Christ Church, Springfield, has invited ten local preachers to address the link between the Christian tradition and the work of social justice. The sermon series, which is part of a weekly morning prayer service, will begin this coming Sunday, August 9, at 9 a.m. The series continues on select Sunday mornings through November 22.
The idea for the series came from a group that met weekly to discuss shared readings on systemic racism and the history of racial inequality. “As we considered ways of furthering our learning,” said the Rev. Rick Incorvati, a deacon at Christ Church, “the group members were drawn to the possibility of learning from leaders that we have right here in our community.”
In addition to sermons by prominent local clergy, the series will include contributions from Springfield Mayor Warren Copeland, City Commissioner Rob Rue, and Wilberforce University President Elfred Pinkard. The full schedule encompasses ten Sundays over a three-month period.
- August 9: Pastor Eli Williams, Urban Light Ministries
- August 23: Pastor Adam Banks, First Baptist Church
- September 6: Pastor Heather Husted, Covenant United Methodist Church
- September 13: Springfield Mayor Warren Copeland
- September 20: Rev. Dr. Peggy Turner, Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church
- October 4: Pastor Cynthia Atwater, High St. United Methodist Church
- October 18: Pastor Ernest Brown, St. John Missionary Baptist Church
- November 1: City Commissioner Rob Rue
- November 15: President Elfred Pinkard, Wilberforce University
- November 22: Pastor Carl Ruby, Central Christian Church
In the course of its planning, the study group at Christ Church adopted a short passage of scripture to guide its ongoing work: “Seek justice, correct oppression” (Isaiah 1:17b). The church leadership agreed to put those words on a banner outside the building to serve as a reminder of its social justice obligations, and the series organizers invited the guest preachers to use the passage as a touchstone for their own messages.
The organizers hope to have brought together a range of perspectives on the challenge to religious communities in times when recent events, most prominently the murder of George Floyd, are bringing a new awareness and urgency to the problem of racial injustice.
“Thanks to the generosity of the invited preachers, we have a deeply rewarding series in the works,” Incorvati said, “and we are pleased that the live streaming of our services will make these timely and important messages more widely available.”
Services at Christ Church are currently online in order to maintain social distancing and are publicly available on the church’s Facebook page. The live streaming begins at 9 a.m. on Sundays, and services can also be viewed in their entirety at any point after the live event.
Founded in 1834 and moving to its current location (409 E. High St.) in 1874, Christ Episcopal Church has devoted much of its energy to community outreach. Christ Church was one of the nine congregations that organized the Becoming Beloved Community in Springfield speaker series in 2019, an event that addressed the dynamics of racism and the history of racial injustice in local history.
For more information, contact Deacon Rick Incorvati by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 937.360.5602.
The Rev. Rick Incovati is a deacon serving at Christ Church Springfield. Connect with him at email@example.com.
In the course of its planning, the systemic racism study group at Christ Church adopted a short passage of scripture to guide its ongoing work: “Seek justice, correct oppression” (Isaiah 1:17b). The church leadership agreed to put those words on a banner outside the building to serve as a reminder of its social justice obligations.