Create space for small groups to come together to learn, grow, and build relationships. The Beloved Community is not something we can think into existence. It takes the hard work of building relationship that help you understand the richness and diversity of God’s creation, and see a more distinct picture of the work we are called to do to further realize God’s vision of the Kingdom here on earth.
Create a book club, Lenten series, forum, and/or educational space to walk through some of these resources together.
Engaging Together – Meeting Outline
We advise that you use this meeting outline as a template as you structure your time together. Attending to each element of the meeting ensures that we walk into learning feeling connected to one another and open to the spirit and movement of God.
Here are some resources that could guide you into group discussion and learning around the Beloved Community:
Living Into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America
While the dream of a “Post-Racial” America remains unfulfilled, the struggle against racism continues, with tools both new and old. This book is a report from the front, combining personal stories and theoretical and theological reflection with examples of the work of dismantling racism and methods for creating the much-needed “safe space” for dialogue on race to occur. Its aim is to demonstrate the ways in which a new conversation on race can be forged. This book also includes discussion questions at end of the book.
Reconciling All Things: A Christian Vision for Justice, Peace, and Healing
Our world is broken and cries out for reconciliation. But mere conflict resolution and peacemaking are not enough. What makes real reconciliation possible? How is it that some people are able to forgive the most horrendous of evils? And what role does God play in these stories? Does reconciliation make any sense apart from the biblical story of redemption?
Minnesota Council of Churches—Respectful Conversations
Conversations about divisive issues can be emotional, pick-a-side-and-fight-it-out discussions that often leave us feeling worse about the people we disagree with. And sometimes even worse about ourselves. But there is a way to talk that feels open, honest, and impartial, where you can actually be heard and learn about the people with whom you disagree―Respectful Conversations, which are designed not to change minds, but to soften hearts.
Minnesota Council of Churches—Black Clergy Speakers Bureau
To help the church reflect on the challenges of being Christian in America after Charleston, Falcon Heights, Baton Rouge, and other such incidents, the Minnesota Council of Churches has organized a speakers’ bureau of Christian leaders from our Historic Black Churches. Hearing the stories of these pastors and their families about being black in Minnesota will build empathy in your congregation, which aids discernment of right action. Help your community learn from black Christian leaders about their experiences and concerns by inviting one to speak in your church.
On Being – Civil Conversations Project
The Civil Conversations Project seeks to renew common life in a fractured and tender world. We are a conversation-based, virtues-based resource towards hospitable, trustworthy relationship with and across difference. We honor the power of asking better questions, model reframed approaches to entrenched debates, and insist that the ruptures above the radar do not tell the whole story of our time. We aspire to amplify and cross-pollinate the generative new realities that are also being woven, one word and one life at a time.
Christians are more than twice as likely to blame a person’s poverty on lack of effort
This article published in the Washington Post investigates the tension many Christians find themselves in – helping and blaming those in poverty.