Subject: Dr. Chanqua Walker-Barnes, Rev. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Dr. James Forbes, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III Headline Christian Unity Gathering

Breathing New Life Into Our Nation:
Repentance, Re-Formation, Reparation

October 12-13, 2020

Yahweh said to me, ‘Mortal, can these bones live?’ I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’ Then God said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.’

Ezekiel 37:3-6, NRSV

With as such a trying year as 2020 has been, we, as people of faith, cannot forsake the assembly of ourselves in love, prayer and stirring up good trouble. As the National Council of Churches (NCC) celebrates 70 years of public witness in the fight for justice, we know that it is time for us to repent, to re-form, and work to repair the damages caused in our world.

Join us virtually, October 12-13 for our annual Christian Unity Gathering. We have prepared a power-packed and Spirit-filled two-day agenda. Dr. James Forbes will be opening our time together and keynote speakers include:

Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes is a clinical psychologist, public theologian, and ecumenical minister whose work focuses upon healing the legacies of racial and gender oppression. A professor of practical theology at Mercer University, Dr. Chanequa is the author of I Bring the Voices of My People: A Womanist Vision for Racial Reconciliation, Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength, as well as nearly two dozen journal articles and book chapters in theology and psychology.

Rev. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a celebrated spiritual writer and sought-after speaker. He is the author of Revolution of Values: Reclaiming Public Faith for the Common Good and Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion, among many other books. A native of North Carolina, he is a graduate of Eastern University and Duke Divinity School. He lives with his family at the Rutba House, a Christian community and house of hospitality, in Durham, North Carolina, where he directs School for Conversion.

There will be two panel discussions; “Protests, Policies, Polls and the Pandemic” and “Reparations: Looking Back-Looking Forward” featuring an ecumenical and diverse group of faith leaders, esteemed professors and justice advocates. As we end our time through worship, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III will bring the Gospel message, and the service will also include a memorial for lives lost to COVID-19.

As racial injustices plague the country, the novel coronavirus pandemic rages nearly unchecked, and an economic crisis plunges millions into poverty, we will explore the ways to move back from the brink, by faith, to a place of justice, restored hope and healing. We recognize that the sin of racism has left our nation unable to breathe unencumbered and in desperate need of repentance, re-formation and reparation.

We extend to you this invitation to partner with God and us in breathing new life into our nation – a nation struggling to recover from the sins of the past and chart a healthier, more just way forward.
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