After our community took shape, in Oct. 2017, 8 members signed a covenant committing to participate in a pilot cohort. In the following 6 months, we met bi-weekly to explore a variety of topics. Topics ranged from what Whiteness is and how it impacts us to how to position ourselves as White allies. Hearing from guest speakers, participating in field trips, entertaining creative exercises, and engaging earnest discussion were just a few of the ways we learned.
As I reflect on this journey, I can say that I am not the same. Be it learning how to lead at a higher level, receiving insights from people of all races, or learning the simple, but profound practice of how to walk in community, I feel like I've moved one step closer to being the reconciler God is calling me to be.
Though just a pilot, our cohort had real impact. But don't take my word for it. Check out these testimonies:
"My understanding of the Gospel is deeper, richer, and more expansive than before. My social network is changing -- my friends, my church experience, work interactions, etc. These have been wonderful ways that God has shown me more of Himself." - Kate
"I read the news differently, I listen differently, I look at and interact with people in crowds differently. I think about how I use my resources in a new way… I have a changed mindset and it affects everything." – Jeremy
Regular conversations in a trusted space about our and others' journey of racial awareness helped us better understand the diversity of experiences around us. We deeply appreciated the emphasis on God's vision for reconciliation as a foundation on which to build greater understanding of race in our culture, our own biases, and God's desire for real healing between white communities and communities of color." - Scott & Shelton
I thank God who showered us with his grace and allowed seeds to be planted and grow. I look forward to what he will continue to do through pilot cohort participants and in future cohort communities.