In 2010, I asked the following question: What is your church doing for racial reconciliation?
My intention was to get some responses that would bring some good dialogue. Not much happened. Now we are in the year 2020. Is the question still relevant? How are we responding to it today?
Since 2010, we have had the privilege of serving many congregations through workshops we’ve done on Sundays, Wednesdays, and other days. We’ve gone near and far. We’ve had groups of 4, 15, and 40. We’ve tried to get past any and all obstacles in order to have conversations about racial reconciliation.
One thing we have noticed is the age of participants. They are younger and their questions are different.
We are living in a moment where people are asking all kinds of questions. People are talking about racism, discrimination, homelessness, diversity, oppressed communities, poverty and much more. If you like to use Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to stay updated, you’ve probably seen or sensed feelings of uncertainty.
When I was a teenager, (I know, many years ago) we were living in a time where fashion was rapidly changing. Importance was placed on living in a more egalitarian society. Not one where the rich are above and the poor below, or where the Gonzáles, Rojas, Díaz didn’t flourish much but the Subercaseux, Larraín, Délano did. We were living in an era where class division and political positions were opposite.
The big frustration was that none of the church leadership gave us clear, intelligent, or satisfactory answers. We found that the church (any denomination) was not relevant, oblivious to all reality, and not capable of understanding how we thought.
Now, experiences leave a mark on people’s lives. Unfortunately we tend to forget that we won’t be young and strong forever. We get older. We forget there's a new generation developing.
So, what legacy are we leaving them? The questions being asked by the generation after us are different questions from the ones we were asking. Their world is different. Even their values are different. Not bad, but different.
So what do this question have to do with differences in generations? A lot! They way new generations think about diversity, community, and inclusion is much different than we did.
So, what is your church doing for racial reconciliation?