A Charlottesville Pastor Shares His Story

In this Episode
  • As Executive Director of Center for Christian Civics, Rick helps ministry leaders and faith communities develop missional approaches to their local public squares. He has worked on campaigns for local, state and federal office, is a former writer and editor for Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and oversaw communications for the Grace DC church network. He and his wife live in Washington, DC.

It’s been nearly a month since the so-called “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA, erupted into violence, culminating in a member of the white nationalist demonstration driving a car into a crowd of protesters. The event itself may have been eclipsed in controversy by the news coverage and punditry surrounding the way political leaders responded—but the events of August 12 didn’t come out of nowhere, and the social and cultural dynamics that fueled those events didn’t go away when the news got bored with them.

A little over two weeks ago, we spoke with Rev. Seth Wispelwey of Congregate Charlottesville to get a first-hand account of what happened on August 12 and hear about how one Christian in the town has been reacting to the city’s rise of racially charged demonstrations.

Episode Outline

  • Intro: Defining “care bear,” white supremacy, white nationalism and holding space.
  • Interview: Rev. Seth Wispelwey on the Unite the Right Rally
  • Follow-Up: Engaging powers and principalities
  • Prayer: Rev. Charles Drew
  • Additional resources and next steps

Further Reading/Listening

The next issue of The Christian Civics Newsletter goes out later this week, and will include recommended reading and listening to go furthers into some of the topics that got brought up in today’s podcast. We’ll include other podcasts that provide more context on Charlottesville and some of the organizations that took part in the events of August 12; a few of the articles and books that Rev. Wispelwey found most formative to the way he practices his faith; and some of the other unrelated books and articles our team has been reading lately.

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