In connection with the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 16 this year, Bishop Ken Carter will convene a community discussion titled “From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter” on January 11 at 5 p.m. in Lakeland, Fla.
The event will be held at Concord Coffee, a Lakeland, Fla., coffee shop, and Rev. Dr. Sharon Austin, the Conference director of Connectional and Justice Ministries, will co-lead the discussion. The venue is located at 1037 South Florida Avenue, Lakeland, Fla., 33803. Click here to register.
This is the debut of an initiative called “Concord Conversations,” which may include future conversations related to community issues. It has similarities to the “Reclaiming the Common Good” initiative of the denomination’s General Board of Church and Society, according to Austin. The “Common Good” meetings and conversations have begun in North Carolina and Washington State and are focused, in part, on building just, non-violent and inclusive communities.
The event is also related to a Florida Conference pulpit exchange the Sunday prior to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. According to Bishop Carter, the exchange aims to facilitate cross-racial and/or cross-cultural experiences among Florida churches. Bishop Carter also has suggested that Martin Luther King Jr.’s sermon entitled “A Knock at Midnight” could be the basis for the sermon preached that Sunday using the text from Luke 11:5-8. The goal of the pulpit exchange is to encourage relationships and dialogue across racial and cultural lines, according to Bishop Carter.
If churches need assistance in connecting with another local church or further resources for the pulpit exchange, contact Austin at ConMin@flumc.org or 863-688-5563 ext. 103.