The sermon series Now What?! seeks to lead the church and community in constructive dialogue on the issues surrounding race. If protest is the language of the unheard, this series is the church’s effort to listen – to dissenting voices in the streets, to calls for reform, and to God who speaks through the pages of Scripture. This series will launch in July 2020 – a time when North America continues to grapple with multiple pandemics – health (COVID-19), economic (rising unemployment and the instability of global markets), and social (racial injustice and violence). These pandemics are exacerbated by the civil unrest and nationwide protests reignited by the recent murders of unarmed African Americans, most notably George Floyd, by white Minneapolis police officers. There is a groundswell in public support for change: federal and state legislation is being drafted to address racial violence; Fortune 500 companies are issuing public statements decrying injustice; actors, musicians, athletes, and other social influencers are using their respective platforms for social reform. There is the fierce urgency of now. The church cannot afford to miss this moment by (a) being silent, (b) lagging out of fear, or (c) returning to business as usual. Rather, the church must lead the discussion forward, lending its prophetic voice to the dialogue.
To that end, this sermon series curates a conversation between the beatitudes of Jesus (as recorded by Matthew) and the voices of the unheard, the present-day protestors.
The beatitudes are included in Jesus’s most famous sermon commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount. In this Ethical Discourse, Jesus explicates the moral and theological vision of God’s reign and its meaning for those who follow him. The series explores what it looks like when the teachings of Jesus dialogue with persons protesting social injustice stemming from racist ideas and practices. Said differently, it is taking the beatitudes to the streets!
July 5 – Now What?! Let’s Talk: Having A Holy Conversation