The Rev. Merlyn Lawrence of Wheaton, associate pastor of the United Protestant Church (UPC) of Grayslake, will share her personal faith in action story on Sunday, Sept. 22 with a presentation called "The Battle Against Apartheid: A story of faith, struggle and victory."
Community members are invited to attend the free talk, which begins at 1 p.m. in the UPC sanctuary, located at 54 S. Whitney Street in historic downtown Grayslake. A potluck lunch will be held at noon in Fellowship Hall.
Those interested in attending the potluck should contact the church by Sept. 15 at (847) 223-8131. Childcare will be available during Rev. Lawrence's presentation. The event is being hosted by the UPC Women's Christian Fellowship.
Rev. Lawrence is originally from Cape Town, South Africa. As a young mother, she and her husband held activist meetings in their home and led the front lines against apartheid, helping gain freedom for South Africa. She will talk about how and where she was raised, her fight for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and her amazing faith journey.
Rev. Lawrence came to the United States 27 years ago and was a social worker for 37 years. She was actively involved in the anti-violence movement in South Africa and in the U.S., organizing communities against apartheid, sexual assault, domestic violence and all forms of violence and oppression. For the past 30 years she has coordinated counseling programs for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Rev. Lawrence has served the United Church of Christ in a variety of capacities at local, association, national and international levels. She graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Master of Social Science degree, received her Master of Divinity degree from Chicago Theological Seminary in May 2013 and was ordained into the United Church of Christ in August 2013.
About UPC: The United Protestant Church of Grayslake is made up of two denominations: the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ. It is a member of the Elgin District of the United Methodist Church and the Fox Valley Association of the United Church of Christ. The senior pastor is Rev. Dr. David Russell, and the associate pastor is Rev. Merlyn Lawrence. The website address is www.upcgl.org. Sunday worship services are held at 8:15 and 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning Christian education for all ages. Childcare is available all morning. For more information, call (847) 223-8131. The UPC is fully accessible, the sanctuary is air conditioned and an elevator is available at the west entrance.