As we begin our Lenten series, Breaking the Cycle of Violence, we are starting with a conversation about what Jesus’ death on the cross meant 2,000 years ago. Was Jesus’ death really necessary to appease an angry God, or did it mean something else entirely? Join us as we welcome Dr. David May, professor of New Testament studies at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, who will lead a discussion on what Jesus’ death has meant to people experiencing oppression.
As more white folks are drawn back to the city, individuals and developers are buying up land, businesses, and housing stock. This development displaces people of color, resulting in a cultural & historical loss and perpetuating economic disparities. Are we breaking down the Troost divide or simply pushing it further east? Join us for a conversation with Hakima Payne, director and founder of Uzazi Village, Sandra Enriquez, Director of Public History and Asst. Professor of History at UMKC, and Angela Martellaro, local real estate agent and SURJ member, for a conversation about gentrification and gentrifiers.
Institutional discrimination and systemic oppression negatively impact marginalized people in myriad ways, from racism to sexism and classism to heterosexism. It can be dizzying to sort out all of the ways in which dominant groups leverage power that damage disenfranchised groups. It can be even more challenging to build connections between different oppressed groups. Join us for an important conversation about racism and intersectionality--and what we can all do to challenge the status quo. We will be joined by PaKou Her, a local community organizer and anti-racism trainer/facilitator.
Jesus was a person of color who was born under an oppressive Roman regime, and when Jesus launched his ministry at age 30, he started by declaring freedom for the captives! This message of liberation and hope has animated the church in poor and marginalized communities all over the world! This Advent season, we are continuing our series on race with a conversation about liberation theology and reading the Christmas story through the eyes of the oppressed. Father Turbo Qualls, Deacon of St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Christian Church, will be our guest teacher.
Many in our country deny being racist, but our speech and actions can communicate a different message. Join us as Rev. Jose Martinez, founder of Missio KC, facilitates a conversation about the ways our language and actions can perpetuate unhealthy narratives and racism.
Colin Kaepernick took a knee on an NFL field to protest structural racism, which sparked a national debate about what racism is, especially in the post-civil rights era. It is vital for communities to have a common understanding of what racism is and how it is expressed i?n order to move forward in the work to undo structural forms of racism. Join us as we welcome Kiku Brooks, co-chair of MORE2’s Criminal Justice Task Force, for a primer on what racism and privilege are, as well as why the Christian community needs to be active in the work against racism.
Racism has been deeply embedded in both society and religion, so how can we take part in the righting of the wrongs of generations both past and present? Join us for the first installment of our fall/winter series on race, a conversation about how racism has evolved over time in both the church and society. We will be joined by two Saint Paul School of Theology professors, Dr. Angela Sims and Dr. Nancy Howell, for this important conversation.
Social movements have dramatically changed how governments operate around the globe, yet some question the use of grassroots organizing and protest to achieve reform and revolution. Join us for a storytelling hour where we will be joined by Rev. Susan McCann, Rev. Nia Chandler, Rev. Dr. Vernon Percy Howard Jr., and Rev. Eric Garbison who will speak about their experiences behind bars, their theology of protest, and how they stay grounded through the practice of Sabbath.
Wendie Brockhaus, Riley Brown, and Nick Pickrell shared stories of how music served as a source of resurrection, of new life, at various stages of our lives.
Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk, deeply cared for those affected by war, poverty, and marginalization. From the walls of his monastery, he influenced a generation of Christians to walk alongside the poor while maintaining one’s inner life through practices like solitude. Sr. Therese Elias, OSB, will offer her reflections on Thomas Merton’s life and spiritual practices, from solitude to solidarity.
Nick Pickrell recently spoke at Redemption Church in Olathe, KS. Listen to hear about how humanity's propensity to categorize people is actually a double-edged sword.
Seventy years ago, Gandhi inspired a nation under occupation to gain its independence through noncooperation and nonviolence. What lessons can we learn from this historic social movement, and how can the Gandhian program inform our own spiritual formation in the Christian tradition? Join us for a conversation with Adam Campbell, founder of the Peace and Permaculture Center and member of the Possibility Alliance, as we explore the ways Gandhi balanced political action and constructive social programs with a deep commitment to mindfulness self-transformation.
