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Our nation is at a crossroads.
There are divisions between us that are growing right now that have the opportunity to threaten the future of our nation for our children. A new level of the realization of the differences that exist between us because of the lines that are drawn by socio-economic and skin color differences have been thrust to the mainstream of our lives. We can not hide from it.
We believe it can lead to great things if we engage in conversation about these dividing lines, and what it will take to see them disappear as we walk together in a safe, engaging and loving way in our community.
We started the conversation on July 22nd with author David Docusen and a panel of local leaders. We explored how we can find beauty across some of the lines that have historically divided people, often without even knowing it. Listen in on that evening's discussion HERE.
Now, let's continue the conversation together.
Join the "Neighborliness" book discussion group!
What: We will read and discuss the book Neighborliness: Finding the Beauty of God Across Dividing Lines by David Docusen.
When: Starting September 9th
Weekly on Wednesdays, 7-8pm
Where: The Hope Center, 383 Vandervoort St
*A hybrid Zoom option will also be available
Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars, director Ava DuVernay's examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country's history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America. TV-MA For mature audiences. May not be suitable for ages 17 and under. Click the image to link to the YouTube video.
What if racial reconciliation doesn't look like what you expected? The high-profile killings of young black men and women by white police officers, and the protests and violence that ensued, have convinced many white Christians to reexamine their intuitions when it comes to race and justice.
What if all Christians listened to the stories of those on the racialized margins? How might the church be changed by the trouble we've seen?
Love your neighbor.
Jesus' simple command can feel overwhelming when our neighbor looks and lives differently than we do. Racial and economic tensions across the country have resulted in deep dividing lines that seem really intimidating to cross. Neighborliness is a practical guide to bridging those dividing lines and learning to recognize and amplify the beauty of God in our communities.
Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Outliers, offers a powerful examination of our interactions with strangers--and why they often go wrong. He uses the story of Sandra Bland as a frame for the truths he uncovers. Click then image to go directly to Amazon to order.
Dr. John M. Perkins is a leading civil rights activist today. He grew up in a Mississippi sharecropping family, was an early pioneer of the civil rights movement, and has dedicated his life to the cause of racial equality. In this, his crowning work, Dr. Perkins speaks honestly to the church about reconciliation, discipleship, and justice... and what it really takes to live out biblical reconciliation.
Racism is pervasive in today's world, and many are complicit in the failure to confront its evils. Jemar Tisby, author of the award-winning The Color of Compromise, believes we need to move beyond mere discussions about racism and begin equipping people with the practical tools to fight against it. How to Fight Racism is a handbook for pursuing racial justice with hands-on suggestions bolstered by real-world examples of change.
Jemar Tisby's acclaimed, timely narrative of how people of faith have historically--up to the present day--worked against racial justice. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response.
The Color of Compromise is both enlightening and compelling, telling a history we either ignore or just don't know. Equal parts painful and inspirational, it details how the American church has helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices. You will be guided in thinking through concrete solutions for improved race relations and a racially inclusive church.
Do you want to make a true difference in the world? Dr. Ron Sider does. He has, since before he first published Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger in 1978. Despite a dramatic reduction in world hunger since then, 34,000 children still die daily of starvation and preventable disease, and 1.3 billion people, worldwide, remain in abject poverty. So, the professor of theology went back to re-examine the issues by twenty-first century standards. Finding that Conservatives blame morally reprehensible individual choices, and Liberals blame constrictive social and economic policy, Dr. Sider finds himself agreeing with both sides.
You cannot discover lands already inhabited. Injustice has plagued American society for centuries. And we cannot move toward being a more just nation without understanding the root causes that have shaped our culture and institutions. In this prophetic blend of history, theology, and cultural commentary, Mark Charles and Soong-Chan Rah reveal the far-reaching, damaging effects of the "Doctrine of Discovery."
Dominique Gilliard explores the history and foundation of mass incarceration, examining Christianity’s role in its evolution and expansion. He then shows how Christians can pursue justice that restores and reconciles, offering creative solutions and highlighting innovative interventions. The church has the power to help transform our criminal justice system. Discover how you can participate in the restorative justice needed to bring authentic rehabilitation, lasting transformation, and healthy reintegration to this broken system.
In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.
We've had to make some adjustments to the way we gather. That has led us to an exciting conclusion about communion. We're sort of forced to equip you to celebrate it at home, without the help of a pastor or teacher or priest. After all, Jesus is our High Priest, we are the priesthood.
We don’t need a Priest on Earth to stand between us and God. Jesus does that for us. We can serve and share in communion as a member of the priesthood of all believers.
Here's a script for you to follow to celebrate communion wherever you are;
First, gather the elements you’ll use to represent the body and the blood of Jesus. All you’ll need is some sort of liquid to represent His blood and some kind of bread, or crackers to represent His body.
Pass out the bread and the juice. Now, spend some time in quiet meditation, silently considering and confessing your sins. Open to 1 Corinthians Chapter 11. When you are ready, have someone read this passage from scripture;
“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-24
Say: “This is Christ Body broken to make us whole”
Now, eat the bread together.
“In the same way, He took the cup also after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’” 1 Corinthians 11:25
Say: “This is Jesus’ Blood poured out to forgive our sins”
Now, drink the juice together.
Finish the reading: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:26
Celebrate with a shout of praise, in prayer and singing!
You have shared in The Lord’s Supper. You are His, and He is yours!
* Jesus said - “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
* Holy Communion or “The Lord’s Supper” is a way to celebrate our intimate connection and ongoing relationship with Jesus.
* It can be served by any believer to any other believer.
* It’s for anyone who openly confesses that Jesus is lord, that he died for our sins, rose again and ascended to the father.
* Communion is serious, but it’s also a celebration. It may seem somber because it reminds us of the violent manner of Christ’s death for us.