Charlotte, North Carolina, to host Urban Presbyteries Network hybrid conference

Focus will be on what God might be saying to church leaders in cities in light of PC(USA) Matthew 25 vision

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE— The Rev. Carlton Johnson believes God is calling church leaders in the city to do a special work — “especially in light of the Matthew 25 vision God has given to the PC(USA),” he says.

Throughout the pandemic, the coordinator of Vital Congregations in the Presbyterian Mission Agency has been meeting with leaders of the Urban Presbyteries Network (UPN) who have a large footprint in metropolitan areas around the country. Their conversations have centered on the three foci of the Matthew 25 initiative, on how to build congregational vitality by working to dismantle structural racism and eradicate systemic poverty in their communities.

Now those leaders will meet in person about changes happening in their cities, and how God might be asking them to respond, at the UPN hybrid conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Thursday, July 28. Registration for the event is now open. Those who register will have access to the online event, which will be broadcast live from the campus of Johnson C. Smith University.

The UPN conference will feature religious, civic, academic and community leaders from Charlotte, including a city council candidate from C.N. Jenkins Memorial Presbyterian Church and a spokesperson for the city’s Islamic Center. The focus of the conversations will be on what God might be saying about how the church can intersect with other areas within their communities.

“As we identify and name key issues facing our cities, we can get the ear and the heart of civic and government leaders,” Johnson said. “They can help us not only with resources, but with legislation to address issues that impact underserved communities and underserved persons.”

Johnson is grateful for the Rev. Dr. Jerry Lytle Cannon, senior pastor at C.N. Jenkins, and the Presbytery of Charlotte for welcoming the UPN to their city — and for bringing amazing community leaders to join them for a day of rich conversation.

“This is an opportunity to really see what new thing God is up to among our churches in the city, among God’s people,” Johnson said. “As we hear from each other, we’ll know that God is in fact Emmanuel, with us.”

Individual registration for the UPN conference is $50. Groups of five or more will receive a discounted rate of $25 per person. Click here to register.

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