Ubuntu = "I am, because you are.”
“A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.” - Bishop Tutu
So what are Ubuntu Groups?
Ubuntu groups are a small group of 8-10 people including 2 co-facilitators who commit to meeting once a week for 1.5 hours to share, study, pray and struggle together. Let’s face it ... worship can be meaningful and beautiful, but real transformation happens most often within a small group of people who are willing to be vulnerable, honest, open and take risks together with each other and Jesus. When Jesus pulls up a chair and gets all "up in our business' in these small group settings, we’ll never be the same. These groups will also require regular attendance, energy and investment and a willingness to even be (dun-dun-dun) uncomfortable. We will meet in safe spaces, agree to a shared covenant, and offer mutual, grace-filled accountability. The groups will be structured and organized, but also flexible enough to allow space for the movement of the Holy Spirit (who sometimes lets us follow our outlines, and then other times likes to laugh at our plans). Basically, for all those folks who have said to us, “Hey, I’d really like to commit to “going deeper theologically and have my life changed,” well, these groups are for you. Prepare yourself for a powerful journey. Ubuntu groups will create safe spaces for us to thoroughly wrestle with “topics” that have been in the media and front and center in our culture recently. We believe that God calls us to listen, love beyond labels, and see beyond the limiting language of “topic” or “issue.”
Fall 2017 Topic
This fall we will be exploring the intersection of the church, racial justice, and whiteness. Our foundational texts are the Bible and a book called “White Like Me” by Tim Wise.
The reality of the world today, and specifically here in America, is that we have historically been and continue to find ourselves divided by the color of our skin. A nation which was founded and built during a time when the enslavement of people of color was the norm continues to struggle even 150 years after slavery was made illegal. A nation which saw the rise of the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s and the promise of equal rights to all continues to see people of color treated differently. As followers of Jesus, we believe that racism is evil. But we struggle to know what to do, or where to start. It’s easy to become paralyzed, but we also know that doing nothing perpetuates the status quo.
So we’re wondering, what if we start with ourselves (especially those of us who are white)?
Why do we hardly ever talk about whiteness when we talk about racial justice?
What if we had those hard conversations and looked at our own experiences of race?
What if we are as much a part of the problem as those who are openly racist?
Where is Jesus leading us through all of this?
These are really hard questions.
We don’t believe we’re going to be able to fix the problem of racism, but we have to start the hard work of confronting racism and white supremacy if we hope to mend creation together. Ubuntu groups are a great step for many of us to take towards that goal. We hope you will prayerfully consider signing up.
Groups start meeting the week of September 24th.
Questions? Email Shiree Harbick at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you’re interested in signing up for the UBUNTU group’s here is the covenant that we will ask you to sign: