"When I look back on things before the events of Ferguson, Baltimore, and Florida, I believe that the church had become somewhat complacent. We had closed our eyes, put our hands over our ears, and, oftentimes, I think we didn't want to acknowledge what was happening. Not that we didn't care; we were focused on worship, we were focused on membership, we were focused on baptisms, we were focused on liturgy, we were focused on what we knew church to be, and that's what we come together to do. But sometimes we fail to acknowledge that things were right there all along, whereby we might engage the community — provide services, support and justice issues programs and even mercy programs that might help someone.
I think before these types of event, I think the church was focused on the church alone. … Now I believe God is calling us to imagine what mission is all about."
Rev. Perkins, pastor of Centennial Christian Church, will be among the panelists participating in a panel discussion following the premiere screening of the film Injustice Anywhere, by filmmaker Aziza Binti, Friday, April 29, 2016, at Union Avenue Christian Church, beginning at 6 p.m. Rev. Perkins will be joined by pastors Rev. Dr. Dietra Wise, Liberation Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Rev. Dr. Jacqui Foster, Compton Heights Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Rev. Dr. Jeff Moore, Webster Groves Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Rev. Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, Eden Theological Seminary, and Rev. Ayanna Johnson Watkins of the National Benevolent Association on the clergy panel. Other panelists will include activists Elizabeth Vega, Rhonda Wren, Amy Hunter, Dr. Monique Maxey, and Sharee Silerio. Community organizers also will be present with plans of action for moving forward. These organizers include Brittini Gray (Metropolitan Congregations United), Kristian Blackmon (Jobs with Justice).