Great news! Good Samaritan is the proud recipient of an Indiana Center for Congregations grant of $30,000 that will fund nine months of Racial Reconciliation conversations, study, healing, immersive experiences and spiritual workfor our church and neighborhood, starting in July.

Every day in the news, there are fresh headlines about division, injustice, violence, and discrimination that reveals we are a country and a people who still have much work to do around healing the brokenness that racism has caused and continues to cause. While we at Good Samaritan pride ourselves on “being good people” and do not intentionally participate in acts of racism or discrimination, our Christian faith calls us to examine and confront our participation in larger systems of racism, to examine our own prejudices and biases, and to learn new practices of reconciliation so that we may be Christ’s agents of grace, peacemaking, and justice.

Over the next nine months, our grant will help us use worship experiences, guest speakers and workshops, small group studies, and field trips to answer this key question: How does our faith challenge and empower us to examine our own history, privilege, and bias, to seek God’s forgiveness for ourselves and others, and to transform us for the work of reconciliation in an increasingly diverse community and world?

First up in this series is our July Online Book Study Group on Waking Up White by Debby Irving. This book and group conversation invite us to explore who we are and empower us to bring more awareness to conversations about culture, whiteness, privilege and race. “My hope,” Irving says, “is that by sharing my sometimes cringeworthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, I offer a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance.“ Find out more about this group and register here.

Next, at our Good Sam’s Retreat on Saturday, August 17-Sunday, August 18 at Waycross in beautiful Brown County, we’ll explore this theme of reconciliation more. Our theme is Love Your Neighbor: More Than A Nice Tagline. Find out more about this group and register here.

I’m so grateful to the terrific team who has worked on this making grant application with the Center for Congregations: Deb Samples, Lara Dreyer, Erin Tanner, and Erica Ridderman. Well done! Gray+


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