Since June, 13 Black and white churches in Mooresville have been participating in a “3 Conversations” initiative. 3 Conversations is a multi-ethnic, cross-cultural, multidenominational Christian group that has gathered to combat the hatred and evil of racism. The mission of the initiative is to conduct acts of love and unity as the body of Christ that can be modelled for the rest of society.
Beginning Oct. 19, 3 Conversations is launching five interchurch small groups. These groups will meet online during October and November and will provide opportunities for participants to meet people from different churches and cultures while learning about racism and how to heal from it. All groups will have their foundation in Christian belief and practice on the subject.
“The hope is that these groups will include thought-provoking content and honest, civil, Christ-centered discussion on the topics, while also fostering understanding and community between the people from the various churches and ethnicities represented,” said Jared Stewart, associate pastor of Higher Purpose Church in Mooresville, who has been involved in leading the effort to form these groups.
The community is invited to participate in these small groups. The groups’ level designations are based on a person’s beliefs about racism coming into the discussion as follows: Level 1, Why is racism still an issue?; Level 2, Racism is just an individual issue; and Level 3. Racism is a societal issue.
Those interested should pick one of the online groups below and register for it according to the respective listing:
Level 1: Discussion on Race and the Gospel — This will be a five-week discussion that follows the video teaching of Bryan Loritts and Matt Chandler, who use Paul’s words in Ephesians to address race, racism, and injustice and to look for an answer to these problems in the American church. It will be led by Leigh Ehlers of Higher Purpose Church and Drew Fitzpatrick of First Presbyterian Church and will be held Tuesdays, Oct. 20 through Nov. 17, at 8 p.m. Text “GroupA” to 704-727-4454 to sign up for or ask questions about this group.
Level 1: Discussion on “Oneness Embraced” — This group will be a discussion on video teachings from “Oneness Embraced,” in which Dr. Tony Evans talks about how black/white relations in the culture at large and in the church in particular continue to be a stain on America’s respectable reputation, while he also seeks to promote a biblical understanding of the kingdom foundation of oneness. It will be led by Dr. Tamikia Greene of Faith United Methodist Church and will be held Mondays, Oct. 19 through Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. Text “GroupD” to 704-727-4454 to sign up for or ask questions about this group.
Level 2: Discussion on “White Awake” —This interactive discussion will focus on the book by Daniel Hill, which “will give you a new perspective on being white and also empower you to be an agent of reconciliation in our increasingly diverse and divided world.” It will be led by Pastor Logan Keck of Centre Presbyterian Church and will be held Mondays, Oct. 19 through Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. Text “GroupB” to 704-727-4454 to sign up for or ask questions about this group.
Level 2: Discussion on “The Color of Compromise” —This group will watch and discuss the video lectures on “The Color of Compromise” by Jemar Tisby, in which he provides a unique survey of American Christianity’s racial past, revealing the concrete and chilling ways people of faith have worked against racial justice. Understanding our racial history sets the stage for solutions, but until we understand the depth of the malady we won’t fully embrace the aggressive treatment it requires. It will be led by Dr. Matthew Pierce of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church and will be held Wednesdays, Oct. 21 through Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. Text “GroupE” to 704-727-4454 to sign up for or ask questions about this group.
Level 3: Reflecting on 3 Conversations — This group will be a discussion on the reasons why the 3 Conversations Initiative was started, what insights and experiences have come out of black and white pastors meeting together over the course of the initiative, and how the initiative and you can challenge systemic racial injustice in our community, country, and world. It will be led by Pastor Lawrence Williams and Associate Pastor Jared Stewart of Higher Purpose Church. It will be held Thursdays, Oct. 22 through Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. Text “GroupC” to 704-727-4454 to sign up for or ask questions about this group.
A committee made up of representatives from the various churches is spearheading the effort. More information on 3 Conversations can be found at https://www.higherpurposechurch.org/anti-racism-initiative/
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