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Each year we set aside a weekend to consider the intersection of our faith in Jesus Christ and the system of race which impacts each of us. The theme of this year’s workshop is Words from our Neighbors: The Witness of Black Churches.


Dr. Vincent Bacote

Professor of Theology and the Director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics at Wheaton College

Rev. Nicole Bullock

Interim Pastor at New Community (Logan Square)

Dr. Dennis Edwards

Seminary Dean and Vice President of Church Relations at North Park Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. L. Bernard Jakes

Senior Pastor of West Point Missionary Baptist Church

Rev. Deborah Penny

Accomplished Spiritual Director

Valeri Chow Tao

Pastoral Resident at New Community Covenant Church

Rep. Curtis Tarver

Illinois House of Representatives, representing District 25


Friday, September 23

6:00 pm    Church Visit.
We will visit West Point Baptist Church, a congregation which has been serving the neighborhood for over 100 years, and hear about its ministry in the community over the generations.

Saturday, September 24

10:00 am    Session One: Words on Justice and Righteousness with Dr. Vincent Bacote
The history of white and white adjacent churches in the USA is splintered between the false choice between justice and righteousness. In contrast, many Black churches have resisted this dichotomy and have held together justice and righteousness in their proclamation and practice.

11:30 am    Lunch

12:15 pm    Session Two: Words about Politics and the Pulpit with Rep. Curtis Tarver and Rev. Dr. L. Bernard Jakes
Black churches have often developed nuanced relationships with the elected officials who represent their members. How should we think about churches’ political engagement on behalf of marginalized communities?

2:00    Session Three: Words from Mission Friends with Valeri Chow Tao, Rev. Dr. Dennis Edwards, and Rev. Deborah Penny
Our denomination historically started as a group of Mission Friends- friends living out God’s mission together. As our church is rooted in the Bronzeville community and continues to grow into our identity as reconciled and reconciling people, we will hear experiences from friends who have been impacted by the Black churches on the journey between monoethnic and multiracial spaces.

Sunday, September 25

10:00 am    Worship at New Community Covenant Church with Rev. Nicole Bullock


Friday: West Point Baptist Church, 3566 S. Cottage Grove
Saturday: West Point Baptist Church, 3566 S. Cottage Grove
Sunday: Kennicott Park Fieldhouse, 4434 S. Lake Park Ave.


Registration for the Faith and Race Workshop is $50.00. Click here to register.


Who is the Faith and Race Workshop for? 
The workshop is hosted by New Community Covenant Church for its members and neighbors. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Is there childcare? 
Children are welcome to attend with their parents or caregivers but no childcare will be provided.

Will this be livestreamed? 
No. Frankly, our vibe is pretty low-tech and we think you need to be in the room to appreciate the presenters and discussions.

Why do you call this a workshop and not a conference? 
Our goal is to keep things as interactive as possible. Imagine sitting at round tables and discussing questions and ideas with new friends after each session

I’ve got a question that isn’t answered here. Who should I contact? 
Email us at