The very first time I went to a particular writer’s retreat, I arrived with my internal arms crossed over my chest and an internal scowl on my face. On the outside, I was all smiles and I’m so happy to meet you. On the inside, I was more than a little bit tired of the whole thing.
Back home, my husband and I had been working for a few years with a little downtown church. Everything about this church was different from what I would look for, were I to find myself combing through the neighborhood in a quest for a church of my own. The architecture was dated, none of the people looked like me, the worship was stuffy, and the music was not my style.
I was like a woman stranded on a deserted island, in need of some for-real gospel music sung by Hezekiah Walker, Israel Houghton, Kirk Franklin, and The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. I needed a tambourine and some drums that kept time on two and four, instead of one and three.
Today — the day we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — is a good day for this little piece I’ve written. I’m glad it’s over at the IF: Gathering blog. Jennie Allen is a visionary with a team of visionaries. She and I have talked about the whole racially-divided-church-in-North-America phenomenon, and I believe her when she tells me she’s invested in the conversation. I’ll be at IF in Austin next month, and we’ll be looking for ways to weave this conversation into the mix. I hope you’ll join us, whether in Austin or at IF: Local.
Let’s be the ones who make the world stand up and take notice.