There is a collection of stories embedded in the soliloquy of the master’s story i.e. history. It is this that makes multi ethnic interactive experiences so relevant in a mixed world. Culture is the “Anthology” or many expressions displayed in some of its general aspects of “time, sharing and practice”. Time is the multigenerational aspect of culture. Sharing denotes language that is the carrier or communicator through out the progression of these generations and Practice is what people do with this information in diverse aspects of completion.

Religious faith, history is one that is inclusive, bridging the chasm between God and man along with the one between man and man.  The heterogeneous landscape of our world requires a way to change the rambling noise of division into the poetic melody of harmony and unity. The root of the word “religion” itself is re-ligare, which means to bind together that which is disconnected.

It was this concept that was the impetus of the mixed multitudes in the Sinai and Pentecost experiences of the bible.  The USA stands as a mixed multitude of the nations created for the purpose of religious freedom to (bind together that which is disconnected).

The Christian method of Koinoia Acts 2:46-47(sharing and having all things in common), promotes social capital. Broadly defined, “social capital ” is a term identifying the value of a community’s relationships; in contrast to human capital, which is locked up in the skills of an individual.

Small groups provide the optimum place where these elements of social capital can flourish through the increasing webs of relationships that have potential to develop. Social Capital is built upon trust i.e. trustworthiness and reciprocity: which is expressed as doing for others and not expecting any immediate return.

Speaking multi ethnically, the multi ethnic church service can never reach the face to face trust and reciprocity levels that are achieved in a small group of bridge builders. This is not to say that the multi ethnic service doesn’t have its place; however the level of honesty, sharing and depth of relationships required for cultural singularity are not reached.

No matter how many workshops, classes or “kumbaya” multi ethic services we have; many times in larger settings of the corporate workplace, school, the community in which we live or at church etc, the Elephant in the room ignored. This elephant is the lack of genuine/authentic multi ethnic/racial relationship.

In light of all of this; one may ask how can  this elephant ever be dealt with ? An old saying says “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”  And just as Jesus often left the crowds to spend intimate time with his disciples to share in far greater depth the meaning of the many parables that he would teach.  The Social capital of Christ centered reconciliation must be achieved in the bridging groups intent on going deeper. In this same way we can Build the bridge, “one relationship at a time” in the small group setting.

Bridge Builders are participants of (Bridging social ties that cut across differences such as race, class or ethnicity) groups or organizations. Through the intentionality of their nature, they open the dialog for the far too often shunted discussion of multi ethnic/racial reconciliation, forward motion and goal achievement. In this intimate environment of trust and reciprocity, the freedom for individuals to connect across the ethnic/racial divide through each personal story can be both shared and heard.

Anthology is defined as: a collection of selected literary pieces or passages or works of art or music. Jesus was most eloquent and effective by His art of telling a story i.e. parable.The soliloquy of His stories produced the foundation of our faith. Through His sacrifice He did “bind together that which is disconnected.” these connecting fibers of each, “collection of selected literary pieces or passages or works of art or music” in us all, remind us that each one- including each personal story, is “God’s gift to the world”.

“God’s gift to the world” recently sang by Kelly Price, Al Jarreau and others written by Phil Perry 1991

“You are like a letter written by Christ and delivered by us. But you are not written with pen and ink or on tablets made of stone. You are written in our hearts by the Spirit of the living God.” 2 Corinthians 3:3 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Kevin K. Robinson Excecutive Director of Accord1

Merry Christmas

8 Responses to “Anthology”
  1. Frank Robinson says:

    You are on the right track. So many parts to this, but there must be relationships at a table not tilted by power. Further, I think the key here has to do with our primary identities, who are “WE?” The Bible says to believers, “Now are we the sons of God…” But our practice seems to contradict that.

    • accord1 says:

      Thank you Frank, for your insightful words. This issue has so many layers of complexity. The power element that serves as a major road block to real and genuine synergy among all ethnic groups in the our “church world” there is no silver bullet that will eliminate the conundrum this side of Heaven. However it is going to take a comprehensive approach, working from the bottom up/outside in as well as the top down /inside out. With the aid of faithful pioneers like yourself, organizing, and lots of prayer “we will reap if we faint not.” Please also check out the following link

      Thank you again and God bless you!

    • accord1 says:

      Amen Frank; many times the people of God do not set the example that that should be in their nature to do.

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