On Sunday, March 19, Elena Aronson led over twenty people in a workshop exploring the origens and expressions of Christian Nationalism. Christian Nationalism claims that Christianity should have a privileged position in the public square.
Aronson provided a worksheet that helped participants counter the features of Christian Nationalism with civically-engaged Christian responses. For example: “America was founded as a Christian nation” is countered with “America was founded as a place of religious freedom.“
Articles a. What is Christian Nationalism? – Christianity Today i. https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/february-web-only/what-is-christ ian-nationalism.html b. Views of the U.S. as a ‘Christian nation’ and opinions about ‘Christian nationalism’ – Pew Research Center i. https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2022/10/27/views-of-the-u-s-as-a-ch ristian-nation-and-opinions-about-christian-nationalism/ c. Black, Evangelical and Torn – New York Times i. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/14/magazine/black-evangelicals.html d. White Christian Nationalists Want More Than Just Political Power – Atlantic i. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/01/white-evangelicals-fixa tion-on-washington-dc/617690/ e. What Does ‘White Christian Nationalism’ Even Mean, Anyway? – Sojourners i. https://sojo.net/articles/what-does-white-christian-nationalism-even-meananyway
Books a. Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States – Andrew L. Whitehead & Samuel L. Perry b. Postcards from Babylon: The Church in American Exile – Brian Zahnd c. Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation – Kristin Kobes Du Mez d. American Idolatry: How Christian Nationalism Betrays the Gospel and Threatens the Church – Andrew L. Whitehead e. Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery – Mark Charles & Soong-Chan Rah
Organizations a. Christians Against Christian Nationalism i. https://www.christiansagainstchristiannationalism.org/ ii. Instagram: @endchristiannationalism
Luncheon begins at 11:30 am followed by a Workshop at 12:30 pm with Presenter, Elena Aronson, co-author of Race, Class, and the Kingdom of God. Together we will look at identifying the characteristics of Christian Nationalism and the common statements and behaviors used by Christian Nationalists. The class will also focus on the features of civically engaged Christians vs. Christian Nationalists.
In conjunction with the Salt Creek Cluster of United Methodist Churches, First Church will explore the Lenten season with common objects found in the scriptures: dust, bread, cross, coins, shoes and oil. This series is inspired by Jill Duffield who reminds us that God works through the ordinary and goes to great lengths to communicate with us about Jesus Christ, salvation, grace, and reconciliation.
Drawing from the Christian contemplative tradition, Duffield reminds us that it is often in “hindsight that God’s providence becomes recognizable.” Throughout his teaching, Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is near and in our midst. Each week through these objects you will be asked to consider the possibility, the promise, that God is present, speaking, seeking to be in relationship with you.
Finally, the churches in the cluster will participate in a pulpit exchange. First Church will be welcoming Reverend Hong-kien Jeremiah Lee of Addison: Good Samaritan Church and the Reverend Juyeon Jeon of Bensenville: First UMC. Pastor Joe will be preaching at Addison: Good Samaritan and Elmhurst: Christ and Villa Park: Calvary.
First Church adults and youth along with the Chancel Choir and Chapel Chimers will share the story of the birth of Jesus. All are invited to this special worship service as we welcome the light of Christ’s birth together.
The Fellowship Committee will be providing brunch at 11:30 a.m. following a special service of music to highlight the Advent season. Please join us for a morning of fellowship and celebration. Advance sign up is not required and all are welcome – friends and family, too. A suggested donation of $6 per adult and $4 per child would be greatly appreciated. The Fellowship Team welcomes you to share this wonderful meal as together we celebrate the season of Advent.