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Anti-racism Books by Carolyn Helsel

“Book of the Year 2018” from Academy of Parish Clergy

ST. LOUIS,  March 7, 2019

Two anti-racism books by Carolyn B. Helsel -- Anxious to Talk About It: Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully about Racism and Preaching About Racism: A Guide for Faith Leaders – share the “Book of the Year 2018” award from the Academy of Parish Clergy.

Anxious to Talk About It, published in February 2018, equips white Christians to engage in more informed and constructive conversations about racism in their churches and communities. Helsel’s follow-up book, Preaching about Racism (December 2018), helps preachers, pastors, and other faith leaders to address the topic of racism from the pulpit, biblically and theologically.

Helsel, a homiletics professor at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and a pastor in the Presbyterian Church USA, wrote Anxious to Talk About It after noting one of the main reasons people avoid talking about racism is an often debilitating anxiety about engaging the topic and accidentally causing more harm than good. 

“There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to working against racism,” Carolyn Helsel noted. “In order to change hearts and social structures, we have to be willing to listen, and we ourselves have to be brave in our speech. Anxious to Talk About It has helped a lot of churches listen, and Preaching about Racism gives faith leaders tools to speak courageously.”

APC’s recognition is given to the book—in this case, books—published in the prior year the committee believes best speaks to the needs and interests of parish clergy.

A third book, which trains adults to navigate conversations with children, youth, and young adults about human differences so they can raise up individuals committed to respectful civic engagement, will be co-written with Yvette Joy Harris Smith and is slated for a 2020 release.

“The past few years have made it painfully clear America still has deep-seated racism to eradicate,” said Chalice Press publisher Brad Lyons, “and Carolyn’s books provide proven methods to start the process in your congregation or other group. We are grateful to partner with Carolyn and so many others on these important, life-changing works.”

Anxious to Talk about It and Preaching about Racism are among several recent Chalice Press publications focusing on anti-racism to be recognized by prestigious faith-based organizations in the past few years:

The Academy of Parish Clergy is an international organization of those currently or formerly serving in a professional role of leadership in spiritual communities of all sizes and in a variety of settings. APC members span faith traditions and the various styles of ministry. 

CBP/Chalice Press publishes resources inviting all people into deeper relationship with God, equipping them as disciples of Jesus Christ, and sending them into ministries as the Holy Spirit calls them. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Chalice Press is the publishing arm of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), with a broader ecumenical outreach to the wider church.