Holding Up Your Corner: Talking About Race in Your Community

Book centered on leaders talking with communities and congregations available now
By: Holding Up Your Corner
Holding Up Your Corner
Holding Up Your Corner
ST. LOUIS - Jan. 3, 2017 - PRLog -- "There is nothing simple about any of this. This work is messy. It's potentially dangerous. It may frustrate your superiors. It may offend or alienate your followers. It will require that you reallocate time, energy, and resources toward overlooked ministry opportunities. It will require courage as you're pushed outside of a comfort zone you didn't even know existed." — excerpt from Holding Up Your Corner: Talking About Race in Your Community by F. Willis Johnson

Available January 3, 2017 from Abingdon Press, Holding Up Your Corner: Talking About Race in Your Community (http://www.abingdonpress.com/holdingupyourcorner), written by Pastor F. Willis Johnson, equips pastors, community leaders and others to respond with confidence when crises occur, lower their own inhibitions about addressing this topic, and reclaim their authority as prophetic witnesses and leaders in order to transform their communities. Cost of the 113-page paperback book is $15.99 and available online from a multitude of outlets, including Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Holding-Up-Your-Corner-Community/d...). A participant's guide as well as a supporting DVD are also available.

This book provides practical, foundational guidance, showing pastors and other leaders how to live into their calling to address injustice, and how to lead others to do the same. Holding Up Your Corner prompts readers to observe, identify and name the complex causes of violence and hatred in the reader's particular community, including racial prejudice, entrenched poverty and exploitation, segregation, the loss of local education and employment, the ravages of addiction, and so on.

"I wrote Holding Up Your Corner, because like so many I had questions and I was being questioned by others. I was challenged by not only what was happening in Ferguson, but by the events happening across the country," said Pastor F. Willis Johnson, author of Holding Up Your Corner. "As a faith practitioner, the reality of our times collided with the standard and values of our faith and what it means to reconcile or rediscover your faith principles in light of the injustice, the intolerance and the indifference that exists in our communities.

Johnson continued, "So I wrote the book to help others like me, to help myself and others who were struggling to figure out what would be a faith-inspired, faith-infused response to what seems to be a universal practice of inhumanity, of inhumanness and injustice in our communities."

Pastor Johnson of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, Missouri, walks faith and community leaders through a self-directed process of determining what role to play in the leader's particular location.

Readers will learn to use testimony and other narrative devices, proclamation, guided group conversations, and other tactics in order to achieve the following:

• Open eyes to the realities in the reader's community—where God's reign/kingdom is not yet overcoming selfishness, injustice, inequality, or the forces of evil.
• Own the calling and responsibility we have as Christians, and learn how to advocate hope for God's kingdom in the reader's community.
• Organize interventions and activate mission teams to address the specific injustices in the reader's community.

What Does 'Holding Up Your Corner' Mean?

The phrase 'holding up your corner' is derived from a biblical story (Mark 2: 1 – 5) about four people who take action in order to help another person—literally delivering that person to Christ. For us, 'holding up your corner' has meaning in two aspects of our lives today:

First, it refers to our physical and social locations, the places where we live and work, and the communities of which we're a part. When we feel empowered to speak out about the injustice or inequity in our community, we are holding up our corner.

Second, the phrase refers to our actions, the ways we step up to meet a particular problem of injustice or inequity, and proactively do something about it.

Additional resources

Holding Up Your Corner: Talking About Race in Your Community comes with additional resources that include a DVD (http://www.abingdonpress.com/product/9781501837616#.WGVYk...) and a participant book (http://www.abingdonpress.com/product/9781501837623#.WGVYNbYrJ-U).

"Holding Up Your Corner is a passionate, fast-paced, wonderfully practical book. F. Willis Johnson has a gift for Christian communication and he pours all of his gifts and rich pastoral experience into a book that encourages his fellow Christians to acknowledge, affirm, and act in the face of the racism that grips many of us. He displays deliberative theology in the service of instigating talk and action on behalf of racial justice, all in the service of a God who graciously enlists us to work with God to defeat evil. I guarantee that after reading Willis Johnson you will want to work from your corner to become part of God's work in the world." --Will Willimon, UM Bishop, retired, Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School.

About the Author

F. Willis Johnson currently leads Wellspring Church (http://www.wellspringchurchstl.org/) in Ferguson, MO, as senior minister, where thousands have been influenced by his prophetic, faith-filled reflections and strategies on social justice and racial understanding. He counsels bishops, general board agencies, conferences and local churches across the country. He has created the offshoot Center for Social Empowerment (http://www.thecenterforsocialempowerment.com/) organization as a result of his time in Ferguson. He has also served in professional ministry in Indiana and North Carolina for the last 15 years. Johnson's writing and lecturing credits range from TIME Magazine, National Public Radio, universities and seminaries, to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History Culture. He is also Vosburgh Visiting Professor of Ministry and Social Engagement at Drew Theological School.



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