Preaching about Racism
A Guide for Faith Leaders
Carolyn B. Helsel
Equipping white pastors to address racism faithfully from the pulpit.
Of all the activities that come with being a minister, sermon preparation can loom largest - especially when racism is the subject. You've got to address racism with your white congregation from the pulpit. But, truthfully, you can't wrap your head around how to preach about this topic thoughtfully and sensitively.
In Preaching about Racism, preaching professor and pastor Carolyn Helsel speaks directly to other faith leaders about how to address racism from the pulpit. In her first book, Anxious to Talk about It: Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully about Racism, Helsel addressed the anxiety white Christians experience around conversations about race. In this follow-up, Helsel provides strategies and a theoretical framework for crafting biblical and theological sermons that incorporate insights from social sciences and psychology, gleaned from more than a decade of writing and teaching about racism.
Written for the busy pastor, several chapters are quick reads - helpful reminders as you prepare a thoughtful and sensitive sermon - while others dig deeper on the theory behind the crucial work of dismantling racism.
Carolyn Browning Helsel joined the faculty of Austin Seminary in 2015. Prior to her appointment she was a transitional pastor for The Presbyterian Church in Sudbury (Massachusetts). She also served as visiting professor at both the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and Wartburg Theological Seminary. She was a teaching assistant for Professors Tom Long, Teresa Fry Brown, and Luke Timothy Johnson; the title of her dissertation is "The Hermeneutics of Recognition: A Ricoeurian Interpretative Framework for Whites Preaching about Racism."
Helsel was ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and served as associate pastor at John Calvin Presbyterian Church (2005-2007) in San Antonio, Texas. While in Boston, she served on the Synod Work Group on Race for the Synod of the Northeast and on the Committee on Preparation for Ministry for Boston Presbytery.