Race & Reconciliation

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.