Tom Foster, PhD., Professor of Imaging Sciences at the U of R, took part in an Eyewitness Palestine delegation in 2018 and will convey his experiences of and responses to the Israeli occupation.
Tom Ward, Chair of Guatemala Partners of Gates Presbyterian Church, will share how the Guatemalan Partners Group has helped to rehabilitate indigenous villages affected by historic genocide through the group’s long-term relationship and involvement.
Davis Craig, Spiritus Operations Manager, Maureen Marlow, Director of the Spiritus Christi Mental Health Center, and Don Menges, Facilitator for the Spiritus Christi Anti Racism Coalition, will share information about the many Spiritus ministries and more specifically about their impressive work in the fields of mental health and racism.
Through Measuring Mission, Rev. Dr. James Evinger, retired Presbyterian minister and chaplain in mental health services, will share what is being discovered – a sobering need for missionally-oriented options which more authentically serve God’s people.
David Lee relates how Heschel’s powerful writings on “Religion and Race” (1963) and “The Meaning of This War” (1944) express spiritual foundations for activism against injustice. Re-centering from self to God presents a challenge: “In a democratic society, some are guilty but all are responsible.”
David Lee discusses how Heschel’s Jewish foundations can strengthen Christian understanding and faith: God lives within every human being, within creation, and within history. Religion that has become “irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid” can be reinvigorated by realization of “the momentous reality of God.”
The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime New York Times bestseller about one man’s coming- of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.
Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.
You are welcome to come join the group whether you’ve read the book or not – or if you want to know more about it. Some folks bring lunch. There are usually cookies.
David Lee will describe Abraham Joshua Heschel’s (1907-1972) practice of Jewish piety in prayer and actions, moving the rabbi to speak against racism and unjust war. For him, actions of individuals and communities matter: to fulfill purposes of justice and love, God needs a humanity aware of the sacredness of being.
Moving BEYOND “White Fragility”: Honest and Effective Conversations About Race with Nanette D. Massey
Sponsored by Metro Justice
$10 at the door
The book White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo has been on the lists and lips of readers all over the country. DiAngelo coined the phrase "white fragility" to describe many white people's insistence that conversations about race be comfortable and non-threatening before they're able to fully participate.
Some don't understand the idea at all. Others read the book and report they're just left with an ambivalent feeling of helplessness about their role in the future of race relations.
African American writer Nanette D. Massey of Buffalo believes we are way beyond holding hands when it comes to talking about race and the timing of this book couldn't be better. Massey will present her take on its ideas in very practical terms. The goal is to leave audiences, black and white, with self-clarity and the ability to participate in conversations within their own personal spheres of influence with genuine confidence, humor, and humility. Whether you're new to this kind of forum or you "marched in the sixties", you're promised an afternoon of candor and revelation
The Toy Library, a part of the Monroe County Library System, is a 2,500 square foot playroom with toys that can be played with on site or borrowed with a library card. Sarah Fitts-Romig, who grew up in this church, has been developing materials and programs there for five years. She will share her experience with us in pictures and words.
Roundtable Book Group - WHITE FRAGILITY: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism. By Robin DiAngelo
The Roundtable Book Group will meet on Thursday, May 16 at 12:30 PM in the church library. The book chosen is:
WHITE FRAGILITY: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism. By Robin DiAngelo
Groundbreaking book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when discussing racism that serve to protect their positions and maintain racial inequality
Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what can be done to engage more constructively.
Jennifer Faringer, Director of DePaul’s National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-Rochester Area, will bring us up to date on the opioid epidemic, which is so much in the news.
Sunday Forum - Healthy, Unhealthy, and Dangerous Relationships: A Conversation on How to Offer Support
This presentation by the Willow Domestic Violence Center will explore the differences between healthy, unhealthy, and dangerous relationships, to assist in helping friends, family members, or co-workers in abusive relationships.
On Thursday, April 25, we will gather in the church library to discuss our current book. “Educated,” a memoir by Tara Westover.
Here’s what Goodreads has to say:
Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag". In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard.
Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes and the will to change it.
You can read more about the book here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35133922-educated?ac=1&from_search=true
Feel free to come and discuss the book whether you’ve finished it or not. (Yes. Homemade cookies are often available – or Girl Scout cookies. You can bring your lunch, too.)
