ST. LOUIS, MO – The Faith and Race podcast (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/faith-and-race-podcast/id1079664431), brought to you by the Center for Social Empowerment and Justice (http://www.fueledtochange.com/) is designed to help churches of all colors host constructive dialogue about faith, race and the church. Every episode has a specific focus to help people intentionally think about the intersection of history, institutions, scripture, prayer, race, and justice. The audio recordings will bring diverse insights and experiences into churches, homes, and hearts across Missouri and beyond. For Season One, all of the interviewees are African-American Methodists from Missouri. Each has a powerful story to tell. The podcast will consist of 20-25 minute interviews released each Wednesday and started Feb.10.
Interviewees for Season One:*
• Rev. Dr. Cody Collier: Why We Need to Talk About Race (aired Feb. 10)
• Dr. Arnold Parks and Dr. John Wright: The Past’s Presence (Feb. 17)
• Dr. Leah Gunning Francis: Ferguson and Faith (Feb. 24)
• Rev. Dr. William L. Johnson, III: Black Theology (March 2)
• Patricia Flernoy: White Flight and the Story of a Black Female Police Officer (March 9)
• Rev. Dr. Cassandra Gould: Institutional Racism and Justice Movements, Then and Now (March 16)
• Lealure Tindall: Racial Justice in Rural Settings (March 23)
• Rev. Tina Harris: Who Are We and Who Can We Be? (March 30)
* This first season of the podcast focuses particularly on the experiences of African Americans. This does not fully represent Missouri’s diversity. For example, there are also Hispanic, Asian, White, and Native American populations in Missouri, just to name a few. Ultimately this first season focuses in depth on one racial group: African Americans.
The Center plans to broaden our scope and further diversify its guests after this initial season.
Center for Social Empowerment and Justice has also created a small group curriculum:
The podcast is meant to be heard and discussed in community. In addition to the podcast, a Faith and Race small group curriculum will be available to help guide groups to discuss the issues raised in each episode and what these issues might look like in their church or community. The materials for each session include pause points and discussion questions to aid in meaningful engagement with each interview. The finalized version of the curriculum will be ready by early to mid-March, but a simplified version will be ready on a week-to-week basis along with the podcast.
Why should you form a Faith and Race Small Group in your church?
• The Podcast and Curriculum are firmly grounded in prayer and scripture, and provides a safe, meaningful way for Christians to host what can be a challenging conversation.
• In the words of the first interviewee, Rev. Cody Collier, “the discussion of race is essential if we’re truly to be the hands, heart, and face of Jesus Christ in a very sometimes violent and divisive time.”
• Although others may enjoy it, if you’re a Methodist from Missouri, the podcast and small group was designed specifically with your church in mind.
• Learn through listening, rather than reading. The Faith and Race Podcast provides a unique and accessible way into the topic while allowing interviewees to set the tone of the conversation.
• Though the curriculum provides everything you’ll need, you can easily tweak the discussions to what would be most relevant in your context.
• It’s free.
What if my church or community isn’t diverse?
Then it’s even more important for you to participate in the Faith and Race podcast. Through the interviews, your congregation will be able to hear stories and perspectives which you may not get on a day-to-day basis. The podcast will do so in a faith-centered way that will broaden perspectives about race, diversity, and the call of Christ.
Stay in touch
• Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/faith-and-race-podcas…
• Write to faithandracepodcast (AT) gmail.com for your copy of the Small Group Curriculum
• Get the latest updates on Facebook: www.facebook.com/faithandracepodcast
About the Center for Social Empowerment and Justice
The Center for Social Empowerment and Justice (http://www.fueledtochange.com/) is a hub for community solutions, study of urban context issues and exploration of ethical faith formation and practice. The Center will be housed in the educational annex of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, MO. Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/fueledtochange/?fref=ts).