Ministers Coalition for Social Change Presents– A Diverse, Cross-Congregational Small Group Model for Fostering “Beloved Community” to Promote Anti-Racism and to Address Racial Injustice with Repentance, Reconciliation and Restoration through Holy Conversations
Focus of the Group: Holy Conversation
The Small, Cross-Congregational Group organized from five churches, with three representatives per church, one clergyperson and two church members, seeks to live out a developing relationship with other cell group members. This relationship shall be forged from a common hope to garner authentic Christian community in the way of Jesus Christ. The group will seek to foster holy conversation that gives way to address what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the chief moral dilemma of the Christian Church” which is that we have “failed to make our own nation a brotherhood” in Christ in failing to love as God loves, respecting “the dignity and worth of all.” Part of this focus is to break down walls of segregation that happen due lack of authentic relationships between Black and white Christians.
Function of the Group: “Beloved Community”
The Cross-Congregational Small Group will seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit and work toward an end vision of Rev. Dr. King’s “beloved community” steeped in both redemption and reconciliation. This work can be revealed as “miracles” in relationship as God’s love is shown in the human heart, not just within the small group, but outward into relationships in the world that help transform other hearts and promote social justice and anti-racism. This hoped outcome will require holy conversation in both honest storytelling and genuine listening, as well as Spirit-guided reflection. This requirement stems from the command of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (NASB).” To this end, the group will seek to share in ways that correct misunderstandings (renew the mind), as well as name the pain of systemic racism, particularly in light of the call of Jesus’ all-encompassing, perfect love and redemption. This experience will help these individuals to be bridge-builders for anti-racism and cross-racial understanding within the Church and community.