April 3, 2008, marked the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s last sermon and the inauguration of a new Sacred Conversation on Race. During the press conference that day, top UCC officials including the then President, Rev. John Thomas, called for a sacred conversation that is “urgently needed in our churches, in our homes and work places, and in the halls of power.”
A small group of Old First members have been meeting since last Spring, using the UCC resource guide, to figure out how we could involve the entire congregation in this Sacred Conversation.
Tragic events that have gained great national public attention and happend after the group began planning have brought an almost frightening urgency to the effort. As a beginning for our congregation-wide engagement, we invite and encourage you to attend the following two events:
Training on Race, Faith, and Power, sponsored by Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild (POWER).
Jan. 14-15, 6-9 pm at Friends Center, 15th and Cherry St.
Led by Rev. Alvin Herring, Deputy Director of the PICO Network, these sessions of learning and visioning will create a sacred space for a vigorous examination of ourselves and our organizations as we seek to confront racial injustice. They are designed to be challenging, transformative, and supportive. Topics will include implicit bias, dominant narratives about race, and creating a new narrative.
Debriefing for attendees
Sat Jan 24, 1-3 at the Old First’s Christian Education Building. Debriefing for people who have attended the training, and others who are interested (even if they could not attend), as we prepare to continue our Sacred Conversation.
To register for the POWER Training, go to http://www.powerphiladelphia.org/events
There is a $10 charge to cover food costs.
To let us know you will attend, or for more information, assistance with registration, or arranging transportation, please contact Mimi Copp Johnson. (Her contact information can be found in the member directory in REALM or from the church office.)
To learn about the Sacred Conversation in general, see
To learn more about how various UCC churches have participated in the Sacred Conversation, see http://www.ucc.org/difficult-and-challenging
Delilah Marrow and Margaret Rohdy