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Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner regularly prays for and with congressional leaders from both political parties and sends daily Scripture passages to many lawmakers. The co-founder and CEO of the Skinner Leadership Institute delivered the first plenary talk Monday during Ecumenical Advocacy Days, an online event that concludes Wednesday and includes attendees and leaders from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
The Rev. Dr. Anna Case-Winters, who has taught theology at McCormick Theological Seminary for 35 years, wasn’t all gloom and doom Wednesday during the Leading Theologically podcast hosted twice each month by the Rev. Dr. Lee Hinson-Hasty of the Presbyterian Foundation.
After 17 three-hour sessions which included homework assignments, the 36-member Leadership Innovation Team tasked with re-aligning the Presbyterian Mission Agency in the coming months to make it more able to carry out the ministry Jesus describes in his Matthew 25 parable has completed its work.
Presbyterian World Mission’s Office of the Middle East and Europe brought together representatives from global partners in Southern Europe virtually Tuesday to discuss the interconnections of justice, solidarity and mutual ministry.
Every year since 1865, there has been one day that most Black people have held as a celebratory occurrence. On June 19, 1865, the last of the Black Americans who were in the condition of chattel servitude were freed. Texas, the last state to hold out on the edict of the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln more than two years prior, had finally been forced into compliance. And so, it is this date in June that many Black Americans consider to be Independence Day and thus a cause for annual jubilation that we have titled Juneteenth.
As the digital national “101 Racism & Organizing Training” event for UKirk Collegiate Ministries began, Shaniya Auxier admits she was “a little bit hesitant.”
The year was 1903. The crowd was gathered on a street in Wilmington, Delaware. A Black man named George White had been arrested on charges of assaulting and killing a white girl. The man orating was a Presbyterian pastor named Robert Elwood. The mob broke into George White’s holding cell, dragged him out, then beat, hacked and burned him to death [a documentary about the lynching of George White, “In the Dead Fire’s Ashes,” directed by Stephen Labovsky, debuted at the Wilmington Film Festival in spring 2005].
This is it. The hard conversation. You’re prepared to lead your church group in the difficult work of antiracism. You’ve researched the perfect book. You’ve got the webinar cued up. You have your difficult but necessary questions prepared. But have you done your own work?
Engaging with Matthew 25 and the three areas of focus that make up the vision — building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty — is being addressed in a variety of ways by the 765 congregations and 72 mid councils who have signed on since its launch in April 2019. Now there is another way to start those conversations and actively engage in the world around us.
As people began to see all of the Christian imagery present during the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, they began to ask questions similar to the ones asked after 9/11.
“Who are these people?”
“Why do they want to destroy our country?”