Pastors Forum hosted by Rev. Peter Whitelock, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.


Rev. Peter Whitlock and Rev. Floyd Thompkins enjoy a moment during the Pastors Forum on Martin Luther King’s birthday celebration at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church.

On Sunday, January 15, Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church welcomed Rev. Floyd Thompkins, Director for the Center of Innovation in Ministry at San Francisco Theological Seminary, to preach in morning services in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The celebration was also attended by Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr. for whom the Center’s Smith-King Initiative at Stanford University is named, and by Rev. Dr. Jim McDonald, President of SFTS.

Rev. Thompkins spoke powerfully on the legacy of Dr. King first as a Christian minister, and second as a man who had civil rights leadership happen to him. The incarnation of God was working through King, and Rev. Thompkins encouraged us to follow in his legacy of faith and optimism in challenging times, saying “It is not important that we believe in God, what is important is that God believes in us.”

After the services, over 150 people from the congregation joined Rev. Thompkins for a lunchtime discussion and presentation on the Center as a catalyst for building bridges toward racial reconciliation. Participants engaged in a thought-provoking dialogue about how to humanize each other, and to recognize that we are all connected.  Harm to others is harm to ourselves, and bearing the weight of hate is more of a burden than bearing the lightness of love. At the end of the event, Pastor Whitlock presented a generous donation to the Center for Innovation in Ministry, with the hope of conveying their support of the work and vision outlined by Rev. Thompkins and LOPC’s commitment to finding solutions to the current social/racial challenges in the bay area. Rev. Thompkins and SFTS President Jim McDonald were very surprised and extremely grateful!

The Center for Innovation in Ministry is appearing again soon at LOPC!  Please RSVP for a Shifts Happen Lecture at  OR participate in an online Collaborative Seminar at  Our first Shift Happens lecture is taking place at LOPC on February 27.  We’d love to see you there!