Healing Conversations…Talking About Race, Ethnicity And Reconciliation From Perspectives Of The Kingdom Of God
The Apostle Paul says in II Corinthians 5 that God has given to us the ministry of reconciliation. That is an important ministry!! It begins, first of all, by witnessing to the work of God’s grace in Christ through which God reconciles men and women to himself. That is the beginning, but not the extent of the ministry of reconciliation that God has entrusted to the followers of Jesus.
Jesus himself said in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are those who make peace, for they shall be called the sons and daughters of God.”
We live in a society and culture where there is a great need for reconciliation and peace to be fashioned between many different groups of people. Divisions abound; mistrust and dishonor of those who are different from us are rampant; angry words and even acts of violence have become commonplace.
At Wellspring we are sponsoring a series of Healing Conversations that we hope will begin to help us become better equipped for this ministry of reconciliation and making peace. Specifically we will be hosting conversations that focus upon our experiences of race, ethnicity and about building bridges of understanding and trust that can lead to deeper relationships with brothers and sisters who come from different backgrounds than we do.
The name for this initiative is carefully chosen. We desire interactive “conversations,” not hostile arguments or political diatribes. And our goal is healing of hearts and relationships, not a political platform. The conversations we envision will be focused on healing and reconciliation, centered upon the cross and the values of the Kingdom of God, and filled with much listening to achieve heart understanding of our brothers and sisters who have different backgrounds and experiences than our own.
Some may ask, “Why are we doing this?” Good question! We have been given the ministry of reconciliation and the call to be makers of peace. Currently our nation and culture are fraught with division, strife, fear and hatred. Political demagoguery abounds. As people of the cross, we can become agents of healing and reconciliation to one another within our own church family, and to the wider community beyond Wellspring.
On Sunday, June 9 at 6:30 PM Pastors Rick, Wes and Kevin will host our initial Healing Conversation. Currently that evening is being carefully planned and facilitators of these conversations are being trained to help us accomplish the healing interaction we are seeking. We will be exploring some questions that will reflect our own personal journeys with these themes. Questions like, When did race/ethnicity become more than words for you? Or, How do you respond when someone says, ‘I don’t see color?’ These are questions that are designed to give us an opportunity to be vulnerable with one another. Some of the conversation may be uncomfortable for many of us at times. But the goal is to achieve better mutual understanding. The goal is to become better sons and daughters of God. The goal is to move toward healing of hearts. The goal is to live together in harmony, as Jesus prayed we would. Please consider joining us for this initial Healing Conversation on June 9.