Forest Hill Church invites community to celebrate Black History Month
“Speaking of Race: Black Lives Matter Here” is the theme of Forest Hill Church’s month-long Black History Month celebration, featuring entertaining, educational and musical events. All events are free and open to the public, with donations to the church’s food pantry or other free-will offerings welcome.
The series of programs kicks off on Sunday, Feb. 5, 12:30–2 p.m., with a presentation by Rev. Dr. Catherine Borchert exploring the 19th-century history of race relations in the Presbyterian Church in Northeast Ohio. She will discuss how this history laid the foundation for race relations in the 20th and 21st centuries. Refreshments will be served.
During the weekend of Feb. 11–12, members of the church will be engaged in a direct action to support financial justice. Small groups plan to eat at black-owned restaurants throughout Greater Cleveland, and reflect together on the importance of supporting black-owned businesses.
Throughout the month, Forest Hill Church encourages the community to support black-owned businesses. A listing of suggested businesses and restaurants is available at www.fhcpresb.org.
On Saturday, Feb. 18, 6:30–8:30 p.m., the public is invited to the church’s third-annual gospel concert. The internationally acclaimed Wright Family Singers, featuring Mother Willie Mae Wright, will offer an evening of praise and musical worship to feed the soul.
On Sunday, Feb. 19, at 12:15 p.m., a discussion of this year’s featured all-church book reading, the graphic novel March, will be accompanied by a delicious soul-food potluck.
March chronicles the life of Congressman John Lewis, from early childhood through his experiences with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent movement, to the inauguration of President Obama. It is the first volume in a trilogy that deserves a spot on everyone’s reading list.
At 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24, parents, grandparents, and kids of every age will enjoy a free showing of Disney’s “Zootopia” movie, with its thought-provoking message about the importance of inclusion and the harm of prejudice.
The Rev. Robina Winbush will anchor two programs scheduled for the final weekend of the month. At noon, on Saturday, Feb. 25, she will lead a workshop discussion of “The enduring legacy of racism: Our response as a community of faith.” On Sunday, Feb. 26, Winbush will preach at the 11 a.m. worship service.
At 7 p.m. on Feb. 25, a cabaret-style jazz concert, featuring Cleveland Heights male quartet Elégie and talented local female vocalists Chandra Turner, Kyra Wright, Jessica Yafanaro and Mary-Francis Miller, will explore the majesty of African-American jazz vocalists, composers and musicians, with special focus on the music of the Harlem Renaissance. Attendees are invited to don period costumes.
Forest Hill Church, located at 3031 Monticello Blvd. in Cleveland Heights, is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA, and opens its doors to all. Services are held on Sundays at 11 a.m. For more information, call 216-321-2660 or visit www.fhcpresb.org.
Peg Weissbrod is the outreach director for Forest Hill Church.