Friday, February 25, 2011

Perspectives from the Field: How do you Achieve your Dream?

It’s Black History Month. What does that mean for your congregation? I’m at a church in the Northland of Kansas City and our congregation is overwhelmingly white but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from Black History Month. In fact, we might have more to learn than a congregation that is more diverse.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech is famous as he laid out a vision of an all inclusive society. He is also famous for advocating non-violence as a way of achieving this dream when speaking up for what he believed in. Embracing Dr King's dream will often take us outside our comfort zone. It is important that we do so.

Last year, some of our youth went outside their comfort zone and visited St. James UMC, a predominantly African American congregation, and came back talking about their wonderful worship experience. This church was within our denomination but the style of worship was dramatically different.

When our youth attended “One God, One Day, One Love” in the fall, we got to interact with youth from other Methodist denominations and to see both how we were different and, more importantly, that we all worshiped One God.

Let’s all ask how we can bring us all together to share God's love with the world. We too can have a dream.

by Mark Whitaker
Youth & Young Adult Director and Communications Coordinator
Avondale United Methodist Church in Kansas City MO (North of the River)
Marketing Coordinator, youTheology Advisory Board
Loving God, Loving Neighbor

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