Panel of Local Pastors and Community Leaders discuss response to Cultural Crisis
On Wednesday, June 10, local senior pastors and community leaders came together for a panel discussion titled “Biblical And Christian Response to our Cultural Crisis” at Impact Church of The Woodlands. The event was not open to the public, but was live streamed online on the Impact Church of The Woodlands and The Woodlands United Methodist Church’s social media pages and YouTube channels. Questions from the community via email were also encouraged during the event.
Panelists included in the discussion:
- Congressmen Kevin Brady
- Gordy Bunch, TWFG and The Woodlands Township
- Kenneth Culbreath, Chief of Police Spring ISD
- Dr. Ed Robb, The Woodlands UMC
- Dr. Ann Snyder, The Woodlands Township
- Jesse Tyson, Former CEO National Bank MBA
Dr. Roche Coleman, Senior Pastor of Impact Church of The Woodlands, led the panel discussion. The opening prayer was made by Jeff Wells, WoodsEdge Community Church, and the closing prayer by Steve Bradley, StoneBridge Church.
Local pastors and leaders also in attendance, who also engaged in the discussion and asked questions, included Bishop Clark Lowenfield, Anglican Diocese, Bruce Webb, The Woodlands First Bapist Church, Scott Pollok, Faith Bible Church, Judge Mark Keough, and more.
The goal of the discussion was to bring together Godly leaders that could help affect change in The Woodlands and surrounding areas and share what is the biblical and Christian response to the crisis and unrest and how the leaders could work to bring about tangible change.
Prior to the Panel Discussion, attendees watched video clips of police brutality and incidents captured throughout the nation before the dialogue began.
During the discussion, each panelist shared personal experiences, questions, and responses to the death of George Floyd, police relations and standards, racism, and actions taken within the religious community were shared between the group and members of the audience.
Local pastors shared actions taken thus far: webinar with pastors across the nation, prayer gatherings, individual conversations, sermons on racism as sin and current events, and launching task forces and programs.
Previously last week, The Woodlands United Methodist Church and Impact Church of The Woodlands partnered to lead an outdoor Prayer Gathering for Justice and for Peace in response to the tragic death of George Floyd and the ensuing events around the country. Local church leaders and members of the community were invited and gathered together at the outdoor event held on June 4th at 7 p.m. on The Woodlands UMC’s Fairway for a time of reflection and prayer. Read more and watch the video here.
The panelists talked about encouraging others to speak up on racism and diversity, having sometimes “uncomfortable” conversations, and taking actions – not just having discussions.
Jesse Tyson shared, “It’s going to be an uncomfortable conversation, but you have to start somewhere. Take the risk… You do [have white privilege], so use it. Use it in a positive way. Because the major thing that will allow evil to prevail, is for good people to remain silent. We can’t keep saying to ourselves ‘I don’t know what to say.’ Ask your children what to say.”
Actions, Steps and Tangible Changes proposed by the panel:
- Challenge to start within the church and religious community: hire staff of color and diverse backgrounds; use social media as positive change, discussions, and awareness; create task forces and programs; time of confession; and hold the faith and local community accountable.
- Meet and talk with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement, and discussing #8CantWait, policies that can reduce the harm caused by police in the short-term.
- Cross-church bible study with different churches and denominations to come together not in crisis, but in Christ.
- Invitation and need for pastors to come pray at The Woodlands Township meetings – to pray for community and how to lead community.
Ann Snyder shared a quote, “If not now, when? If not you, who?” to stress the importance of the pastors and leaders to take action, not just stop with the discussion.
Dr. Roche Coleman ended the discussion with, “I give God the ultimate praise. I believe that we are definitely definitely making a change. And so, I want us to make certain that as Christians, as bible believing individuals, that we are truly seeking God’s face as we asking him for guidance for what we are going to do. And I know God will guide us. We have some steps we can make. Yes, it’s going to take more. But, I feel like we have had healthy, engaging, challenging dialogue and this is the first step.”
Watch the video and full two-hour Panel Discussion at https://youtu.be/OryZtmtYK2M