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Sophia had held book discussions on White Fragility, How to Be an Anti-Racist and Caste. Each February our Sunday Liturgies celebrate Black History Month (see our What Are our Liturgies Like? page). We have had multiple Social Justice Presentations helping to educate us concerns within the BIPOC communities and we have donated to the same. It is very important for us as a majority white community to stay informed and to take action.

At a recent FCM Prayer Service held on February 8, 2024, our pastor led prayers in honor of Black History Month.

This is an example of one of the many topics that we have covered during our many Social Justice Presentations focused on Antiracism.

Topic: The Crown Act – A Personal Perspective

Presenter: Esther Dillard

Author of “Embracing My Natural Black Hair” (available on Amazon). 

Esther Dillard is an anchor & reporter for BIN – Black Information Network. She also hosts a podcast “The Color Between the Lines” where she interviews authors, producers and writers of color. Our presenter’s background includes her work with various TV outlets where she experienced the challenges of how to “wear” her hair on camera.

Time: Nov 16, 2023 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)  Here is the link to the presentation.

Black History Month

Beginning in 2021 we began celebrating Black History Month at each liturgy during the month of February to honor Black History.

Here are two of the many people we have highlighted.

During Black History Month, Sophia community continues to engage in learning more about religions, religious practices and spirituality within the Black community.  While our focus has been on those practicing Christianity, we also recognize there is an ever-present, and now growing change among young Black people in the U.S.

While Christianity is the major religion among person’s identifying as “Black,” a number of studies have shown that 20%-30% of people who identify as young & Black say they either have never attended church, or do not do so any longer and/or are not even sure about what they believe spiritually. Some of these young Black people might be described as “spiritual seekers” – others as “spiritual but not religious” – but no matter what label we might try to give them, there is one commonality – and that is that these are young BLACK people – and, as we are well aware of – theirs is also a journey directly connected to the effects of racism in the U.S.

Music artist, songwriter, entrepreneur, CEO of Ill Entertainment LLC, Podcaster, racial justice advocate, community supporter, recipient of Clarity Foundation Honor, invited member of the NORWESCAP Board …Scott Paul is this and so much more! Check him out on IG & FB @scottpaulii. We are fortunate to have with us Scott Paul who will share with us his thoughts and reflections in his spiritual journey as a young man of color.

We are also grateful to have with us Lynette Sheard to sing our closing song Imagine. Lynette is a multi-talented and versatile vocalist with a fiveoctave range and perfect pitch. She acts, produces, directs and is vocal coach. Her performances have been acknowledged in numerous publications including, The NY Times, Broadway World, The Record, Hot House, The Patch and The Chronicle. The Star Ledger proclaimed that, “Her voice reaches deep into one’s soul and finds a soft spot”.