Our Conversation on Justice + Unity Continues October 2By Darrell Yoder on September 17, 2018
Last spring, we started a three-part conference series on the theme "Justice + Unity: Toward the Healing of a Fractured Church." At the beginning, Dr. Tim Gombis laid out a powerful vision of the multiethnic gospel of Jesus Christ, drawing from Paul's words to the Ephesians, "For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…to create in himself one new humanity" (Ephesians 2:14-15).
As Tim explained, Jesus reconciled humans to himself, and he reconciled humans to each other. Therefore, multiethnic, multiracial diversity should be a distinguishing mark of the Church of Jesus Christ. Tim's words are still ringing in my ears: "The temple of God's ethnically and racially unified people stands as a monument to God's triumph." That statement casts an inspiring vision for what the church can be, if we will with humble, grateful hearts go to work on the ways we are fractured.
After Tim's opening talk, Drs. Mika Edmondson, Christina Edmondson, Todd Robinson and a panel of local pastors provided biblical, cultural and historical wisdom for understanding what justice and unity means for us today. Click here to listen to the talks from the first conference. It'll be worth your time.
After that conference, we collaborated with CityFest's One West Michigan effort to host four monthly luncheons to dialogue and cultivate relationships. Scores of leaders from around the city came together in those fruitful discussions.
Our Conversation Continues Oct. 2
On Oct. 2, we will pick up where we left off. At this event, we will focus on Hispanic/Latino(a) experiences and perspectives regarding justice and unity. As I wrote previously, the biblical concept of justice and righteousness can be crystalized into two main ideas: "care for the vulnerable" and setting "right relationships." The gospel's call to do justice is all about looking for the vulnerable around us, caring for and defending them and taking steps to set relationships right, especially among God's people.
When we think about Hispanic/Latino(a) communities and concerns, we can easily identify many who are vulnerable to harm: families fleeing corruption and violence; children separated from their parents; brothers and sisters in Christ whose grip on the English language leaves them vulnerable to abuse.
I hope you will join us on Oct. 2, as we focus our hearts and minds on what justice and unity means for Hispanic/Latino(a) Christians. Invite your church leadership, bring a friend or just come by yourself. Take steps with us to listen, learn and walk with one another.
Later this week, I will provide a few highlights about what the speakers will cover.