Many mystics were once labeled as outcasts and rebels because they went against the norms of their time, but today we celebrate them as spiritual giants. Come take a journey with us through the history of Christian spirituality. Wendie Brockhaus, Assistant Curator of The Open Table, will kick off our summer series as we explore both old and new ways to practice an ancient faith in today's context.
Why does “all are welcome” only seem to apply to straight people in many churches? We all need a community that will welcome and support us throughout our life’s journey, but unfortunately the church has not always been a safe place for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+). Join us for dinner and conversation with Rev. Donna Simon from St. Mark’s Hope and Peace, as she discusses how the actions of the church have affected the LGBTQ community, and how we can create a space where people feel welcome no matter who/whom they love.
Environments speak just as loudly as words—just because we have a wheelchair ramp doesn’t mean we are truly accessible for persons with disabilities. How do we become the kind of church which invites all into community, engagement, and leadership? Join us as we welcome Rev. Letiah Fraser, local disability rights activist, who will challenge us to rethink what our words and actions communicate.
God has called on Christians over the ages to welcome the stranger, but today our airwaves are filled with a narrative of exclusion and hate. Join us as we welcome Rev. Orlando Gallardo, Associate Pastor of Trinity Community Church in Kansas City, KS, as he shares with us about his own journey as an immigrant in America.
With the recent Muslim ban and attacks towards Jewish centers around the country, it is vitally important for people to come together to show how we can be in mutual, positive relationships with people of different religious and nonreligious traditions. Join us for a panel discussion where we will explore the ways faith traditions perpetuate division, and how we can build a path toward peace and reconciliation.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America. 50 years after those words were spoken, his words still ring true as churches across the country remain segregated. Join us for a conversation about why this trend has persisted, and how the church can work toward being the multiracial, multicultural community that is reflective of God's welcome of all. Our conversation leader for the evening will be Associate Pastor Chris Logan from The Keystone Church in Waldo. As a spiritual leader he is very interested in manifesting the claims of the gospel on earth, particularly for the poor and marginalized as well as for those who have been excluded from the communion of faith.
Most faith communities say they welcome all, but is that really true? Does there come a point when our welcome runs out? Join us as our Curator, Nick Pickrell, kicks off our spring series about various way folks have and haven't been welcomed in the church. He will offer a reflection and facilitate dialogue about the welcome people offered Jesus on Palm Sunday and how that relates to the welcome church offers today.
Our faith calls us to be our sister’s and brother’s keeper, but many times people find that call to be a difficult one to live up to. Even as we walk alongside people seeking recovery from addiction, it can be a confusing ride if we don’t know how addiction works as well as how to offer care. Join us as we welcome back Andrea "Andy" Garcia-Ruse, MA, LCPC, Treatment Consultant for KC Region of American Addiction Centers for a conversation on how we can best walk alongside people who are addicted.
We often have one way of viewing things, be it a passage of scripture or a group of people. Listen as we review the Parable of the Talents and how through studying the context of the first century, our single story turns out to be inadequate, and possibly wrong, just like what can happen when we refuse to review the single stories we have about other people.
Faith plays a role in many people’s struggle with addiction. It is something that can aid folks in recovery, but it can also be an obstacle. Merritt Benz, LCSW, Certified Daring Way Facilitator and owner/director of the Bedford Therapy Group, will facilitate a discussion around the ways faith can help and hurt in the midst of recovery.
No one treatment method works for all people, but so many think only one path to recovery exists. Join us as we engage in a dinner discussion with these panelists about various new and old treatments that have helped lead people to recovery. On the wagon or off the wagon, let's support each other and create a safe and compassionate space for all.
Our guest speakers this Sunday will include:
Dr. Bob Prue, UMKC School of Social Work Associate Professor, Chair and MSW Program Director
Sr. Melissa Letts, OSB, Pastoral Care Coordinator for the Dooley Center and spiritual director
Andrea "Andy" Garcia-Ruse, MA, LCPC, Treatment Consultant for KC Region of American Addiction Centers
Sarah Pickrell, local artist and leader at The Open Table
Addiction is something that affects many in our society, yet many people lack the understanding to be a good partner as someone walks the path toward recovery. Join us in the first of a four part series on addiction as we learn about the science behind addiction and why addiction can be so hard to break. We will be joined by Taylor Johnson, LCPC, who is currently a counselor and associate professor at MNU in Olathe.