Amid waves of continuing bad news and well-founded anxieties, how do we find the clarity and courage we need to move boldly together toward a different kind of future? This service will explore the intimate connection between growing spirituality and effective social engagement, suggesting that these are not separate aspects of a vibrant personal life or vibrant church life. Guest preacher Rev. Peter Laarman will make the case that deep-level anti-racism work is the lifeline for any congregation that wants to renew itself and be fully engaged in the renewal of the wider culture.
Rev. Peter Laarman is a new First U member with long experience in social action and faith leadership. Ordained by the UCC following a first career in the labor movement, Peter served ten years as senior minister of New York’s Judson Memorial Church before heading to Los Angeles for another ten-year stint as executive director of a church-supported organization there called Progressive Christians Uniting. After formally retiring in 2014 he continued to coordinate a multi-faith project on mass incarceration and policing in Southern California. Here at First U, Peter facilitated a couple of this Fall’s small group experiences under the rubric “Life and Livelihood.” He is currently serving on the small task force charged with drafting a new mission statement for the congregation. Peter is a co-founder and regular contributor to the online publication Religion Dispatches.