Reflections on My Participation in Sacred Ground
by Rick Volkmer
I view my participation in Sacred Ground as a moral obligation and a timely opportunity for personal growth. Having been witness to racist comments and/or behaviors, and believing that one’s failure to act demonstrates complicity or silent approval, I’ve been ashamed of myself. I have also been angered by certain decisions made by our government that I view to be either racially motivated or racially insensitive. Additionally, I’ve been frustrated by comments and support certain religious leaders have made regarding those actions or their failure to respond to them at all.
Having heard favorable comments from others who have participated in Sacred Ground, I decided that the time was long overdue for me to learn more about racism and myself. Being
armed with information, I hoped to move beyond silence and toward action; at the very least, to confront and respond to racism whenever I encountered it. Currently in the middle of our Sacred Ground journey, I look forward to our bimonthly sessions. I am learning so much from the excellent curricular materials AND the other members in our group. Our discussions are interesting, lively, thought provoking and sobering. I’ve come to understand that the pervasive stain of racism not only affects all of us but that the revisionist history we’ve learned serves to perpetuate it.
I am thankful to the Episcopal Church for providing this Sacred Ground opportunity and highly recommend it! Already, I can avow that I will no longer remain silent and, in fact, have
had the opportunity to feel emboldened enough to confront an individual expressing racist viewpoints. A journey begins with a single step.