What we provide:

  • A Juneteenth Unity video featuring inspirational stories and faith leaders teaching on racial unity
  • Racial Unity curriculum for youth
  • Suggestions for authentic food, games and music to enhance your event

What you provide:

  • A location
  • Invitation to members and neighbors
  • Technology to share the video
  • A willingness to host some conversation, perhaps accentuated by a picnic or block party with food, games and music

We will link to the Juneteenth Celebration Video and related resources on this page as we approach Juneteenth. The video may also be viewed/downloaded at home. There is no registration for this event.

Keynote Presentation by Drew Hart

Rev. Drew G. I. Hart, PhD is an author, activist, and professor in theology in the Bible and Religion department at Messiah University. He attained his MDiv with an urban concentration from Biblical Theological Seminary, and he received his PhD in theology and ethics from Lutheran Theological Seminary-Philadelphia. His work beyond teaching and writing has included pastoring in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, working for an inner-city afterschool program for black and brown middle school boys, delivering lectures and leading anti-racism workshops, and collaborating with faith-based organizers in his neighborhood.
Dr. Hart’s book, ‘Who Will Be A Witness; Igniting Activism for God’s Justice, Love, and Deliverance’, is featured during our May, synod-wide book study.

Presenter: Rev. Carla Christopher-Wilson
Presenter: Rev. Erich Kussman
MC’s: Rev. Elizabeth Eckman & Rev. Jay Eckman

Lower Susquehanna Synod Justice Ministries invite central Pennsylvania Lutherans (and their friends!) to join in a synod-wide book study and discussion on Drew Hart’s ‘Who Will Be A Witness; Igniting Activism for God’s Justice, Love, and Deliverance’. We will meet via Zoom on Thursday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. from May 13, 2021 through June 10, 2021. Each week will be facilitated by a different congregation in our synod and will feature a special guest faith-based community activist “storyteller”. (Please plan to also join us from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 19, 2021 for our synod Juneteenth Celebration featuring a keynote from Drew Hart himself!)

You must register in advance for the book study. You can register for the book study Zoom meetings at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvdeyhpjIsE9zvHmC3tDtlq5aUnth9eUgF. You only need to register through this link once in order to get access to all the book study Zoom meetings. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meetings.

Churches have begun awakening to social and political injustices, often carried out in the name of Christianity. But once awakened, how will we respond?

Who Will Be a Witness offers a vision for communities of faith to organize for deliverance and justice in their neighborhoods, states, and nation as an essential part of living out the call of Jesus.

Author Drew G. I. Hart provides incisive insights into Scripture and history, along with illuminating personal stories, to help us identify how the witness of the church has become mangled by Christendom, white supremacy, and religious nationalism. Hart provides a wide range of options for congregations seeking to give witness to Jesus’ ethic of love for and solidarity with the vulnerable.

At a time when many feel disillusioned and distressed, Hart calls the church to action, offering a way forward that is deeply rooted in the life and witness of Jesus. Dr. Hart’s testimony is powerful, personal, and profound, serving as a compass that points the church to the future and offers us a path toward meaningful social change and a more faithful witness to the way of Jesus.

Drew G. I. Hart is an author, activist, and professor in theology in the Bible and Religion department at Messiah University with ten years of pastoral experience. Hart majored in Biblical Studies at Messiah College as an undergrad, he attained his MDiv with an urban concentration from Biblical Theological Seminary, and he received his PhD in theology and ethics from Lutheran Theological Seminary-Philadelphia.

His work beyond teaching and writing has included pastoring in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, working for an inner-city afterschool program for black and brown middle school boys, delivering lectures and leading anti-racism workshops, collaborating with faith-based organizers in his neighborhood, and doing a broad range of public theology. Hart sees his current role as a theology professor as an extension of his ministry vocation that began with pastoral leadership.

Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism by Drew Hart, was chosen as a 2016 book of the month by Englewood Review of Books. Dr. Drew Hart was recently the recipient of bcmPEACE’s 2017 Peacemaker Award for his local and national work. You can find some of Hart’s writing at his blog entitled ‘Taking Jesus Seriously’ which is hosted at The Christian Century, or you can catch him as he travels and speaks regularly across the country to colleges, conferences, and churches. Drew and Renee, and their three boys (Micah, Dietrich, and Vincent) live in Harrisburg.

Meeting and Reading Schedule

May 13, 2021 – Intro, Forward, Chapter 1 (Facilitated by Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Lancaster)

May 20, 2021 – Chapter 2 and 3 (Facilitated by St. Paul’s Lutheran, Carlisle)

May 27, 2021 – Chapter 4 and 5 – (Facilitated by St. Peter Lutheran, Mechanicsburg)

June 3, 2021 – Chapter 6 and 7 (Facilitated by Messiah Lutheran, Harrisburg)

June 10, 2021 – Chapter 8 and 9 (Facilitated by Zion Lutheran, Akron)

Join The Book Study

You must register in advance for the book study. You can register for the book study Zoom meetings at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvdeyhpjIsE9zvHmC3tDtlq5aUnth9eUgF. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meetings. You only need to register once in order to get access to all the book study Zoom meetings.