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people of color

People of color adorn stained-glass windows at First Presbyterian Church in Kewanee, Illinois

For 120 years now, First Presbyterian Church of Kewanee, Illinois, has possessed two rare treasures that members and friends often took for granted. The sanctuary of the church of about 60 members, located an hour southeast of the Quad Cities, is home to two stained-glass windows featuring people of color, including Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

‘Participatory democracy can be fun’

Panelists recently convened to discuss protecting voting rights that in many states are increasingly imperiled decided by the end of the hourlong webinar that churches have an important role to play.

Don’t weary while doing good

Blacks, Indigenous peoples, and other people of color (BIPOC) are not simply those who are marginalized because of their race. They often find themselves working the hardest for racial justice. My friends of color tell me it is grueling to feel the oppression and to also be left with most of the responsibility for fighting it. Working toward racial justice can be exhausting.

If the land could speak, what stories would it tell?

After COVID-19 forced the cancelation of planned projects and in-person worship, Coastland Commons, a 1001 New Worshiping Community in Seattle Presbytery, moved to Zoom discussions about their city’s history of land use by Black, Indigenous and people of color communities. After about six months of Zoom gatherings, they figured out a safe way to see Seattle anew through socially distanced community walks. They reached out to the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), which organizes redlining tours in Seattle’s Capitol Hill and Central District neighborhoods.

Confession is not a downer, but moves us forward

In this classic prayer of confession, we remember both the sins of commission (what we do) and the sins of omission (what we do not do), and we acknowledge that sins are both personal and corporate. Of course, when worship rolls around to the prayer of confession, it’s not unusual for pastors to hear, “I don’t come to church to feel bad about myself. Can’t we just skip the prayer of confession?”

Getting ourselves out of a mess

Sounds like the same old same old, doesn’t it? God’s people, called the “chosen ones,” are somehow unable to live faithfully in gratitude to God in spite of God’s love, grace and care for them. The psalmist attempts to voice God’s bounty and God’s faithfulness as well as God’s frustration that they cannot seem to embrace the values of the One who gave them life and who has promised to sustain them. Over and over again they become a disappointment. They are tempted by the “gods” of the cultures in which they find themselves, forgetting the source of the true freedom they have been given as God’s own children.

Upcoming events designed to encourage young adults of color to vote

Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries (RE&WIM) announces the kickoff of its October Election-Fest. The month-long event is designed to help young adults of color navigate this difficult and critically important election year.

Native Americans find hope in the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on Native Americans, but their communities have taken steps to come together and address their needs.

Struggling to right the wrongs of slavery

At Caldwell Presbyterian Church, the walls of our sanctuary talk. The voices are those of enslaved African Americans owned by the Caldwell family on a plantation north of our city of Charlotte, North Carolina. Before emancipation, their forced labor, blood, sweat and tears created the fortune that was later given to this church to build its sanctuary in 1922.