Sacred Ground

Sacred Ground: A Film-Based Dialogue Series on Race

We all want to see improvements in the racial disparities in our society, but it can be difficult to have meaningful conversations about these issues. People feel like they have to have the right words or they are worried the conversation will get out of hand.

The Sacred Ground program offers discussion groups led by trained facilitators in order to make this conversation safe and more impactful. Because the program lasts for eleven sessions, the groups are able to form deep connections that allow people to be comfortable exploring these difficult concepts.

This program was launched in 2019 by The Episcopal Church and was so well-received that it has recently been adapted by St. Paul’s to be suitable for folks of all faiths (or no particular faith). This thriving program will be open to the greater community starting in the fall of 2021, and we hope you will join us.

Why should I join a Sacred Ground group?

Participants join the Sacred Ground program for many different reasons:

    • A desire to understand the roots of the racial disparities that exist in American society
    • A hunger for meaningful dialogue with other members of the community.
    • A feeling of powerlessness when faced with the enormity of racism
    • An aspiration to raise children who can be capable citizens of a multiracial society.
    • A wish to understand how and why the conversation around race has changed during one’s lifetime

Whatever your reasons for joining may be, know that you are welcome in this program.


  • How many people are in a group?
    • Groups consist of 6-9 participants and two trained facilitators.
  • How often do the groups meet?
    • Groups meet roughly every three weeks over the course of eleven sessions.
  • Is there homework?
    • In preparation for each session, participants are asked to engage with materials related to the theme of that session. 
  • Is this a religious program?
    • No. St. Paul’s has adapted the curriculum to be universally applicable to people of all faiths or no faith at all.


Antonio Rocha’s Favorite Maine Place – In this feature in Down East Magazine, Antonio discusses his partnership with St. Paul’s and the congregation’s response to learning of its deep connection to the slave trade (September 2023)

Faith in Maine Podcast – In this episode of the Diocese of Maine’s podcast, The Rev. Katie Holicky, and Sacred Ground Program Coordinator Andrea Lauerman talk about the evolution, current programming, and possible future directions of Sacred Ground at St. Paul’s (August 2023)

On Sacred Ground: Personal Transformation Leads to Sacred Ground Program Expansion – St. Paul’s parishioner Caroline Russell is featured in the national Becoming Beloved Community newsletter from The Episcopal Church. (March 2022). 

Exploring Sacred Ground – Columnist David Treadwell discusses the program and its significance in The Times Record. (November 2021).

Brunswick-Based Program on Race is Extending Membership – Times Record reporter Renae Morgan explores the evolution of the Sacred Ground program and the expansion of the program to the whole community (May 2022)

“Questions? Contact our Sacred Ground Program Coordinator at

or (207)295-7856