Sherei Lopez Jackson is a Jesus-loving, fiery, and fearless Latina who planted Pioneers Church in the heart of a post-Christian city, Durham NC, from scratch. Through much adversity, Jackson rose to the occasion by remaining faithful in a city and neighborhood that is very oppositional to the presence of a healthy church. In 2021, Jackson founded a social enterprise in the sanctuary of the church, which now operates as a fully staffed café, a marketplace with over 100 daily vendors, an events venue, and an equity-driven co-working space.
Jackson is a gifted communicator who uses her unique blend of relatable humor, conviction, story-telling, and academic rigor to speak to both culture and faith. Jackson earned her Masters of Divinity from Duke in 2020, where she also earned a certificate in missional innovation. She has preached over the last decade in churches, retreats, and camps. A serial entrepreneur and community leader, Jackson raised all of the capital needed to start the church and social enterprise, from scratch. When she's not leading Pioneers, you can find her enjoying time with her two miracle girls and husband.
Say Yes! Women are Uniquely Called to Build the Church
For two millennia two things have been true about women and the church: Women have been called by Jesus to help build and lead the church and women have been silenced in that call. As we look closely at Mary Madgelene's journey the cross and her response to Jesus's commands to go and tell of his resurrection, we see a free, deeply loved, and grounded woman who cares more about the words of Jesus then any cultural norms that might prevent the vitality of te most important story the world has ever heard getting out into the world. Through Mary's lens, we will inspect the limitations we face as women who carry the good news, and ask the Holy Spirit to empower us with our own 'yes'.
- Learn to value God's call over cultural norms.
- Experience a powerful example of what it means to be bold and respond to Jesus when the odds are stacked against you.
- Develop a theology of empowerment and support for women in the church.
- Activate the women in our congregation to say YES to all that God has for them.
Cancel Culture: Rising Above Culture Wars
As leaders, many of us double, triple, and quadruple-check any public content we produce in fear of the ever-dreaded avalanche that can happen after one disgruntled person online decides to take something out of context. In 2021, while 8 months pregnant and experiencing pre-term labor after a car-totaling accident, I was canceled. Over the span of the next few months during what should have been a maternity leave, I would lose many of my close relationships, my job, my retirement, my home, was publicly ridiculed and maligned, and had the safety of my family threatened by and in the city I called home.
In this talk, we will explore how to navigate the changing tides of cancel culture, how to remain healthy, who to respond to, and how to build a public presence that can weather through reputation damage of the severest kind.
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