Getting people in the same room has the potential to produce good or fuel evil. At the same time, I can say that many of my most influential conversations took place within the context of a household. Many of my most enjoyable learning experiences have occurred within a community of diverse people that considered themselves to be a family. So with this, I can think of no better opportunity to address one of the most sensitive topics within our culture than amongst the household of God.
“Our goal is not just to get black people and white people in the same room; Jay-Z can do that. We want blacks and whites in the same family.“ -Trip Lee
Indeed, when people who are racially diverse are in the same room, the potential for interesting conversations and enlightening experiences increase. But, here is the important part: if those who are racially diverse consider themselves to be a family, then the potential for these types of increase abound. The respective spheres of influence for the people involved could promote (or destroy) relationship building and cross-cultural understanding. Both the similarities and differences between people may become more apparent. Personal perspectives are given the opportunity to change for the better (or for the worse). Unity around a common good is either born (or destroyed). Even with this, if we, in these environments, only glance momentarily across our racially divided country, we are forced to experience the angry sentiment and violence that displays the absence of racial harmony.
This is why at 7 PM on Wednesday night, October 26th at our Clifton Road campus (3815 Clifton Rd., Greensboro, NC), we will host a ‘Living Room Conversation: A Gospel-Centered Discussion on Race.’ The purpose for this is to encourage healthy dialogue within Mercy Hill Church on pressing social topics within our culture. We will aim to do this with a heart of worship, a diverse discussion panel, and a worship environment that is for both our church members and the local community.
So, if you will, consider this an invitation to come have a seat in our living room. And know that getting a diverse group of people in the same room to sing worship songs and a have a panel discussion is not our goal. Instead, our goal is to shed light on the reason why a great chasm exists between people because of race while revealing the only hope that can bridge the divide. Perhaps from this many may be encouraged by seeing not just a diverse group of people in the same room discussing race in a healthy manner, but rather a family.
-Gary Rivers (Associate Campus Pastor)