Juneteenth Weekend of Learning
The GROW team of the Anti-Racism and Equity Task Force is offering a weekend of learning for all ages on Saturday, June 19.

What is Juneteenth? Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day or Jubilee Day, is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

In January 1963, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing those who were enslaved, but it took Union soldiers more than two years to reach the most remote region of the Confederacy with this news. On June 19, 1865, the news reached Texas that the war had ended and enslaved men, women and children were now free.

Join one of the following learning opportunities – for various ages -- to commemorate this historic event and to further our understanding of structural racism. As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. We increase the beloved community when we learn more about the injustices that our Black brothers and sisters face daily.

The movie discussions below, for adults and youth, will be based on the PC(USA)’s “Engaging Matthew 25 through Film” Study Guide on Dismantling Structural Racism, one of three Matthew 25 focus areas to which our church is committed. The children’s activities have been thoughtfully curated by librarian and First Pres member Judy Beinlich.
For Adults – Watch the movie 12 Years a Slave on your own, then join a discussion group on Saturday, June 19. Discussion groups will be facilitated by church members and held in various places – some in homes, some in backyards, etc. Various times and places will be offered. Watch this space for more details and information on how to sign up. The movie is rated R.
For Youth – For tweens and teens, join Rev. Kara Smith-Laubenstein Saturday evening June 19 in her backyard for a discussion of the movie, “The Hate U Give” (rated PG-13). Watch the movie in advance, or watch it with Rev. Kara at her home on Saturday. June 12 at 7 p.m. in her backyard. Insect repellent and hand sanitizer provided.
For Children and Families – Read the book, Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper. Various hands-on children and family enrichment activities, including talking points for discussions, will be provided in a Family Goody Bag! A limited number of books will be available at the church for advance purchase (first-come, first-served) or you may purchase the book on your own!