Professor Will Willimon will be the keynote speaker for the Martin Luther King Jr Day commemoration in Ferguson Missouri. The day includes a morning gathering for students, middle school and above and an afternoon in which Willimon will lead local clergy in strategizing to promote Christian conversation about race in their churches. The day will conclude with a community-wide service at 6:30 pm in which Willimon will speak.
The day is being sponsored by two dynamic, multicultural congregations, Wellspring Church in Ferguson, Missouri and The Gathering in Clayton, Missouri in partnership with The Walker Leadership Institute at Eden Theological Seminary.
Participants will have the opportunity to discuss issues of justice in order to prepare to commit acts of justice. Will Willimon, retired Bishop and professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry at Duke Divinity School is one of America’s most influential mainline Protestantism preachers. A white Southerner who describes himself as a “recovering racist,” Willimon is a frequent collaborator of Theologian Stanley Hauerwas. His 2016 release, Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love, is regarded as an essential book for Christians called to love others, even when we see the world in very different ways. Next month, Abingdon Press will publish Willimon’s Who Lynched Willie Earle: Preaching to Confront Racism.
A series of community dialogues are being held across St. Louis in people’s homes and centers of worship in order to prepare for the public events. Dr. Willis Johnson, whose book, Holding Up Your Corner, has been hailed by Willimon as one of the most useful and challenging resources for congregations that want to hold fruitful conversations about our racial and cultural divides.
More information and registration are available at WellspringChurchSTL@gmail.com.