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How do we have healthy conversations on race and engage to help show God’s love to our nation?
On Oct. 17 we held a Facebook Live event and heard from some of Cru’s ethnic minority staff to get answers to questions like, “How do we celebrate culture?” and “How do we engage in conversation without stirring up anger?”
AFTER WATCHING THE VIDEO
CREATE A SAFE PLACE
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6
Set these discussion norms for your group:
- Get in groups of five.
- Agree to believe the best in people.
- Seek to be a learner, ask questions if you want to know more about what someone is sharing.
- If something is said that is offensive, then speak into it with grace and truth. Try not to be attacking.
- Don’t interrupt.
- This is a listening time, not a time of advice.
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Romans 12:3
- Some of you following the discussion might be excited, nervous, terrified, indifferent, uneasy or feeling like you don’t want to say anything offensive. We want to talk about those feelings. Download the Soularium app and pick out an image that represents how you feel talking about race.
- Share something that you were encouraged or surprised to hear from the Facebook Live discussion.
- What is something you were glad or encouraged to hear?
- How does the gospel speak into racism today? Read Ephesians 2:11–16
- What does it mean to be unified in Christ? Read Colossians 3:1–17, Galatians 2:11–14
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb....” Revelation 7:9
- Pray using Revelation 7:9 knowing that we all are image bearers of Christ, we all reflect him and all are to worship Him.
- If you are having a hard time with this topic and still can’t see it as an issue, pray the Lord would meet you where you are and would work in your heart first.
- Pray for conversations to continue to be had and that we would all seek to be learners and move towards each other and celebrate different cultures.
- Pray for the families who have lost loved ones as a result of race.
- Pray for change, that ethnic minorities and police can work together to make America a safe place for everyone.
Either with your group following the event, or in the weeks that follow the event:
- Study passages of the Bible: John 4:1–30; Romans 12:3, 12:9–21; Colossians 3:1–17.
- Seek out a friend not from your culture and apply the 3 x 1 approach: Listen three times as much as you speak.
- Continue the conversation with Racial Understanding groups. Use these questions for further discussion:
- What is something you were surprised to hear or never thought about before?
- What is your cultural and racial experience? What is your background?
- Were there any topics or questions that you see relating to your life?
- What is something you heard tonight that you want to implement in your own life?
- In your groups, write “I am from” essays that celebrate culture, heritage, hurts and personal challenges. Be open and honest with your group by sharing struggles and victories.
Example: “I am from” essays - Start every sentence with I am from and start sharing where you personally have come from and have experienced.
–I am from the beautiful state of Michigan.
–I am from the laughter of my parents, And the tears of my parents. I am from a broken marriage.
–I am from families who value good food and have a deep love for chocolate. Who love gathering around big round tables so we can all be apart of lively conversations.
–I am from a family of artists, dancers, singers, and visits to countless museums because we value the arts.
–I am from privilege that has enabled me to be able to experience a lot of the world and experience very different cultures then mine.
–I am from a creator that made me to be creative and engage well with others.
–I am from a Heavenly Father who calls me his beautiful daughter.