Who do you need to know?
Who are you connected with within your natural social network who cares about healing the wounds of social division? Do you have any friends or mentors outside of your natural social network from whom you could learn more? If you are a person of faith, how can you reach out to God and others within your faith tradition for connection and help?
“The ‘heart’–the seat of our emotions and the soul–needs to be engaged through relationships of mutual dependence. As a person of faith, I see those relationships as both vertical and horizontal.
The vertical relationship with God is expressed through prayer: both in the confession of corporate, historic, and individual sin, and the crying out to God for help in knowing how to participate in the work of restoration and repair.
The horizontal relationships involve giving and receiving, recognizing our common humanity, and trusting that each of us has gifts to offer and needs that only other people can fill.
Without engaging our hearts, we run the risk of an arrogant approach to social problems that ignores love and perpetuates existing power structures.”
from Amy Julia’s blog post: Hope for Healing.
Reflections on the ways that we keep each other from experiencing God’s love, with a focus on some of the ways the practices of the white Protestant church’s history have been exclusionary
A look at the process in which we participate in God’s love, rather than just give it away
In order to reflect on the ways that we are all obligated to each other, we must put to rest the idea of “noblesse oblige,” or that the “noble class” is obligated to the rest of us,
An appreciation of the ways Jesus relied on the service and hospitality of others in order to inform our own ideas about service and who is serving who.
Mindful Silence: The Heart of Christian Contemplation by Phileena Huertz explains Christian contemplation–an ancient set of practices that have been neglected (by Protestants, at least) for many centuries but that holds great promise for helping us connect the needs of our souls to the needs of the world. The eastern practices of meditation here connect to the Christian understanding of God as a personal and relational being at work within and through us. Listen to her Faith Conversation episode with Anita Lustrea here or learn about the Gravity Center here.
Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times by Soong-Chan Rah
Reconciling All Things: A Christian Vision for Justice, Peace and Healing by Chris Rice and Emmanuel Katongole: A fitting encouragement in thinking about the slow, local, messy work of making old things new.
We want to hear from you…
Do you have a story about an unexpected friendship? Or a story about how prayer–individual or corporate–helped you connect your heart to issues around social division? We’d love to hear them and possibly share them here. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts.