Faith and Race Lent Small Group Guide and Sermon Series

This six-week series utilizes content from Season 3 of the Faith and Race podcast. It is for congregations that have been, or are currently, listening to the podcast. The series offers a biblically based foundation from which to proclaim God’s desire for Black and White United Methodists, and all people of faith, to participate in the creation of the Beloved Community.
Through the prophetic witness of five historically Black United Methodist churches in Missouri, participants will receive a deeper understanding of how past and present-day trauma and discrimination can impact purpose and mission. Hear how God has prompted each church to remake hostility-filled communities into those where justice and love reign true.
The series has been designed for preaching and teaching during the season of Lent. Emphasis on self-examination, repentance and reconciliation pair with core Lenten themes. However, the subject matter is flexible enough, and important enough, to be preached throughout the Christian calendar year – excluding Easter, Advent and Christmas.
This resource is intended for you to use and adapt as appropriate for your ministry context: Use it for personal study, in a small group setting or as a sermon series. This planner includes weekly message themes, titles, texts and teaching points, kids’ message starters, prayers, image suggestions and small group discussion starters.
The Saints Before Us title draws on Hebrews 12, and its description of the cloud of witnesses, and Ephesians 4 with its directive to equip saints for the work of ministry. The phrase “saints before us” invites participants to honor both the legacy and work of the saints that came before us and an invitation to today’s “saints” to carry forward that legacy.

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