I'm very excited about the "Go Underground" project coming up in February, and I would love to see you sign up!
After our years in LA, in the Deep South, and partnering with various churches and leaders around Kansas City, my heart has never been more broken for racial tensions and disparities that infest our society every day. We have seen different versions of it in Kenya and in Italy, too, but the ugly core of it is the same.
For whatever amount of growth that has happened in me, I attribute most of it to one simple practice - being in genuine give-and-take conversations with people in the minority. That's it. No major project, no "let me help you" relationship, no seminar on reconciliation. Just growing in familiarity with others.
I believe firmly that most of those in the majority who aren't convinced of the depth of the problem or who inadvertently make things worse primarily just need more of that familiarity. Genuine give-and-take conversations, engaging lots of listening and absolutely no unsolicited advice.
How can those who have never experienced living on the short end of the tension waltz in with solutions of their own design?
I wish you would join us. Just four conversations, one Saturday night per month starting in February, joining together people from Grace Fellowship and from Bridge of Hope to build more of that simple familiarity.
We're not going to solve the problem, or even try. Our goal is to understand one another better, and hopefully grow in our ability to more clearly see what causes and what relieves a tension that plagues our city.
Perhaps those who are least motivated to become part of these conversations are the ones who most need to be. We may expose nerves or even personal sin. We may have some deeply held assumptions challenged. All the more reason for us to be involved.
Some of you have asked some great questions about the approach of the discussion material, especially concerned that it might be coming from a very worldly perspective that places all the blame on the majority, and we all just need to talk about how guilty we are. First, we will make of the discussion questions whatever we choose to. Second, the sample session I was a part of had none of that attitude. Third, if we do have some measure of blame to own, by God's grace we should own it, but I see nothing in the material that tries to force that onto us.
It's not about blame and guilt, but about building relationships.
Please seriously consider joining us. Let me know as soon as you can. I already have a great list of participants.
(The "Underground" ballet is an optional part of this. If you want to see this story about the church's role in the Underground Railroad on the first weekend in February, let me know. Tickets will be $35-60, depending on what seats are available when I order. We will get a 20% discount.)