Race & Reconciliation

January 16, 2019

FUPC-FPC Discussion Series

For its tenth year, the lunch and discussion series with First United Presbyterian Church takes on the subject Can Life Be Fair? What Does Our Faith Say? The series runs for four weeks, features speakers such as the Reverend Dr. Rodney Sadler and de’Angelo Dia, and will alternate between FPC and FUPC at 406 North College Street. to encourage younger people to attend, this year we’ll have a “JUNIOR discount” for the lunch.  The cost remains a very affordable $5, but if you’re 50 or younger, it’s just $1!


February 3: Can Life Be Fair? The Reverend Dr. Rodney Sadler, Associate Professor of Bible, Union Presbyterian Seminary, gives an overview of the oscillating history of racism in the U.S., illustrating African American gains and subsequent loses. What have been some of the responses to the losses? What biblical lessons inspire progress? At FPC.


February 10: Black Lives Matter or All Lives Matter? Donna Fair, Wellness Ministry Director at Myers Park Presbyterian Church, brings us videos of the Black Lives Matter Movement founders and the Video Raising a Black Son. At FUPC.


February 24: Build the Wall! Federico Rios, International & Integration Manager of the City of Charlotte provides a look at the truth about immigration, both locally and nationally, and what people like us can do. At FUPC.


March 3: Can Life Be Fair? A Faithful Response. de’Angelo Dia, Advocacy Coordinator for the  Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University of Charlotte speaks on perspective and personal transformation.

January 12, 2017

Pen mug 7-16How hard is it to talk about racism?

Fifty pastors and leaders from Presbyterian congregations in Charlotte are finding out today and tomorrow here at First Presbyterian.  Some of us are white, some of us are people of color.  I know from experience this conversation will be uncomfortable at times.

All 50 us have been given the ministry of reconciliation by Christ (2 Corinthians 5) – and we are all called to pursue that ministry in a city whose need for reconciliation is painfully obvious, as evidenced by the protests around the shooting of Keith LaMonte Scott last September.

So we are gathering to learn – to grow – and to talk honestly about race and racism.  The two-day workshop we are taking is called “Dismantling Racism.”  It is a facilitated conversation that takes an honest look at how we arrived at the place where we are – taking seriously our American history and tracing the thread of race through it all.

I’ve experienced this workshop previously. That’s why I wanted our church to host this for other pastors. I have experienced the value of the uncomfortable conversations we’ll be having. I know we will have to confront some inconvenient truths.  But I also know that facing our racial history together – as sisters and brothers in Christ – is a necessary step to witnessing the power of the gospel to transform this broken world into the kingdom that we know is to come.

– Pen Peery

Want to step outside your comfort zone and participate in dismantling racism? The Charlotte Observer offered a list of events and conversations  taking place in houses of worship in our area in the weeks ahead. Check out their list and make plans to witness the power of the gospel to transform our broken world.