our EmbRACE studies

If you've been with our church this past year or have attended one of our community groups, you likely would have participated in one of our EmbRACE studies. I've written about these studies before, but the actual studies themselves were only shared within our community group ministry so I wanted to put these studies out there in part as (1) our humble contribution to the ongoing work of the church in its engagement with the systems of oppression in our society but also (2) as a snapshot to mark where our church is regarding racism in and around us. These are studies that are meant to be done in community, resting upon the Spirit's work to speak when God's people gather. If you only read the content without engaging with the Spirit at work in his people, these studies will be but brief summaries of our world's sins.

Some of you may know that the EmbRACE studies were originally from a series of studies put out by another church in hopes to move their congregation to deal with racism. And while I applaud the effort of the leaders of that church to shepherd their congregation, when reviewing the studies, I could not put the same study before our church without some editing; there were clearly some cultural blind spots that became apparent in the study material so the studies were completely rewritten with our congregation in mind. I am sure that in a few years, I may come back to these studies and realize that some parts did not age well and will need to be corrected.

What's clear at this point is that there is much to learn and there is much to mourn and lament. As we noted when we finished the last study today, the work is far from over if we are to live into our identity as God people and truly be a light to the nations -- a city on a hill. It is my hope that as our city reawakens that our church would more clearly recognize its calling and mission to repent and show the world the one who can change our hearts and redeem our broken world.