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Our current book study: Short Stories by Jesus by Amy Jill Levine

George Jura is leading another book study this winter/spring on Tuesday evenings via Zoom. This is open to all members and friends of the congregation who are interested in exploring Jesus’ Parables together. We will use Amy Jill Levine’s book on the parables as our guide, bringing in other resources to enrich our conversations. Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi is an approachable study that helps us to see the context and history behind the parables. The book will be available to all interested participants. Each session will have a different parable focus and stands on its own. You can come as it works in your schedule and just read the chapter that we are discussing that week, without needing to participate in every session. To join in, please Contact Us and express your interest! You'll be added to the email list to receive the Zoom link, information on how to get the book, and notes on what we are covering in each session.

This study will meet via Zoom every other Tuesday from 7-8:15pm February 16-June 8. We hope you can join us!

Here is the breakdown of what is covered each week:

Feb. 16 Intro (p.1-26) / The Sower (not in AJL), The Kingdom of Heaven Is like Yeast (Ch. 3, p.117-137) Matt. 13:33 / Luke 13:181-9 
March 2 Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, Lost Son (Ch 1 p. 27-76) Matt 18:12-14 / Lk 15:3-7, Lk 15:8-10, Lk 15:11-32
March 16 The Good Samaritan (Ch. 2, p.77-115) Lk 10:25-37
March 30 (Holy Week) The Pearl of Great Price (Ch 4, p.139-164)
April 13 The Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Ch 6, p.183-212)
April 27 The Laborers in the Vineyard (Ch. 7, p. 213-237)
May 11 The Widow and the Judge (Ch.8, p. 239-265)
May 25 The Rich Man and Lazarus (Ch.9, p.267-296)
June 8 The Mustard Seed (Ch.5, 165-182) Conclusion (p.297-309) 

Dismantling Structural Racism Resources

One of the points of focus for the Matthew 25 movement in the PCUSA, of which our congregation is part, is the work of Dismantling Structural Racism. As part of this effort, we are working to share resources with one another.

Video on Knox Presbyterian in Cincinnati. This is a video produced by the Matthew 25 movement to share the story of one congregation facing the structural racism in their own history and trying to dismantle it.

Suggested by: Kathleen Owens

Matthew 25 "Dismantling Structural Racism" Website. This page has a description of what we mean by the term "Structural Racism" along with additional resources, including a 21-day Racial Justice challenge based around the PCUSA statement "Facing Racism."
Suggested by: Kathleen Owens

Waking Up White by Debby Irving.   This book helped me understand what the term "white privilege" means and how racism is built into my own daily life.  I was pretty astounded at how much I have benefited from my own privilege as a white person. The author presents her own learning over the years in easy to read, short chapters with thought provoking questions following each chapter.
Suggested by: Nancy Freeman Wallace

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War -- In this PBS documentary, Professor Gates narrates a four-hour documentary series on a period of US history I knew little about. "The series explores the transformative years following the American Civil War, when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, massive destruction, and revolutionary social change". I found it enlightening, interesting, sad, maddening and haunting.
Suggested by: Nancy Freeman Wallace

Why Presbyterians affirm "Black Lives Matter". This statement on why we say "Black Lives Matter" was put together as part of the Week of Action in August. It is helpful for those seeking a theological and Biblical grounding behind this affirmation. For a follow up video on why why we affirm "Black Lives Matter," see this video from our Stated Clerk, J. Herbert Nelson.
Suggested by: Kathleen Owens

Explaining why we say "Black Lives Matter" to children. This article from Parents.com brings in several examples of ways to explain to children of various ages why we say "Black Lives Matter" and not just "All Lives Matter."
Suggested by: Wendy Goist Jones

"Driving While Black: Race, Space, and Mobility in America" Documentary. This PBS Documentary by Ric Burns discusses the role of mobility (or lack thereof) of Blacks over the course of US History and how it affected peoples, families, communities, and business. It put some things into perspective such as the "Green Book" and the effect of the US Highway system on the black community and black businesses.  It also discusses the "Great Migration" and the positive role of the automobile industry. 
Suggested by: Nancy Freeman Wallace

Baraccoon by Zora Neale Hurston.  Originally written in the late 1920's, this book was not published until 2018.  It is an account of the life, pre and post-Civil War, of a captured African sold as a slave after coming to the USA on the last (and illegal) slave ship, the Clotilde.  As an anthropologist, Hurston presents the story of Kossola in his own words.  Kossola tells of his people in Africa, his family in Alabama, the making of Africatown, the tragic loss of a few of his children, in great grief and yet acceptance.  See also, an article on Baracoon from The Atlantic.
Suggested by: Nancy Freeman Wallace

"Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man YouTube series. Former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho started an online series to give white people a nonjudgmental space to ask questions about race and racism. He created this video series as an educational tool at a time when the racial divide between white and Black Americans is at a peak.  Topics include National Anthem Protests (interview with NFL Commissioner), Race vs Religion, Interracial Relationships, Seeing Color, and Reverse Racism. 

Suggested by: Nancy Nelson and Nancy Freeman Wallace

If you have additional resources to share with others via this page, please contact Pastor Kathleen.

You are also invited to explore education opportunities on your own. Here are some ideas:

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