JUSTICE AND compassion committee

The St. Paul’s Justice and Compassion Committee is on a journey to foster a Beloved Community where people of all races and ethnic backgrounds are welcome. 

We invite others to join the conversation as we learn and grow together. 

Upcoming events:

Spring 2018 and Beyond

Tuesday, April 24

7:00 p.m. in the Octagon

Jericho Road class participants and all interested in racial justice ministries are invited to meet Tuesday, April 24, starting at 7:00 p.m. in the Octagon. We will hear from those who attended the Rally2End Racism put on by the National Council of Churches on April 4, and some of our Memphis Sojourners will share more about their recent trip. We will then brainstorm about St. Paul's engagement in racial justice ministries going forward.

Beloved community at St. paul's

The Beloved Community is a sub-committee of the Justice and Compassion Team. We bear a Christian witness of love as we work to identify and dismantle racism. Beloved Community formed following a Spring 2016 Supper and Study Class, "Exploring Race," and has since hosted a number of events intended to be educational and faith-forming.

Some of our previous events and programs have included:

April 3 & 4: Rally2End Racism

A group from St. Paul’s made posters and attended the National Council of Churches A.C.T. Rally (a.k.a. Rally2End Racism) in Washington, D.C., marking the continued struggle toward racial justice. A.C.T. stands for Awaken, Confront, and Transform. The National Council of Churches challenges faith communities and individuals to join in truth-telling conversations leading to actions that right wrongs, and thereby, with God’s grace, bringing healing and wholeness to all people and unity to the nation. Learn more: rally2endracism.org

Spring 2018: Jericho Road Lenten Study

During the 6-week Lenten Season we offered "The Jericho Road" adult education class led by Rev. Claire Matheny. In the last speech he gave to striking city sanitation workers in Memphis on the day before he was assassinated, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. referenced the Jericho Road, a treacherous 17-mile path that served as the site for the parable of the Good Samaritan. This class featured weekly Scripture and writings from Dr. King that challenged us to examine work on the intersections of racial and economic justice, then and now. The study guide, developed by the UMC Baltimore-Washington Conference, is available for individual use; download it at http://www.bwcumc.org/resources/the-jericho-road-devotional/

April 3-7, 2018: Memphis Sojourn

Clergy and friends from throughout the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church traveled to Memphis, TN on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Through prayer, visits to museums and historic sites, and dynamic speakers, sojourners considered the legacy of Dr. King's work at the intersection of racial and economic justice, and the work still before us. http://www.bwcumc.org/event/1042457-2018-04-03-mlk50-memphis-sojourn/

Wednesday, February 28, 2018: Newseum Trip

St. Paul’s field trip to see the exhibit “1968: Civil Rights at 50” at the Newseum in downtown Washington, D.C., with visual and print artifacts exploring major cultural and political events of 1968, from the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy to the Vietnam era anti-war protests, the Mexico City Olympics, and the Memphis Sanitation Workers' strike, among others. http://www.newseum.org/exhibits/current/civil-rights-at-50/

Saturdays in February, 2018: History in the Parks

Montgomery County Parks recognize Black History Month at Josiah Henson Park (11420 Old Georgetown Road in North Bethesda MD) and Woodlawn Manor Park (16501 Norwood Road in Sandy Spring, MD). Free tours and activities available each Saturday. The Henson Park is part of the National Park Service “National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom” program, and is the former plantation property where Rev. Josiah Henson was enslaved before he escaped to freedom and wrote an influential 1849 autobiography The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave… www.HistoryInTheParks.org

Monday, January 15, 2018: King: A Filmed Record....

FREE annual community screening of the epic documentary at the AFI Silver Theatre, downtown Silver Spring

King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis

This acclaimed documentary follows Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and is narrated by a host of luminary artists and activities chronicling King's life, work, and untimely death.

Wednesday, December 6: Still Wednesday

7:00 p.m. in St. Paul’s Sanctuary

Advent Reflections: Race and Healing. Special guest leaders invited reflection on the need for peace and justice in our hearts and communities during this weekly candlelight time of prayer and meditation.

Sunday, November 5, 2017: Emancipation Day Celebration at Josiah Henson Park

This park on Old Georgetown Road, named for a local former slave and minister who wrote about his ordeals, is open only a few days each year. This celebration featured St. Paul's member Virginia Bickford as a park docent.

Sunday, October 15, 2017: Ministry and Race Outreach Potluck.

Members from a number of Montgomery County faith organizations gathered at St. Paul's to engage in discussion and share ideas about moving forward together towards a more just society.

Saturday, September 16, 2017: An Essential Conversation on Race

Facilitator Milagros Phillips led a discussion on race literacy and history. The group of 26 considered how personal experiences and cultural history shape our current understanding and spiritual growth. 

June 24, 2017: Tour of the Underground Railroad Trail at Woodlawn Park

A guided walking tour explored how enslaved people eluded trackers and gained their freedom. 

May 2017: Community Table 

Held at Impact! Silver Spring's Annual Meeting. 

Lenten Season 2017

Six-week guided discussion during Lent 2017 of Drew Hart's recent book, 

Trouble I've Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism. 

January 2017: "From Pain to Progress: Spirituals and Sacred Songs for the Journey" 

This concert by pianist Marvin Mills and vocalist Marlissa Hudson featured music from the African-American tradition, followed by a time for discussion moderated by Michael McCurry of Wesley Theological Seminary.

Movies that Move Us events, 2016-2017. 

We gather quarterly to view relevant films, followed by a discussion on race afterwards led by experienced facilitator Ernest Crosby. Recent films include Hidden Figures, Selma, and Watermelon Man.