A series of “provocative conversations” will be held at Holmeswood Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri, during late May and June.

Local leaders will speak to the congregation and community members about human trafficking, racism, foster care and the future of education in order to raise awareness of how each issue impacts their city and region.

David McDaniel, senior pastor at Holmeswood, will frame his Sunday sermons around these issues, preaching on each topic following the midweek presentation.

“We have realized no longer can we sing praises to God and present our offerings while ignoring the suffering in our immediate community,” shared McDaniel in explaining the reason for hosting these conversations.

“Before we can be prescriptive, we must be descriptive. We need to more fully know and understand what is below the surface level of our city,” he added. “Gone are the days in which the church can provide banal answers, but now she must ask dirty questions and get her fingers in the mud of creation.”

Kris Wade of The Justice Project, a Kansas City-based and Catholic Church-supported nonprofit that helps individuals enslaved in sex trafficking, will address human trafficking.

“Kansas City is the number-two city in the U.S. as it relates to youth-trafficked individuals,” McDaniel told EthicsDaily.com. “This is a hidden secret in the city.”

Terrell Carter, director of contextual learning at Central Baptist Theological Seminary (CBTS) and an EthicsDaily.com contributor, will share his personal experiences and insights on racism.

Carter is a former St. Louis police officer and an ordained Baptist minister who has pastored churches in Missouri.

Khadejah Fatima, a foster care mother of four, will share her experience with the difficulty of finding adoptive families for children of color, children with disabilities or both.

Finally, Kelly Wachel, public relations director of the Center School District in which Holmeswood is located, will engage the question: “What does education in the 21st century look like?”

Holmeswood has been engaged with the local schools in their neighborhood through a variety of initiatives, as former pastor Keith Herron shared in an EthicsDaily.com column on social capital and the local church.

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