Since the founding of Mercy Vineyard Church, our community was envisioned as a large, multicultural, multiethnic church. Our values reflect this foundational hope as we seek to engage honestly and thoughtfully with the multicultural society we live in as people who take the Bible seriously (Biblically and Culturally Thoughtful), develop life-changing connections and pursue ongoing health and healing in our relationships (Healthy Relationships) and recognize our purpose as the church is to bless people of all backgrounds and ethnicities (Outward Focused).
We believe that racial justice is a central part of our spiritual formation and discipleship as followers of Jesus who see and acknowledge one another as image bearers of God and pursue authentic unity in the church. This holy work requires a daily commitment and challenge to dig in as individuals (inner life), in relationship with others (outer life) and corporately (life together).
To guide our community in the fundamental work and spiritual formation of racial justice, we want to lay out a pathway for the Mercy community:
INNER LIFE: DO THE RESEARCH // investigate, get informed, learn, read, educate, go back, dig up, build awareness
- Take Mercy’s Core Class: Loving Across Differences // Offered seasonally, this Core Class focuses on understanding racial differences through 4 themes (History, Identity, Community, Future) and asks “Who is God?” and “Who Are We?” in response to each of these themes. RESPOND: Stay tuned for this Core Class offering in Summer 2020.
RESPOND: Read, listen and learn from these resources:
— For People of Color:
- (Book) Jesus and the Disinherited, Howard Thurman (https://amzn.to/3gyYLnW)
- (Book) Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to Resilience, Sheila Wise Rowe (https://amzn.to/3exDGZ8)
- (Podcast) No White Saviors (https://nowhitesaviors.org/what-we-do/podcast/)
- (Online Course) My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem
— For White People:
- (Book) For those starting the conversation: Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? By Beverly Daniels Tatum (https://amzn.to/2ytf6JP)
- (Book) For those looking to engage in deeper conversation: Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way Church Views Racism by Drew Hart (https://amzn.to/3fzAvl1)
- (Podcast) On understanding history: Scene On Radio, Seeing White (season 2) (https://www.sceneonradio.org/seeing-white/)
- (Online Class) On understanding White Identity: Be the Bridge Whiteness Intensive
OUTER LIFE: LISTEN // choose empathy, invite stories, join a group, build relationships, take risks
- Form a Book Group – Facilitate a book group to read and discuss Jemar Tisby’s book The Color of Compromise or Austin Channing Brown’s book I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness.
- Join a Growth Group – Begin to build relationships with people who are different from you.
LIFE TOGETHER: SAY “YES, COUNT ME IN FOR A SEAT AT THE TABLE!” // respond, get to work, take action, put into practice
- Count me in to be a listener and learner to voices of marginalized people as we discern a plan for Mercy to build regular rhythms of action moving forward. RESPOND: Sign up and Cassie Smith will be in touch with you.
- (Book) Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation
- Get involved with ISAIAH MN