How can pastors of predominantly white congregations thoughtfully address racism from the pulpit? In this interview, Carolyn Helsel encourages preachers to start from a place of gratitude rather than shame or guilt. Author of “Preaching about Racism: A Guide for Faith Leaders” and “Anxious to Talk about it”, Carolyn gives practical advice for delivering sermons about race that are theologically and biblically grounded.
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Carolyn B. Helsel teaches preaching at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and is a minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She holds a PhD from Emory University, where her dissertation developed a hermeneutic for preaching about racism. She is the author of two books, Anxious to Talk About It: Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully About Racism (Chalice Press: 2018) and Preaching about Racism: A Guide for Faith Leaders (Chalice Press: 2018). Prior to teaching, Helsel served as transitional pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Sudbury, Massachusetts, the associate director of admissions for Princeton Seminary, and the associate pastor of John Calvin Presbyterian Church in San Antonio. She and her husband, Phil, live with their two children in Austin, Texas.