How Did We Get Here? Exploring the Roots of Our Division
The one thing Americans can agree on this year is that tensions are high. Every other topic up for discussion? They seem to bring radically different perspectives and division. Even conversations around health and safety are deemed political these days.
Americans have long had a team mentality when it comes to politics, and the additional stressors in 2020 of a global pandemic, racial injustices, and cultural differences have brought the country to a crisis point. In many communities, pastors are on the frontlines of these debates and looked to for insight and hope.
How did we arrive to this point of tribalism and division? What lessons from 2020 can help pastors navigate these conversations between the people in their churches? How do pastors teach in a world of constantly changing headlines? How do churches provide hope – and not more division – to their communities?
Join our panel of pastors and experts as we untangle what brought us to this boiling point and we discuss what is needed to move forward.
LINKS & RESOURCES
Rev. Lisa Yebuah
Rev. Lisa Yebuah currently serves as the Lead Pastor of the Southeast Raleigh Table, an United Methodist worshipping community in Raleigh, North Carolina. She’s a ’99 graduate of Wofford College and an ’04 graduate of Duke University Divinity School.
What fuels her life in ministry is seeing people become their best selves, and in turn, seeing the world become a better and more just place. Most would describe Lisa as a glutton for joy and a lover of people. She’s a self-professed party-starter, people-watcher, biscuit-eating CrossFitter, and admits to having a slight obsession with 90’s R&B and the television show, “The Office.”
Dr. Diana Butler Bass
AUTHOR, SPEAKER, AND INDEPENDENT SCHOLAR
Diana Butler Bass, Ph.D., is an award-winning author, popular speaker, inspiring preacher, and one of America’s most trusted commentators on religion and contemporary spirituality.
She holds a doctorate in religious studies from Duke University and is the author of ten books including the best-selling Christianity After Religion and her most recent Grateful. Her bylines include The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN.com, Atlantic.com, USA Today, Huffington Post, The Christian Century, and Sojourners. She has commented on religion, politics, and culture in the media widely including on CBS, CNN, PBS, NPR, CBC, FOX, Sirius XM, TIME, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and in multiple global news outlets. In the 1990s, she wrote a weekly column on religion and culture for the Santa Barbara News-Press, which was distributed nationally by The New York Times Syndicate.
Her work has received two Wilbur Awards for best nonfiction book of the year, awards from Religion News Association for individual commentary and for Book of the Year, Nautilus Awards Silver and Gold medals, the Illumination Book Award Silver medal, Books for a Better Life Award, the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize for Church History, multiple nominations for the Library of Virginia Literary Awards, and Publishers Weekly’s Best Religion Book of the Year.
She and her husband live in Alexandria, Virginia.
Dr. Robert P. Jones
AUTHOR AND CEO OF PRRI (PUBLIC RELIGION RESEARCH INSTITUTE)
Robert P. Jones is the CEO and Founder of PRRI and a leading scholar and commentator on religion, culture, and politics. He is the author of White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity, and The End of White Christian America, which won the 2019 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Jones writes regularly on politics, culture, and religion for The Atlantic online, NBC Think, and other outlets. He is frequently featured in major national media, such as CNN, MSNBC, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and others.
Jones serves on the national program committee for the American Academy of Religion and is a past member of the editorial boards for the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and Politics and Religion, a journal of the American Political Science Association. He holds a Ph.D. in religion from Emory University, an M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a B.S. in computing science and mathematics from Mississippi College. Jones was selected by Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion as Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 2013, and by Mississippi College’s Mathematics Department as Alumnus of the Year in 2016.
Before founding PRRI, Jones worked as a consultant and senior research fellow at several think tanks in Washington, D.C., and was an assistant professor of religious studies at Missouri State University.
Courage and Compassion:
Preaching a Prophetic Message
This year’s headlines and election season have been more divisive than most can remember. But like the ancient prophets, we must defend the powerless: “Hate evil, love good, and establish justice at the city gate” (Amos 5:15 CEB). Our panel of preachers will inspire your courage as you deliver hope during this unequaled year.
Holding Our Communities Together
Pastors are trained to build community across many different demographics, but this year has challenged even the most experienced leader. How do we hold space for multiple viewpoints without holding space for harm? How do we hold each other accountable without becoming enemies?
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