The Cross and The Lynching Tree: Teachable Moment in Lent

Lenten Series: Exploring “The Cross and the Lynching Tree,” by James H. Cone
Teachable Moment (10:00am), March 10, March 17, March 24, March 31 and April 7
“The cross and the lynching tree are separated by nearly 2,000 years. One is the universal symbol of Christian faith; the other is the quintessential symbol of black oppression in America. Though both are symbols of death, one represents a message of hope and salvation, while the other signifies the negation of that message by white supremacy.” James Cone, a founder and leader of black liberation theology, introduces “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” with these provocative words.
Join the Teachable Moment for the Sundays in Lent as we explore and respond to Cone’s work: how does injustice in the world influence how we understand Jesus’ death on the cross, where do we find hope, and how is God calling us to be advocates for justice and reconciliation in the twenty-first century?
Sunday, March 10
Teachable Moment:  The Rev. Dr. James Cone shares how “the cross helped me to deal with the brutal legacy of the lynching tree, and the lynching tree helped me to understand the tragic meaning of the cross.” For the first Sunday in this series, we’ll explore these images together and consider how following Jesus means taking a stand against white supremacy and every kind of injustice, and who’s still being crucified today. Read the book if you have time to, but come join the conversation regardless. You might also enjoy this video of Dr. Cone discussing the book or this interview with Bill Moyers.
Also Sunday, March 10
Join Advocates and community members for a special screening of the documentary “Strange Fruit,” followed by a panel discussion. Where: Varsity Theatre, 123 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill. 4:00 – 5:30 pm; free. The event is sponsored by the Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition, which is partnering with the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, AL (the “lynching memorial”) to commemorate the 1898 lynching of Manly McCauley in Orange County. Read more about the project here; coalition leaders will be our guest presenters at the Teachable Moment on March 31.
All are encouraged to read the book, but the Teachable Moment time will be accessible both to those who have read it and those who haven’t.
NB: Many Advocates have attended the Racial Equity Institute’s anti-racism training and found it to informative, challenging and inspirational. We have funding for others want to go! Check out the upcoming workshop schedule here, and remember that alums may audit a repeat session for a very small fee (but you still have to register).