Alban Weekly | The US is polarized. How can Christians help?

3 months ago


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PRACTICAL WISDOM FOR LEADING CONGREGATIONS
The US is polarized. 
How can Christians help?
 
THE CHURCH'S WILLINGNESS TO ENGAGE IN COURAGEOUS CONVERSATION CAN HELP SOCIETY AS A WHOLE
When a zoning board has to call in the police to keep order, when 40 percent of Americans don't want their children to marry across party lines, when 30 percent of national security professionals predict a U.S. civil war, there's something wrong with our society, says the Rev. Dr. Allen R. Hilton.
And maybe, he says, the church can help fix it.
Hilton is the founder of House United -- the name is a play on Abraham Lincoln's famous "house divided" speech -- a nonprofit dedicated to "bringing people together across political, religious, and racial difference for the common good."
Hilton is working with about 25 churches across the country to lead a series of conversations about difficult topics. As congregations develop this practice, he hopes they will be able to move beyond church walls to help heal divisions in their communities and the nation.
An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Hilton previously served three congregations in Connecticut, Washington and Minnesota and taught at Yale Divinity School and St. Mary's College of California.
He is a graduate of George Fox College, Princeton Theological Seminary and Yale University. His book "A House United: How the Church Can Save the World" was published in April.
Hilton recently spoke with our colleagues at Faith & Leadership about his work and his new book. 
 Read the interview with Allen R. Hilton »
 
CAN THESE BONES: DANIEL BLACK
Daniel Black is a novelist, a scholar, a musician and a storyteller par excellence. He's a polymath who is as comfortable channeling the voices of his ancestors as he is directing the voices of a gospel choir. In this conversation with "Can These Bones" co-host Bill Lamar, the Clark Atlanta University professor talks about his writing process, the research that went into "The Coming," a novel about the movement of African people through the middle passage, and why he believes in the stalwart power and necessity of the black church.
Read or listen to the podcast »
Learn how to listen to this podcast »
 
IDEAS THAT IMPACT: RECONCILIATION
People want to be a part of the conversation about race and equity
The United Church of Christ's minister for racial justice helps people get started and stay on the journey of dismantling racism and deconstructing whiteness.
 
Read more from Velda Love »
Reconciliation requires us to observe, practice and take seriously how Jesus lived
Reconciliation doesn't begin with us but with God and God's longing to reconcile all of us to himself. And Jesus is the model for how reconciliation happens, a scholar says in this interview. 
 
Read more from Claudia May » 
B.R.A.V.E. youth leaders chart a strategy to combat violence and promote peace
Youth on Chicago's South Side are taking anti-violence work into their own hands. Rallies and protests are just part of a campaign that also includes advocacy and policy change.
 
Read more about B.R.A.V.E. »
 
FROM THE ALBAN LIBRARY
Starting Simple: Conversations about the Way We Live
by Bob Sitze
In today's complex and busy world, people yearn for simpler lives. 
Bob Sitze offers Starting Simple to help readers live joyfully and justly. Because Sitze believes conversations change us as individuals and that most important social changes take place through conversation, he invites us into heart-to-heart conversations about simple living. Sitze helps readers and others in their congregations to learn what the Scriptures have to say about living a godly life in these times; find ways to repent of unsustainable lifestyle choices; gather courage to change the ways we think and live; and speak and listen to the struggles of others, with honesty and respect. 
This practical book includes side trips filled with thoughtful quotes, short stories, and activities. Readers may use it to spark conversations, invite sharing, make decisions, ask for forgiveness, or encourage other who are ready to change. Congregations will find it a good guide for small group discussions, family negotiations, or educational programming.
Learn more and order the book »
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