Dangerous Memory: An Anti-racist Political Theology of the Cross,  Rev. Dr. Roger Gench

Sunday, May 16 immediately following worship via Zoom

“Where do we go from here, Lord?” In the aftermath of the trial of the George Floyd murder, what is our role, as Christians, to bring forth healing, justice, and hope?

Please join us for this timely nurture led by Rev. Dr. Roger Gench.  Roger J. Gench served as the Senior Pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC from 2002–2019. He also was a leader in the Washington Interfaith Network.  He is currently Theologian in Residence at Second Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia, and an adjunct faculty member at Union Presbyterian Seminary (Richmond, Virginia). He is the author of Theology from the Trenches: Reflections on Urban Ministry (2014) and The Cross Examen: A Spirituality for Activists.

We are living in a kairos moment of racial reckoning in this country, a moment that finds us grappling with the meaning and consequences of a painful history of racism and slavery. For Christians, a kairos moment is an “opportune” moment when the future God has in mind for us struggles toward realization now, demanding decisive action on our parts. The white church cannot be silent at such a moment. It cannot emerge on the other side of it unchanged.  It must engage the reality of racism with eyes wide open to painful memories that must be fully exposed. Dangerous memories must be awakened, for kairos moments reveal things that have been hidden.

The dangerous memory of the crucified and risen Jesus confronts the “lie” of racism, past and present. The cross and resurrection disrupt our forgetfulness about the lie and awaken memory of our complicity in the reality of racism and its ongoing diminishment of the lives of racially-minoritized people. Indeed, the dangerous memory embodied in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus creates tension that evokes a relational and agitational community of resistance to racist ideas and policies.