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Sunday Services at 8:30 and 11:15
 
Seeking the renewal of all things through Jesus Christ
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Faith Seeking Understanding Forum

RACE: UNITY IN DIVERSITY

Materials from the Forum

Audio Files
Talk 1: Christina Edmondson
Talk 2: Phyllis Leffler
Talk 3: Christina Edmondson
Talk 4: Pat Edwards

That World is Gone (documentary on the Vinegar Hill neighborhood of Charlottesville; 20 minutes and well worth watching)

From Cultivators to Colonizers—slide show by Christina Edmondson
PowerPoint accompanying Phyllis Leffler's talk

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.

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.