A summer webinar series is bringing Candler faculty, alumni, and students together to discuss a variety of issues surrounding racial justice work. Moderated by Chrystal Golden 20T and presented by The Candler Foundry, Candler’s new initiative in public theological education, “Candler in Conversation” began June 24 and will run through September 2. Episodes can be watched live on The Candler Foundry Facebook page, where they will also be archived for viewing. A list of past and upcoming episodes is below:
Episode 1: “What does protesting have to do with our faith?”
Aired June 24.
Panelists: Leah Gunning Francis 01T, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Christian Theological Seminary; Kyle Lambelet, postdoctoral fellow at Candler School of Theology; Darrin Sims, Jr., third-year MDiv student and Candler Coordinating Council co-chair for Diversity and Inclusion
The entire world seems to be responding to the multiple incidents of racial violence against Black men and women that have happened over the last few months. From demonstrations happening in all 50 states in the US to acts of solidarity happening in other countries, signs have been made and voices have been lifted to decry the dehumanization of Black bodies.
Episode 2: “What do I say to my white congregation?”
Aired July 8.
Panelists: Susannah Davis 95T, senior minister at Atlanta’s Kirkwood United Church of Christ; Will Dyer 08T, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Augusta, Georgia; Jenelle Holmes 15T, organizing pastor at Atlanta’s Ormewood Church; and Melanie Vaughn-West 01T, pastor for worship, pastoral care and administration at Decatur’s Oakhurst Baptist Church
The work of becoming actively anti-racist often starts in one’s own heart, home, and church. From congregations newer to the fight for racial justice to those that have been engaged in it for a much longer time, current events suggest that there’s still so much more to learn and put into practice.
Episode 3: “What is the role of lament in public witness?”
Wednesday, July 22, 12 p.m. EDT
Panelists: Ryan Bonfiglio, assistant professor in the practice of Old Testament and director of The Candler Foundry; Tori Butler 19T, lead pastor of Good Hope Union United Methodist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland; Don Saliers, theologian-in-residence at Candler School of Theology
Throughout the Bible, there are many examples of individuals as well as entire communities crying out to God in need of divine intervention. The practice of lament in the present day seems to be a more private affair, but there is power in using lament as part of one’s public witness.