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Faith Seeking Understanding Forum

RACE: UNITY IN DIVERSITY

April 20–21, 2018

Register here. CHILDCARE IS NOW FULL. We have reached capacity and are unable to register any more children.

Sign up here to bring food for Saturday's breakfast. Help is needed with registration, food, and setup. We are also looking for a lead teacher to facilitate lessons for children in grades K–5. Please email dmainsworth@icloud.com if you are interested in participating.

Vision

God treasures unity. Speaking of His people, God desires that “they may be one even as we are one” (John 17). God treasures diversity (Revelation 7:9). God also treasures unity in diversity (Acts 2, Colossians 3:9-11). While there is no marriage in heaven, there does seem to be ethnicity (nation, tribe, and tongue). In heaven there is difference. And while “all are precious in His sight,” what God sees, what heaven reflects, is not uniformity, but unity.

Christianity is the most diverse religion in the world, by any measure of diversity. One aspect of diversity is race. Trinity wishes to become a “multi-ethnic community,” and this forum is part of a journey toward being a multi-ethnic church, a journey that we understand will take us well into the future.

That humans are made in the image of God abolishes any oppressive distinction based on skin color. In this Forum, Trinity seeks to discuss individual and institutional racism and how these both require a private and public response.

One Trinity member put it like this: “We cannot, as a congregation, simultaneously bear the suffering of the cross while fearing the possible discomfort of the act.” We need to determine what love looks like in this cultural moment. Jesus Christ gives the clearest method and motive for entering into suffering, whether it be individual or institutional, and the clearest method and motive for a private and public response.

We also want to understand repentance. We want the idols of our hearts revealed so that love can become tangible, so that abstractions, which so often create distance, can be avoided.

This Forum is consciously rooted in a theological approach to race, a historical framework for race, and local anecdotes as illustrations of race and racism playing out in our space of Charlottesville.

We want our intention to align with our impact and to have the sense to know when this occurs.

Our posture is one based on a desire to be effective rather than right, conversational rather than confrontational—yet truth is often hard. Racism penetrates our society in countless arenas, and many individuals bear its stain, whether that be active or passive, explicit or implicit, perpetrated or borne. But the church is a body, a diverse one with many necessary parts (1 Corinthians 12). And we need each other.

DETAILS

Friday, April 20
6:00pm Registration opens
6:30pm Presentation by Christina Edmondson
Also: local stories; Q&A with Christina Edmondson; screening of the documentary That World Is Gone: Race and Displacement in a Southern Town

Saturday, April 21
8:00am–12:15pm
Coffee and breakfast; presentation by Christina Edmondson; roundtable discussions; local stories. Sign up here to bring food for Saturday's breakfast.

We are suggesting a contribution of $5–$10 per person toward the Forum's expenses.
Register here. You must pre-register if you need childcare for your child(ren) ages infant–grade 5. Childcare is provided on Saturday only.

ABOUT OUR SPEAKER

Christina Edmondson Christina Edmondson is committed to bringing diverse people together to promote personal and team flourishing. Christina holds a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Tennessee State University, an MS degree from the University of Rochester in Family Therapy, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Hampton University. Currently, she serves as the Dean for Intercultural Student Development at Calvin College. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. Christina is married to Pastor Mika Edmondson of New City Fellowship Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and she is the mother of two wonderful little girls.