Healing Conversations, as a Wellspring initiative, has come about because of three inter-related dynamics. The first is the ongoing divisive “noise” in our broader culture regarding matters of race and ethnicity. The second is the growing Spirit-born diversity that we see emerging in the Wellspring community. The third (and most important) is the Kingdom theme and mandate of reconciliation. God seeks to reconcile humanity to Himself through the cross; and He commits to His people the ministry of reconciliation where divisions have torn asunder the fabric of the human family.
Our initiative has three key goals. The first is to create an atmosphere where genuine sharing and listening can occur, pertaining to our individual journeys related to issues of race and ethnicity. We want to be able to move beyond, “Hi! God bless you! How are you doing?”, to hearing the details of one another’s journey through experiences of hurt, injustice, and prejudice, and also of healing, grace, and reconciliation, through the redeeming work of Christ and his truth.
The second goal is to increase our understanding of one another’s heart perspectives, thereby deepening our understanding, respect, and love for one another. This is a gospel-goal for the Wellspring family. Jesus calls us to love one another. It is hard to genuinely love someone if you don’t know them. This is especially true when it comes to matters of ‘difference’. I cannot understand how to best honor and love someone who comes from a different background, experience, and perspective than me, if I do not make myself vulnerable to listening to them. I need to hear their heart in order to respond in the kind of love in which Jesus calls me to walk.
Our third goal in these conversations is to pursue our charge from Jesus to be the salt and light of the Kingdom in our culture, for this issue. We are not pursuing any political agenda in our conversations. Rather, by talking and listening to one another’s journeys and hearts, we are learning how to be agents of healing and reconciliation in our relationships and spheres of influence beyond Wellspring.
So, with these goals in mind, we have planned a Healing Conversations for Sunday evening, October 18th. We will gather around tables in the Cafe to listen, learn, and share with other members of the diverse Wellspring family. The first few gatherings have generated lots of laughter, some deeper appreciation for one another, and even sparked some new friendships for those who have come. I hope you will join us that evening. Come prepared to listen, learn, and love!