By Tim Taylor 1/19/15: Pastor Jess (senior pastor) and Pastor George (executive pastor) of Living Hope in Renton WA hosted "Building Healthy Bridges Across Racial Divides" on the day we celebrate Martin Luther King's impact on civil rights in America. They've been working with us in the South King County area taking a day to pray using the 1Church1Day strategy for the last 2 years.
Inspired by the recent Ferguson riots and desiring to serve our community they visited the mayor last year. They invited a variety of people from the city and community representing the 7 spheres in order to hear from them:
When the Chief of Police was asked if there was a problem with racial issues etc. he said not really since 9/11. In fact, even as the minority population grew crime has decreased over the last 15 years by about 50%. When asked if there was a problem with black on black crime he again responded no. My friends, that is a great report.
Here are some areas he said we could focus our prayers upon to assist them.. The biggest crime issue we have is property crime (Asian stealing from Asian) and the Ukrainian population does not trust the police department due to their experience in their homeland. Auto thefts are a big issue too.
The City of Renton has adopted a vision statement that states they are "building an inclusive city with opportunities for all."
When the panel was asked what could the Church do to serve and help them there was an enthusiastic response from all. The City Council man began describing how he got his start in serving his community in the basement of a church. The educator responded with the role the church played in welcoming her when she first moved to the area. The police chief described how when he was a boy he did not have a father and the neighborhood church stepped into that role in many respects.
The city officials were very enthusiastic about the possibility of collaborating with and working with the Church (Church = many local congregations) in this city. Church there is a tremendous opportunity for us to make an impact here especially if local congregations collaborate together.
Well done Pastor Jess, Pastor George and Living Hope.
Are you inspired? I hope so. Any congregation in any community can reach out. I strongly believe it is the Church's job to create a platform for this kind of community dialogue and it is a powerful way to serve your community.
Articles for the Church sphere include contributions from apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers who are related to KLI or are serving on one of our Church Councils as part of the www.1Church1Day.org strategy.