlist on Beloved Community.
Click here for the YouTube playlist on Beloved Community.
Sara Bareilles – A Safe Place to Land (Feat.John Legend)
Join us to deepen our faith together:
- Explore resources related to the monthly theme (links above)
- Attend Sunday worship
- Request a copy of Soulful Home (thematic resources for families)
- Join our Parent Group (to discuss the themes in relation to parenting)