As with the entire Within Phase, the courses, gatherings, and materials will be different for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and white folks. Our Lessons, Pods, and Meaning Making Sessions will still be done in race-based caucuses.
Gathering Ourselves, for BIPOC: Folks who have completed Fall Term will continue on with new material in the Spring Term. Those who will be new to the program in the Spring Term will begin with the older material. The two groups will come together for Meaning Making Sessions.
Un/Learning for Liberation, for the white folks: Material will be all new and accessible to people who are just beginning or those of us continuing on from the Fall. Folks will all be together in one cohort for Meaning Making Sessions and combined into Learning Pods that will mix both newer folks and folks who have completed the Fall Term.
Cost: $250 USD per person (lay folks and religious professionals). White folks and anyone with economic privileges/ample professional expenses will be encouraged to pay more. Full and partial scholarships will be generous and easily accessible.
You will be able to access more information about the Spring Term soon, on our website at meadville.edu/beloved including dates for all of the Spring Meaning Making Sessions.
As you consider joining us in the spring, we want to remind you that, unlike “school,” these learning terms are guided experiences, not hierarchical “semesters” that are accomplished once, and never revisited again. In fact, unlearning a lifetime of enculturation that is unhelpful and sometimes harmful, and reconnecting to self and community takes more than a semester or a year. We hope that Beloved Conversations: Virtual will continue to be part of your ongoing learning, both individually and community, as we ground ourselves in practices that lead us all towards collective liberation.
The Fahs Collaborative, a cohort of religious educators, is announcing Beloved Conversations: Virtual – an updated curriculum designed to create deep exploration and connection using technology. This new program is longer, more intensive, less expensive, and centers on the needs of Black, Indigenous and other People of Color (BIPOC). Focusing on heart and body, Beloved Conversations provides learning in a context of grace where imperfection is expected, and vulnerability is welcome. The program is much more flexible and allows groups of people to work together choosing times that suit their needs.
The first phase of Beloved Conversations is Within, which focuses on the individual and personal work we each need to do. Within will include separate sessions for White and BIPOC groups. The curriculum includes six topics that involve individual work along with discussion in a group format. All groups will meet twice monthly for about ninety minutes, and scheduling will be at the group members’ convenience. The sessions will be facilitated by the members of each group versus having an assigned facilitator. This phase will take about three months. Within this time period, there will be three larger facilitated meaning-making sessions that will provide for discussion within a spiritual framework.
The other two phases of Beloved Conversations are Among, which focuses on the institution – our church; and Beyond, which focuses on the work outside the congregation in our communities. These phases will be released in the future and congregations will engage with them when ready.