Race & Christian Community Initiative Newsletter Issue 2, March. 2018
Race & Christian Community Initiative
Praise God for his faithfulness in nurturing the Race and Christian Community Initiative (RCCI)! As the leader of a new ministry, each day is an adventure. Each day provides opportunities to learn and grow and participate in God's healing work.

Since my last newsletter, RCCI successfully concluded our pilot cohort and helped bring a 4-week Mission Institute training on "Liberating Ourselves from Racism" to EGC staff. We've also begun preparing for our ministry launch party that will be held on Thu., May 31st, 2018. Please join us to connect to others interested in racial reconciliation, celebrate God's goodness, and invest in his reconciling work.

Thank you for your interest and support.

Megan Lietz
RCCI Program Director
Ministry Launch Party Save-the-Date:
Thu. May 31st, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Celebrating our Pilot Cohort
Last year, I wrote a blog post challenging White evangelicals to engage in issues of race. With not much more than a hope and a prayer, I invited people to respond by joining me to continue the conversation. To my delight, 8 participants showed up on a snowy April morning. Little did I know, but the courageous individuals who gathered that day would be the beginning of RCCI's pilot cohort.

By the end of our gathering, we had learned together and expressed an interest in continuing to grow in community. While I didn't know what that might look like or what a group strangers could agree to, we hopefully and humbly took steps ahead. Highlights during this time included reading Waking Up White, examining our motivations, and wrestling with expressions of White Supremacy in Charlottesville and Boston.
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.
Check out my recent blog post
to learn how good people can be racist in ways they may not realize or intend.
Liberating Ourselves from Racism at EGC
EGC staff participated in a four-week, staff meeting series led by our friends at the Mission Institute on "Liberating Ourselves from Racism." During these gatherings we spent significant time sharing and listening to one another in community. Part of our time together included identifying where racism exists on personal, interpersonal, institutional, and systemic levels at EGC.

In my opinion, these meetings helped people see that we are all entering into the conversation at different places. It also allowed staff people to share their perspective on where they feel work needs to be done. Understanding where we are at as individuals and a community is important in developing a course ahead.

Next steps include debriefing with the Mission Institute, attending a workshop on dismantling racism within organizations, and developing a growth plan for EGC. EGC is strongly committed to actively exploring these issues as a community. Please pray for us as we continue this journey, working to create a more equitable environment in and through our ministry.
How You can Support: Developing A Team Around RCCI
In this next season I will be focusing on developing a multiracial team so RCCI can have the support, resources, and accountability to develop what God has started. Please see below for how you can support RCCI in this critical time of development.

  • Pray: Lift prayers up on behalf of RCCI and consider becoming a member of the prayer team. Click here to see our current prayer requests.
  • Speak into the Initiative: I desire for RCCI to be shaped by the experiences and insights of the community. Offer feedback or request a time to talk by emailing me at mlietz@egc.org.
  • Refer us to a Resource: Do you know of someone or something that would be a resource to RCCI? Help me connect so I can learn and be better equipped to foster growth in others.
  • Volunteer: There is much work to be done. Let’s chat about how you can use your God-given gifts to support RCCI.
  • Give Financially: I am working on raising $60,000 by the end of June 2019. This money will serve to support RCCI programs and develop a multiracial team. You can Give online here or send a check, made payable to Emmanuel Gospel Center with an indication it's for RCCI, to EGC at PO Box 180245, Boston, MA 02118.
  • Stay in Touch: Sign up for our quarterly newsletter by clicking here.
Ministry Launch Party Save-the-Date:
Thu. May 31st, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
The Race & Christian Community Initiative, a ministry of the Emmanuel Gospel Center
617-262-4567 | mlietz@egc.org | www.egc.org/race