Journey to Freedom: Solidarity

JULY 18-AUGUST 22, 2021

Join First Covenant Church Minneapolis and a collaboration of churches and organizations for the learning series, "Journey to Freedom: Embracing God's Cultural Mosaic of People."

Designed by Rev. Jia Starr Brown, this annual six-week series is comprised of sermons, discussion, listening, and study. This year's theme is "Solidarity" focused on Ecclesiastes 4:1-12.

Six guest preachers will each preach from the same passage through their own cultural lens. Experience the beauty of diverse voices and perspectives throughout the Journey Series.

All are invited to participate in additional learning experiences through online trainings/workshops, Bible and book studies. Continuing Education credit is available; please contact Rev. Dr. Justin Sabia-Tanis, Assistant Professor and Program Director of Social Transformation at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities ( Please reserve your spot through the Registration link.

Please note that if you sign up for an event and are unable to attend, we will be creating a digital resource that will be available after the series concludes and will send you the link to access that content.

We'd love to have you join us for ANY and ALL of the events that work for you!

PREACHING - Sundays 9 AM (bios below the registration tab)

  • Rev. Dr. DeWayne Davis, Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis
  • Rev. Dana Neuhauser, racial justice organizer for the Minnesota Conference of the United Methodist Church
  • Rev. Nicolette Peñaranda, First Trinity Lutheran Church, Chicago
  • Rev. Tyler Sit, New City Church, Minneapolis
  • Rev. Christian Briones, Mayflower Church UCC, Minneapolis
  • Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs, Minnesota Council of Churches

BIBLE STUDY - Sundays 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 5-6 PM

Life is a journey - of discovery, refining, and growing - that we are not meant to travel alone. Together we will discuss how Scripture defines “solidarity,” exploring biblical stories and examples to help us better walk alongside voices that are on the fringes in our churches and communities today.

BOOK STUDY - Thursdays 7/29 and 8/12, 6-7 PM

Rev. Tyler Sit will lead us through his recently published book, Staying Awake: The Gospel for Changemakers, as we dive deeply to connect solidarity and faith.


"Allyship vs. Solidarity” facilitated by Rev. Dana Neuhauser on July 31, 7-8:30 PM

“Solidarity: Understanding How Local Government Works - And Doesn’t Work - For Everyone” facilitated by Rev. Nicolette Peñaranda on August 7, 7-9 PM

“How Not to Colonize a Movement” facilitated by Kelly Sherman-Conroy on August 19, 7-9 PM


100% of your $25 registration fee will go directly to compensate our incredible BIPOC preachers and presenters with the honorarium they deserve for their wisdom, labor, and experience. If this fee is a hardship, please contact Rev. Jia Starr Brown at




Rev. Dr. DeWayne Davis serves as Lead Minister at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis. His professional background includes extensive work related to the federal government, from conducting policy analysis to briefing Congress, while his ministerial experience brings expertise in social justice analysis, advocacy, and organizing.

Rev. Dana Neuhauser [she, her hers] is a deacon in the United Methodist Church. She likes to think of deacon as shorthand for justice-seeking, peace-making, disciple-equipping follower of Jesus. She has a heart for racial, economic, and environmental justice and seeks to invite and equip others to work for justice in the world as part of faithful living. She is the Racial Justice Organizer for the Minnesota Annual Conference and Minister of Public Witness for New City Church in Minneapolis.

Rev. Nicolette Marie Peñaranda (she/ her) is the pastor of First Lutheran Church of the Trinity in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Nic was raised in the New York area where she attended Wagner College for her degree in Sociology, History, and Masters in Business Administration. While receiving her MDiv at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Nic began merging her love of art with scripture soon to be debuted in the children’s book God’s Holy Darkness, which challenges the light and dark binary. Outside of faith work, Nic works alongside the clergy caucus for The People's Lobby and Southsiders Organizing for Unity and Liberation (SOUL) fighting for the Cook County Budget for Black Lives, and the recently passed Pre-Trial Fairness Act. She leads racial justice facilitations through her game MONadvocacy – an interactive resource that places the participants in the lived diverse perspectives while trying to survive under capitalism. Nic is an abolitionist and believes in a future where everyone has the resources they need to thrive, like her ancestors once believed.

Rev. Tyler Sit has had the immense pleasure of being the church planter of New City Church in Minneapolis, a church that focuses on environmental justice. He is a lover of Minnesota, a United Methodist pastor, and the son of a Chinese immigrant. Tyler earned a BS in Communication Studies from Boston University and a Masters of Divinity from Candler School of Theology, and he has lived in four continents. He has formal training as a prison chaplain, community organizer, and social entrepreneur. When he is not at New City, you’ll find Tyler wandering around the Mississippi River. New City has been featured in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Minnesota Public Radio, and more.

Rev. Christian Briones is the Associate Minster at Mayflower Church (Minneapolis) where he serves and leads his community in the ways of justice by embodying the Gospel through preaching, protest and advocacy work. He also teaches and speaks in the community on justice and empowers people to continue on in the struggle for a more just world.

Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs was born in St. Paul. He is a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation, an American Indian tribe located in central Wisconsin. He has degrees in Pastoral Studies and Christian Theology and has served various churches as youth minister, adult Christian educator, and director of Men’s Ministries. Presently he is parish associate at Church of All Nations Presbyterian Church (Columbia Heights, MN). He is a cultural facilitator in the Twin Cities and works to raise the public’s awareness of American Indian causes and injustices. He is the Director of Community Engagement and Racial Justice for the Minnesota Council of Churches. Additionally, he is the creator and director of “Healing Minnesota Stories,” a program of the Minnesota Council of Churches dedicated to ensuring that the Native American voice is heard in areas where it has long been ignored.

Kelly Sherman-Conroy’s Lakota name is Mato Waste Winyan (Good Bear Woman). She is a proud member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Currently based in Minnesota, she is a Native American theologian who walks with people of all cultures. Kelly dedicates her time exploring with people around the world with the intersections of identity, personal narratives, faith, and healing through an Indigenous lens. Visit her website: