In Bishop Jim Hobby's opening sermon of Gathering 2019: Diocesan Conference & 154th Convention, Bishop Jim preached on the theme "no longer strangers," that through the Gospel, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we are no longer strangers to God and no longer strangers to others. He also pointed out, as much as that may be theologically and biblically true, there is a lot more work to do to act and live that out; to reject the cultures of tribalism we find ourselves in. No sphere is that more apparent than the sphere of race.
"...We need to engage a culture that has a long history of tribalism - that declared white, western European culture and genetics as normative. A culture that still wants to eradicate or avoid the undesirable. A culture that is moving away from the church. But we will fail miserably if our primary strategy is tribal rallies that declare them to be the enemy. They are not the enemy, no matter who they are in your heart, mind or imagination. A place for us to start as a diocese, is with the conversation about race & racial reconciliation."
-Bishop Jim Hobby
In the address, Bishop Jim called all members of the diocese to join him in this work through beginning to learn and dialogue about racial reconciliation now through next year. He mentioned that he's tapped Dolores Oliver of Reconciliation Anglican Church to coordinate these efforts.
The first discussion in this series will take place on Friday, December 6, 2019 from 7:00-8:30 at Church of the Ascension in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. We will also be live streaming this discussion on our Facebook Page. The opening book is One in Christ: Bridging Racial & Cultural Divides by Dr. David Ireland, PhD. The book is available in physical, digital and audio formats wherever you get your books.
About One in Christ:
Racial strife is tearing communities apart across the United States, but many of us don’t know how to start healing the divide. NBA Diversity Consultant David Ireland offers an answer. In One in Christ, Dr. Ireland draws on years of experience pastoring and counseling a congregation of over 9,000 members from more than 70 nations to equip you with practical skills for racial reconciliation. One in Christ directs you to the great reconciler, Jesus Christ. Warmth, regard, and respect emanated from His person toward others—no matter their background.
All members of the Diocese are welcome to attend. The event is free. Please RSVP to let us know you're coming!