Protest, Performance and Worship: A Different Revelation

by Beth Foster

Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center will be celebrating its one-year anniversary and kicking off its winter quarter, “A Different Revelation,” this weekend with three days of special events, good food and friendship.

The festivities will begin on Friday evening with a gathering of the “Fellowship of Heretics.” If you’re not already a member of the Fellowship, visit our website about how you can become part of this elite group of rebels, troublemakers, radicals and other cool people.

Friday night:

  • 5 to 7 pm-Fellowship of Heretics Reception
  • 7 pm-Performance as Protest Lecture 


  • 10 am-Performance as Protest Lecture
  • 3 pm-The Joyful (Vegan) Feast, cooking class
  • 5 pm-The People’s Sermon, interfaith gathering
  • 6 pm-Anniversary Celebration, vegan chili dinner


  • 10 am-Qi Gong
  • 2 pm-East Tennessee Feminist Collective Badass Brunch
  • 5 pm-The Blessing with Communion, followed by potluck
  • 7 pm-East Tennessee Feminist Collective New Moon Circle

Anchoring the weekend will be a focus on “Performance as Protest,” sponsored by the St. Andrews Center Board.

We’re excited to welcome Kristi Papailler, assistant professor of Acting and Directing and Theatre for Social Change at Georgia State College and University. Kristi will be introducing “Performance as Protest” during a lecture on Friday evening.

On Saturday morning, Kristi will lead a workshop for activists, artists and performers, designed to help them expand and think about the work they are already doing and to be more effective in working toward social change. A qi gong practitioner, not only will Kristi include qi gong techniques for performers as part of the workshop, but will lead a special qi gong session on Sunday morning.

On Saturday evening, we’re looking forward to performances from Saturday morning’s workshop during our Anniversary Celebration vegan chili dinner.

There is no charge to attend any of the events, though freewill offerings will be taken throughout the weekend. All events are open to the public with the exception of the Fellowship of Heretics gathering.

In addition to these special events, we’ll be kicking off the weekly gatherings of the winter quarter. The Joyful (Vegan) Feast, a new cooking class taught by Mercy Junction pastor and co-director Brian Merritt, will begin at 3 pm on Saturday. The first People’s Sermon of the Year will follow at 5 pm on Saturday.

On Sunday, the East Tennessee Feminist Collective will have the New Year’s first Badass Brunch at 2 pm, and a New Year New Moon Circle at 7 pm.

Also on Sunday will be the first “The Blessing” service of 2016. “The Blessing” is held each Sunday at 5 pm and includes communion and is followed by a community potluck.

With the theme, “A Different Revelation” for the winter quarter, the January focus will be on “end times” with Bible Study (which is Wednesday evenings at 7 pm) and The Blessing focusing on Christian “end times” teachings. The People’s Sermon will focus on “end times” teachings and stories across time, culture and religion, and Thursday Talks: Activists Circle (which is at 7 pm each Thursday) will focus on conversation about the future we are trying to create when we talking about working toward the “world as it should be.”

Come out and join us for any or all of the events and gatherings, and let’s make the new year a Sweet ’16.



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