Dear FPC Friends,
Mark 12:31: The two greatest commands, Jesus tells us, are “to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.”
Since Session’s approval for the creation of the Mark 12:31 Team in 2021, the team’s purpose has been to explore ways our church family might live out more fully this second great commandment. Our community and world are comprised of a diverse mix of people of different races, religions and ethnicities. We seek to understand and change thoughts, words and actions in our society which foster misconceptions and prejudice about different people and privilege some groups over others unjustly. This church ministry grew out of the exploration of the book titled Waking Up White by Debbie Irving led by Pastors Kerry and Carter years ago.
So far, the team has focused its work around awareness and celebration of diversity in our community and world. The Spiritual Formation Committee, through book readings and church library tours, has helped our Sunday School children and youth groups learn more about diversity. All church committees have been invited to enter into conversations about how the committees’ missions and activities align with the spirit of Mark 12:31.
During 2022, the team, in conjunction with the Forum Class steering committee, helped to coordinate Forum Classes featuring speakers from The Pottstown Chapter of the NAACP, the Pottstown Police Force, the Pottstown YWCA, and Bethany Christian Services. FPC Church member Joe Sun presented two engaging sessions on Implicit Bias. The class also learned about the status of immigration legal issues from an immigration attorney.
The Mark 12 Team visited and interviewed some of the culturally diverse food businesses along High Street in Pottstown which offer a wide variety of foods. We then shared our information about the businesses with the church here in the Celtic Cross.
Our team has sponsored book discussions open to all church members and friends on the books: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, The Black Friend by Frederick Joseph, The Night Watchman by Louise Endrich and When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka.
Next month, on July 13 at 7PM, our team will sponsor a short video presentation and discussion of an episode of the long-running TV comedy series Black-ish. The episode is titled Juneteenth. The presentation will be held at the church, and everyone is welcome.
Membership on the Mark 12:31 Team is open to all. If you are interested, reach out to Kurt Holloway or Marie Kayati.
Grace and peace,