July 21, 2011

Racial Reconciliation in America: Is it Possible?

Editor's Note: Interesting read below if you are interested in racial reconciliation in America. If you live in the Denver, Colorado area, you may want to check out this social justice gathering at Cherry Creek Wesleyan Church on Friday, July 22, at 7pm.-----------------------------

Why attend a – DoYouKnowMe.org - Real Relations event?

Even as our culture becomes more ethnically and culturally diverse from our neighborhoods to the President - there is a remarkable amount of polarization and tension driving division in this country. A culture of instant gratification encourages the use of stereotypes and superficial labels. We respond to people based on pre-conceived ideas rather than relationship. We cannot hope to find common ground because we are not really in dialogue – we are just preaching our own perspective. People can see examples of the tension exploding in a variety of ways, but is an issue that people don't know how to process. People don't have a healthy way (vehicle) to talk about racial issues - even if they are willing.

The idea is to bring people together in a relatively safe environment of music, story and prayer to acknowledge and give expression to the issue on a personal level. Because everyone is unique we are not promoting any particular agenda or ministry - specific approach or attitude. This is not a top down approach but an attempt to empower people and through them - local communities to action! If people are willing to expand their own understanding we hope people will take their personal commitment to the next level and seek to understand the people around them – even if they don’t agree.

DoYouKnowMe.org is based on the idea that much of the tension we are experiencing (some of it turning to violence) is because we are unwilling to REALLY get to know people through loving committed relationships. Each of us "labels" people based on our perception of them without really getting to know them. Changing this would be good for all people – but as Christians we have been called to this in our daily lives. As people of the Church and disciples of Christ we are not always living out the commandment to "love your neighbor as yourself." If each of us would be willing to identify the person in our own "sphere" (that we may have chosen until now to pass by) and choose to get to know that person - things will change for the better. If each of us will change one thing in our own sphere of influence - every sphere influences another -and the ripple (or multiplication) effect can be tremendous.

Think about each of your personal, familial, relational, recreational, social, religious, educational, vocational, governmental etc. spheres. I really believe that if we can get people excited at a grassroots level about changing one thing in their own sphere of influence we can make a difference beyond ourselves for the kingdom.

The results could be exponential! (2 Cor. 10:13-16) Of course that transformation (willingness to change one thing) comes as we enter into prayer and worship! Please come and join us – and simply ask God, “Who is MY neighbor?” and “Do I really know them?”

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