Faith-based Groups Focus on Racial Reconciliation

( [email protected] ) Feb 26, 2004 09:33 AM EST

WISCONSIN – Faith-based groups in Wisconsin are putting efforts to achieve one of the ultimate goals of fulfilling the law of Christ – to love one another surpassing racial boundaries.

For an evening event sponsored by the Nehemiah Corp., a faith-based community development organization, 550 Christians from many different racial background including black, white, Hispanic, and Asian, gathered Friday outside High Point Church in Madison and shared graceful time of moment listening to the sermon addressing racial harmony with beautiful gospel music performed by the University of Wisconsin Student Gospel Choir and other groups.

"We have to see how good this feels," said the Rev. Alex Gee, pastor of Fountain of Life Family Worship Center, who organized the event. "Most churches don't look like this on Sunday morning."

Gee organized the event with the help of Steve Hayner, who was the president of Madison-based InterVarsity Christian Fellowhsip. Now he is teaching at Columbia Theological Seminary.

"I live with the privilege of being in a majority culture," Hayner said. Through his friendship with Gee he's been able to understand what that means.

Hayner said that when he looks in the mirror every morning he doesn't see a white man, at least not noticeably. "But when Alex looks in a mirror every morning he sees a black man," he said. "Not because he's black but because our culture makes him have to be aware of his blackness every day."

Hayner said Heaven is the place where there is no racial boundary. By having such beautiful interracial gathering, he said people are practicing for Heaven.

"It's not only the way God created us at the beginning, it's the way we're going to be at the end," he said. "God's reality is a multi-ethnic reality."

Becoming “one of the champions of racial reconciliation” was something Gee tried to avoid in the beginning but now he has different thoughts on this. He feels now is the time to open the window for racial unity. Gee is preparing another faith-based study on racial reconciliation called “Kingdom Mosaic.” The program will be offered in spring to anyone who wishes to participate.