Speaker Sister Barbara Moore is a member of Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, has served as Director of Women and Gender Studies at Colgate Rochester, Director of the Interfaith Jail Ministry, and coordinated women’s and health issues in the office of Rep. Louise Slaughter, as well as teaching, ministering a city parish, and preaching. Her passion is researching sermons in an ecumenical setting. She’ll be discussing how parables are both ancient and very contemporary, simple and complex.
Speaker Anne Meredith is a Professor in the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester. Her specialty is in the New Testament and the history and literature of early Christianity. She’ll be presenting “Storytelling and Human Rights.” Drawing on the work of the philosopher Richard Rorty, she’ll discuss how Christians can re-claim our tradition of storytelling to further the cause of human rights.
Speaker Gail Ricciuti, Associate Professor of Homiletics at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (retired) and former co-pastor of the Downtown Church along with her husband Anthony, will present “Write Your Own Bible...” Someone has said that the world wants stories– not one big one, but many small ones– narratives rooted in personal experience, stories in which we recognize our own lives. This should present no problem to Christians, followers of a man who spent most of his life telling stories! Together, we’ll look at the practice of midrash and how our own lives converse with the divine Story through stories of their own.
Speaker Brian Buzby, Community Partnerships, Ampion, will provide an introduction to solar energy and an inside look at how legislation and renewable energy programs are changing the way we buy electricity. Solar electricity is cheaper and now more accessible, and you'll have an opportunity to learn how to make an impact.
Speaker Abigail McHugh-Grifa, Ph.D., Interim Executive Director, Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC), will help us learn how the Sustainable Homes Rochester program can help you reduce or eliminate fossil fuels from your home. There is a heat pump for every application. Find out which one is right for you!
Speaker Neely Kelley is New York State Senior Organizer for Mothers Out Front. In NYS, wind
energy development is key to meeting the state's 2030 and 2050 climate goals, and offers
unrivaled economic development opportunities for rural upstate New York farming
communities. Join us to learn more about NYS wind energy and its potential, opposition to
wind, and what you can do to support land-based wind energy in upstate NY.
Speaker Callie Babbitt, Ph.D., author and Associate Professor at RIT, will present an overview of
the growing food waste challenge and current research at RIT seeking sustainable solutions,
including innovative technologies, business models, new policy, and consumer engagement.
Callie will be assisted by several of her RIT students.
The chosen book is Michelle Obama’s memoir, “Becoming.”
All are welcome to join the discussion whether you’ve finished or not, or even if you haven’t read it.
Here’s a review:
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.
Speakers: Matthew Flanigan, Executive Director, Flower City Habitat for Humanity, and DPC’s own Kiesha Betts, soon-to-be proud Habitat Homeowner. Learn about Habitat’s expanding role in building affordable housing, and about Keisha’s personal experiences in becoming a home-owner.
Speakers: Evan Dawson, Host, and Megan Mack, Producer of WXXI Connections. Megan and Evan explore a myriad of issues in our community that matter to us. They will talk about how they put a program together, as well as their impressions of the “state of our region.”
Speaker: Loriane Ngarambe, Community Engagement Specialist, RMAPI (RochesterMonroe Anti-Poverty Initiative). We will learn about RMAPI’s Guiding Principles and the Collective Impact model being utilized to create system-wide changes to overcoming poverty in our community.
Robert Carlisle, retired school psychologist and coordinator of the Greater Rochester ADD
Association support group for adults, will explore the condition in children and adults and its
effects upon schooling, work, families, and getting by in life.
Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on foreign affairs. The eight week program model involves a Great Decisions briefing book and DVD presentations followed by discussions. Downtown Presbyterian Church has been offering this program for many years, and discussions are always spirited and informative.
$25 for briefing book. Light supper available for $10 each week.
TO SIGN UP, please respond to Mary Rees at firstname.lastname@example.org
THIS YEAR'S TOPICS
Nationalism in Europe
Trade with China
US and Mexico
State of Diplomacy
Roundtable Book Group will meet Thursday, January 17 at 12:30PM in the church library. Our book discussion will be Kim Edwards “The Lake of Dreams.” Come join us if you’ve read the book or not.
Imbued with all the lyricism, compassion, and suspense of her bestselling novel, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards’s The Lake of Dreams is a powerful family drama and an unforgettable story of love lost and found.