Discussions of multiethnic churches will highlight the 11th annual Beloved Community Symposium, to be held Tuesday and Wednesday at Mercer University.
John Marson Dunaway, who founded the conference, said it is designed to work on ways for racial conciliation, and several of the sessions revolve around ideas related to having churches facilitate the issue.
“The theme is a mutual obligation approach to reconciliation,” he said.
Dunaway said the symposium already has a paired clergy program, in which ministers from mostly white churches and mostly black churches pair up for events, discussions and unity services. The network is something the community can do that goes beyond the annual symposium.
Michael O. Emerson, the Cline Professor of Sociology and co-director of the Institute for Urban Research at Rice University in Houston, Texas, is this year’s keynote speaker, delivering two addresses during this year’s symposium.
“He’s studied race and religion for years and talks about the importance of multiracial churches,” Dunaway said of Emerson.
In addition, four Middle Georgia pastors -- the Rev. Gail T. Smith of Universal Light Christian Center, the Rev. Eddie D. Smith Sr. of Macedonia Baptist Church, the Rev. Clint Jett of Stone Edge Church and the Rev. Steve Sawyer of Harvest Cathedral -- will have a panel discussion at 11 a.m. Wednesday on multiethnic churches.
All of the sessions are free and open to the public. For more information, visit https://community.mercer.edu/beloved.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.