Curtiss De Young spoke at last night's plenary session. De Young spoke about the first century church when the dominant Roman Christians entered the homes of the Jewish Christians. They joined the faith community and became marginalized. People lost family and friends. They left power and privilege at the door. The ethnic minority, the oppressed folks were the church leaders. The dominant culture gave up status and joined the community.
De Young shared his narrative of growing up "very white in a very white context" and talked about the turning point in his life when he began to attend and later to preach at an all black church in Harlem in the 80's. He challenged those who were white in the room to learn from people in struggle. To be trained. To come under the submission and leadership of someone of color. To go and stand with those who are not in privilege and power.
"If we are going to do the work of reconciliation, we need to experience mentorship from the marginalized."
Marshall Hatch also spoke last night. He talked about why race still matters in America.
"At the heart of the Gospel is Christ the King and the interest of poor is central. And you can't talk about poverty without talking about race in America."
He urged us to live these three principles..
1. Put the Kingdom of God first.
2. Repent from racism with fruit that demonstrates repentance. "Repentance is never a word you say, it's a life to be demonstrated."
3. We must pair evangelism and activism together.