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Listening to Cumberland Presbyterian Voices

Can you hear me now?

Listening to Cumberland Presbyterian Voices

Rev. Dr. Nancy Fuqua and Rev. Dr. Michael Qualls co-moderators


This is a pivotal moment in our society around issues of race and inequality. The horrific death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, the latest in a long list of black citizens who have met a similar end, has galvanized many who have simply had enough. They/we are calling for serious changes that will finally put an end to the sin of systemic racism that has plagued our nation from its beginning. Our Confession of Faith states that, In response to God’s initiative to restore relationships, persons make honest confession of sin against God, their brothers and sisters, and all of creation, and amend the past so far as is in their power.  (4.07)

This is a time for intent listening as to how each of us may have contributed to the sin of racism and also how we may become part of the transformation and healing God wills. But first we must hear each other. There is no other agenda here. Right now what we need to do is listen; listen until we can hear the heart-cry of sisters and brothers which we have not yet heard. To that end we will host an online “listening session” to hopefully facilitate such listening. The intent of this online forum is to provide space for all to say what needs to be said and hear what needs to be heard.

  1. The total time is two hours. 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm CST Thursday, June 18, 2020.
  2. Each person who wishes to be heard will have 3-5 minutes (depending on number of participants). No one will be able to speak twice until everyone who desires to be heard has spoken once. (Remember we are trying to listen.)
  3. Everyone should speak honestly. We will respectfully listen. The moderators will control access to the microphone, not to stifle any honest voice, but to assure no speaker is interrupted and that Christian charity is maintained.

A maximum 100 participants can be accommodated in the forum. To join the Zoom meeting send an email to You will receive an invitation with a link and a password. We need to hear your voice.

There are many resources one can access to help us understand the depth and breadth of this problem. A CNN special called “I Can’t Breathe”—Black Men Living and Dying in America sparked this particular conversation. You are encouraged to view it in advance of our Zoom meeting. It can be accessed through Sling. If you can’t view it you may access the basic information here:

A written transcript:

An audio version:

May those who have ears hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Nancy Fuqua

Michael Qualls

Matthew Gore

Matthew Gore

Matthew H. Gore is a British journalist, historian, popular culturist, archivist, and educator residing in Memphis, Tennessee. He is the immediate past-president of the Society of Tennessee Archivists and is best known for his book The History of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Kentucky to 1988 (2000). He has also published on a variety of topics as diverse as The Origin of Marvelman (a British superhero of the 1950s and 1960s), the relative scarcity of East German philatelics, and the biography of British pulp artist, Denis McLoughlin. He is employed by the Ministry Council of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at the Cumberland Presbyterian Center in Memphis, Tennessee, as editor of the Cumberland Presbyterian Magazine and as publications manager. He has been associated with both Western Kentucky University, which honored him with their James H. Poteet Award, and the University of Kentucky. He also serves as editor for all Boardman Books (Memphis, Tennessee) publications.
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