Bishop Hope Ward of the N.C. Conference of the United Methodist Church will lead a gathering titled "Sacred Conversations: Because Black Lives Matter" Wednesday at Duke Memorial UMC, 504 W. Chapel Hill St., in Durham.
The event, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the sanctuary, will feature prayers and conversation.
Speakers will include the Rev. Al Shuler, pastor of New Creation UMC in Durham, and three professors from Duke Divinity School: Mary Fulkerson, professor of theology; Willie Jennings, associate professor of theology and black church studies; and J. Kameron Carter, associate professor of systematic theology and back church studies.
"The purpose of this gathering is to be in prayer and conversation with sisters and brothers around the issue of anti-Black violence in our communities and our nation," according to a news release. "The church should be involved in discussions of race as both a prophetic voice and an instrument for change when and where needed. The goal for this holy conversation is to create paths of solidarity, integrity, honesty, respect, compassion and action
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"Sacred Conversations: Because Black Lives Matter" is one of several actions the N.C. Conference of the United Methodist Church is taking to engage in conversation about institutionalized racism.