Let's have a conversation.
Whether you're scrolling through social media or watching the evening news, it's easy to see that our nation is facing quite a few challenging topics such as race, immigration, LGBTQIA, human trafficking, and addiction. Unfortunately, many interactions with friends, family, and co-workers can be polarizing when these issues arise and ultimately leave us standing on two different sides of the room. What would it look like to walk across the room and learn their story as a way to begin a healthy conversation? Listen to the introductory message by Rev. Sarah Heath and David Trotter, and join us for a weekly conversation with an expert on an important topic. Our desire is to expand our minds and hearts as we are motivated to take action!
JOIN US ON SUNDAYS AT 10AM.
First United - 420 W. 19th Street in Costa Mesa
During our Sunday services, we offer an interactive children's program for birth-5th graders. Children are welcome to participate in the program or sit in the service with their parents.
August 5th: RACE
Pastor Cue Jn-Marie is the Pastor of The Row Church. A former Virgin Records artist with the hip hop rap group College Boyz (known for Victim of the Ghetto), Cue heard a call from God in 1994 while watching the movie Malcolm X. He is a faith-rooted organizer with Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), co-lead organizer of the Black Jewish Justice Alliance (BJJA), and co-convener of “We Will Live” a Black and Brown Clergy & Community Coalition as well as the founder of Creating Justice LA. Cue’s work revolves around addressing injustice through public policy in Los Angeles. For the past eighteen years, Cue has advocated for the rights of poor and homeless people, especially through his ministry. Cue also works to defend the rights of immigrants, Muslims, and many of the most vulnerable in our society. Among his main areas of interest is increasing police accountability and dismantling mass incarceration and the police state in Los Angeles. Cue is a visionary and co-church planter, helping to establish the NewSong LA Covenant Church, of which he is former executive pastor. He is a graduate of the Passing the Mantle Program at the University of Southern California, and he also completed a two-year program at USC’S Institute for Violence Prevention. That led to his involvement in the planning committee organizing prisoner re-entry hearings for AB-109 in Los Angeles with the Re-entry Council Network in 1999.
August 12th: IMMIGRATION
Rev. Dr. Bill Jenkins is the founder and executive director of Christ Ministry Center in San Diego, CA. He grew up in Mississippi during the 1960s Civil Rights Era. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Delta State University, where he did his student teaching at an all African-American high school in the Mississippi Delta in 1969-70. This began a lifelong passion for social justice. Bill received his Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Seminary, Louisville KY, and earned his Doctorate at Columbia Theological Seminary, Atlanta GA, where his dissertation focused on the use of technology in churches. He conducted additional graduate technology study through the University of Southern Mississippi and NASA’s Stennis Space Center.
Bill has led a tai-vocational career in ministry, education and technology. An educator, Dr. Jenkins has taught at every level of education, including five years of graduate technology management at San Diego State University. An Elder in The United Methodist Church, Rev. Jenkins has over 45 years in ministry, having served pastorates in Mississippi, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Georgia. He was pastor of Christ United Methodist Church of San Diego CA for 12 years. In 2011, Bill "retired from the pulpit" and established Christ United Methodist Ministry Center, an urban ministry center focused upon social justice at what had been Christ Church. The “Ministry Center Model” he developed serves as an outline to transform struggling urban churches into vital urban ministry centers. Bill and his wife Anita documented their lessons learned in their book, “The NOT FOR SALE Church”.
In June 2014, Sojourners (the Washington DC based community of faith and justice leaders focused on issues affecting poverty, immigration, racial justice, women and girls' rights, and the environment) identified 50 "Greatest Social Justice Leaders We've Never Heard Of" from across the globe. Bill Jenkins was among those invited to participate in Sojourners' inaugural "The Summit: World Change Through Faith and Justice" at Georgetown University.
August 19th: LGBTQIA BEYOND INCLUSION
Justin Massey is a program associate for Equality California responsible for organizing Southern California Pride events and supporting the organization's healthcare, immigration and safe schools initiatives. Prior to joining Equality California, Justin worked as an independent political campaign consultant for local progressive candidates in Orange County. He is active in local politics and non-profit organizations including as a board member of the Orange County Young Democrats and an active partner of the LGBT Center OC. Justin graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science from Wheaton College in Illinois, where he came out, began his LGBTQ activism and started the first-ever LGBTQ student group at the school which was ranked in 2011 by the Princeton Review as the "#1 Least LGBTQ-Friendly Campus" in the nation.
August 25th: HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Amber Davies, MSW, LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been the Director of Clinical Programs at Saving Innocence since 2014. Amber began her career working in group homes and alongside law enforcement in a juvenile diversion program before becoming licensed in 2011. Her professional roles include a therapist for foster youth, a professor of social work education and Team Leader, managing teams both locally and in Australia.
As a part of Saving Innocence, Amber oversees a team of advocates, trains front line responders, service providers, and foster/ resource families in the best practices of working with Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) and youth.
She serves on the Advisory Board for Ho`ola Na Pua, a sister organization supporting CSEC survivors throughout Hawaii. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Westmont College, and a Master of Social Work degree from California State University, Long Beach. She is passionate about creating and sustaining healing environments for survivors, as well as promoting survivor leadership.
September 2nd: addiction
Chris Logan, CADC-II, ICADC, is the Program Supervisor at Simple Recovery, an intimate, client-centered licensed addiction treatment center that distinctively treats addiction and co-occurring disorders in Huntington Beach, California. After working with adolescents in treatment for over five years, his personal battle with addiction and alcoholism drove him to help other men find themselves and see that there is truly a better way of life. His experience as both a counselor and case manager has equipped him with a uniquely powerful way to connect with each client. Chris oversees the residential and outpatient programming, providing one-on-one support to clients in early sobriety and overseeing the clinical programming at each facility. In addition, Chris works with alumni clients to build the Simple Recovery Alumni Connection.