Special Worship Service
October 16 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Reverend Kathryn Light, Pastor of the Elm Street Church congregation, invited Rev. Ross to come and speak to the church as well as members of the Southbridge community after attending a virtual event. She describes Rev. Ross as a “dynamic witness to the possibility of the future”. He teaches about diversity with grace and serves as a powerful witness. As a congregation and a community, we need to “learn to understand our part in being in a community with people not like us”.
Reverend Ross is a native of Alabama, The Rev. Ross previously served as the Minister of Justice Formation at the First Congregational UCC in Washington DC. In that role, he led the launch of the Downtown Drop-In Center for Homeless Youth and partnered with lay members of the church to begin the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategy to advance racial justice and confront white privilege. Part of this work involved planning and hosting events that addressed topics such as racism, police violence, xenophobia and anti-Muslim sentiments.
The Rev. Ross also served as the Director of Outreach and Engagement for the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth in DC, where he says he saw the holy in the transformation, forgiveness, compassion, and mutual love among people sentenced as children to die in prison, their families, and the families of victims and survivors.
A former journalist, The Rev. Ross has served as a newspaper reporter and editor and an organizational communications professional. He was director of communications for the Denver-based Gill Foundation, which was then the largest funder of LGBTQI-related issues and causes, and served as a mayoral appointee in two cities, including New Orleans, where he led media programs, marketing initiatives and community engagement strategies following Hurricane Katrina. He holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Alabama, a Master of Arts in American Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and a Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team within the Southern New England Conference works to advance our call to “live the love and justice of Jesus.” This work plan is grounded in the established commitments of our three historic Conferences and our aspirational priorities as a new Conference.
Our efforts are manifested through partnership with the conference organization and its 26 associations, 615 congregations, 120,000 members, and the wider United Church of Christ. We also understand that we are stronger and more effective when we engage in ecumenical and interfaith collaborations and build alliances among the nonprofit, philanthropic, governmental, and corporate sectors, as well as other individuals with whom we identify shared goals.
Following the service, attendees will be invited to share in a coffee hour and learn more from Rev. Ross. For further information, please call Elm Street Church at 508-764-8058.