by Chris Jacobs -- Denver, CO — Thursday, 28 July 2016 12:46
Jesus' prayer for unity recorded in John 17 compels Christians to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Jesus’ dream is for complete unity, a calling and standard against which our enemy, the devil, constantly prowls, seeking to destroy. As disciples we strive for this perfect unity in the church, yet understand that because of our sins, weaknesses or lack of awareness, we often fall short of the goal. Praise God for his unfailing grace and limitless patience which teach us to love one another deeply, understanding that love covers over a multitude of sins.
America has been called a melting pot due its multiplicity of racial and ethnic groups, which to some degree blend into the fabric of our great, yet flawed nation. There are tremendous strengths and synergistic opportunities which proceed from variant views, perspectives and convictions. And as anyone who has experienced America can attest, there are also great challenges and tensions, which accompany the attempt to blend these sometimes conflicting cultural values into a unified whole. The church is not immune to these same challenges and as we strive for unity, it is important to be aware that different groups within the church view and experience American life differently than others.
by Chris Jacobs -- Denver, CO — Friday, 05 August 2016 08:52
Later that year (2015) in June, there was a tragic shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina where nine black members of a church were murdered by a white assailant. With the support of our leadership, I prepared and read the below statement to our congregation the following Sunday:
"I’m sure most of us are very aware of the tragic shooting deaths that took place in the historic AME church in Charleston, South Carolina, just 11 days ago. We’d like to take a moment to reflect and pray for those involved and for our nation.
Twelve people, in a setting not unlike ours today, gathered together seeking God through Bible study and prayer. The 12 were black Americans. With Christian love and warmth, these 12 welcomed a troubled young white man into their fellowship. As you know, this young man with unspeakable hatred in his heart and with a misguided desire to inspire others to join in his depravity, shot and killed nine of the 12 precious souls.
by Chris Jacobs -- Denver, CO — Wednesday, 10 August 2016 14:25
In February of this year, 2016, we were excited to welcome Scott and Thereasa Kirkpatrick to Denver. Scott and Thereasa lead in the church in Columbia, South Carolina and are involved with racial diversity on a global level for the International Churches of Christ. Wade Cook, an evangelist, took the lead and was fully supported by our elders and evangelists. We planned a diversity weekend in honor of Black History Month. Scott and Thereasa spoke to the church on Saturday evening, teaching a Biblical and practical lesson on black relations and culture in the U.S. I invite you to listen to their message: Black History Month 2016 Devotional.
I was surprised to learn that to Scott and Thereasa’s knowledge, our diversity weekend focused on black issues was the first they had heard of in our fellowship.
On Friday evening and Saturday, Scott and Thereasa met with some of our black leaders to discuss their feelings about the DCC in relationship to racial sensitivity and understanding. I thought this would go well; we’d get a great report. I am reminded of times I’ve had myself or with others, where a husband and wife gather for a time to talk about their marriage with another couple. The couple is asked, “How are things going?” The husband eagerly answers, “Great, wonderful, excellent...” The wife begins to cry, and so begins a great opportunity for growth.