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Beyond the Engaging Poverty Fad

September 8, 2010

Wayne Gordon and Glen Kehrein

Chicago — Two good words from the annual Christian Community Development Association conference today, where 3,000 people have gathered from across the nation, a place of incredible energy:

Glen Kehrein of Circle Urban Ministries in Chicago — “We often begin the journey moving into a broken community and engaging broken people.  When you have been around for a while you see your own brokenness and experience more brokenness even in your own family.  And when you have shown yourself to be authentic, as we share our brokenness, there is a bond that transcends race.  It is these deep relationships as couples and children across divides of race and class that transcends all this bondage and garbage — but that’s sharing life”

Glen once told me “I believe in racial reconciliation because it’s the best way I know of for white males like me to die to self.”  Quoting Philippians he described authentic reconciliation as joining in “the fellowship of [Christ’s] sufferings”

Wayne Gordon of Lawndale Community Church — “There’s a bit of a fad these days around [engaging poverty].  Let’s remember this is a way of life with Jesus.  That’s what going the long haul requires and calls us to”

About the Author: Chris Rice is co-director of the Center for Reconciliation at Duke Divinity School.  He is author of Reconciling All Things, Grace Matters, and More Than Equals. He writes regularly at the blog Reconcilers.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 2, 2010 3:44 pm

    Glen Kehrein points to the most neglected aspect of discipleship that I know about–death to self. This is quite different from the idolatry of self-less-ness, i.e. refusal to have a self or to recognize the value of one’s self. The words of the Markan Jesus: “deny self; take up the cross; follow me” and of Paul: “whoever has been baptized into Christ Jesus has been baptized into Christ’s death” and “consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God” simply have no embodiment in reality at all apart from real reconciliation, real putting the other above oneself, real honoring of the brother or sister who is different from oneself.

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