Relationships Leading to Change: Local Conversations on Race, Inequality, and Justice | Thursday, April 28

This one-day session, led by Rev. F. Willis Johnson of Wellspring UMC in Ferguson, MO and the Center for Social Empowerment and Justice, is designed for pastors and other church leaders to engage purposeful discussion about what it means to do ministry in these times, and to lead toward God’s promise of hope for all. Participants will have the opportunity to explore and discuss the priestly, pastoral, and prophetic roles of clergy. After reflecting on their own spiritual and racial histories, participants will engage in productive conversation that addresses the following topics: Telling the Story, Processing our own Pain, Pastoring our People, and Being a Prophet. After listening to a short presentation on each of these topics, participants will discuss the following questions in intimate break out groups: How do we hear those who are hollering on the margins? What toolkit do we need in local churches to support ourselves and our communities in this endeavor? What resources would help us to tell the Stories, process our pain, pastor our people, and to serve as prophets?

Read more about Rev. Willis:

9:00-9:10 – Opening: Why Engage in this Work
9:10-9:30 – Setting Ground Rules
9:30-10:00 – Bias, Prejudice, and Racism
10:00-10:45 – Racial Autobiography
10:45-11:00 – Hollering: The Power of Story and Lament
11:00-12:00 – Breakout Conversation
12:00-1:00 – Working Lunch
1:00-1:15 – Empathetic Models of Transformation
1:15-2:15 – Breakout Conversation
2:15-3:00 – Closing Conversation: What’s Next?

To critically engage this work and have meaninful conversation, this event is limited to the first 60 people who register. Register here:

The event is free and is co-hosted by pastors Jacob Armstrong, Mark Youngman and Sam McGlothlin of Providence UMC and pastor Stephen Handy of McKendree UMC. Lunch will be provided.

Questions? Please contact Sam McGlothlin at 205.337.1607 or