Maranatha House Church Plenaries

Stories of God and Stories of Race


CLICK HERE mhc.booklet.2021.pdf  for a Maranatha House Church Booklet PDF.

CLICK HERE to read, print, or download and interactive PDF of the Maranatha House Church Booklet.


This Lent we dove more deeply into the way that the experience of race can change the way we read the Bible. We explored takes on Scripture by black and indigenous writers, preachers, and theologians such as Martin Luther King, Jr., James Cone, Frederick Douglass, and Kelly Brown Douglas.

Each Tuesday at 5PM we met on Zoom together for a brief, 30-minute teaching (plenary) on the reading for the week. Then, we gathered in house churches for prayer, Bible study, and holy conversation. Below are the plenary discussions to view. 


Maranatha House Church Plenary Gatherings
Tuesdays, February 23–March 30 at 5PM

CLICK HERE to join the Plenary Gathering via Zoom.
(Zoom link:

Passcode: 2039664515
Meeting ID: 834 6317 9949

All are welcome to join the plenary conversation each week, even if you don’t join a house church!


Week One, February 23: Dr. Alison Gruseke on Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Exodus 

Week Two, March 2: Fr. Peter on Robert Warrior and the Conquest of Canaan

Week Three, March 9: Rev. Elizabeth on Delores Williams and the Life of Hagar


Week Four, March 16: Cyra Borsy on Frederick Douglass and Jesus and the Pharisees


Week Five, March 23: Fr. Justin on Kelly Brown Douglas and Jesus and the Samaritan Woman


Week Six, March 30: Lise Leist on James Cone and the Cross


House Church Resources (In order of use)

  • Martin Luther King, Jr., "I've Been to the Mountaintop," Address Delivered at Bishop Charles Mason Temple (Audio and Text)
  • Robert Warrior, "Canaanites, Cowboys, and Indians: Deliverance, Conquest, and Liberation Theology Today," Christianity and Crisis, September 11, 1989 (Text)
  • "Journey to liberation: The Legacy of Womanist Theology," Union Theological Seminary in New York City (YouTube)
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Written by Himself. (Text—the poem is found at the very end, pages 123–25)
  • Kelly Brown Douglas, "African-American Spirituals" (YouTube)
  • Kelly Brown Douglas, Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2015. Chapter 5: "Jesus and Trayvon: The Justice of God"
  • Billie Holiday, "Strange Fruit" Live 1959 (YouTube)
  • James Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2011. Chapter 1: "'Nobody Knows de Trouble I see': The Cross and the Lynching Tree in the Black Experience."

If purchasing books listed above, consider ordering from New Canaan's independent bookstore Elm Street Books or black-owned independent bookstore, or using Amazon Smile to support St. Mark's. You can also check with your local library, which may participate in Hoopla or Libby to provide free ebooks and audiobooks.