Christianity isn’t about skin color; join us for a discussion

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 5, 2008

Before Jesus’ death and resurrection He prayed to our heavenly Father to protect us by His name so that we (believers) would be one just as He and the Father are one (John 17:11).

Are we “one” in Mississippi? Are we “one” in Natchez? If you are honest with yourself the answer is no.

Sunday morning is the most segregated time of the week. Do you love all fellow believers? Many people will answer this question affirmatively because Christians are supposed to love everyone.

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Have you ever invited a co-worker of another race to church on Sunday or to your home for a meal?

If not, why? I believe the reason we don’t do it is because of tradition as well as fear. Some fear what others might think. Some may fear that they are too culturally different to enjoy each other’s company outside the workplace.

Mission Mississippi is a statewide ministry whose mission is to encourage and demonstrate unity in the body of Christ across racial and denominational lines so that communities throughout Mississippi can better understand the message of Christ.

I have been involved with this ministry for six years and I am excited that they have committed to helping us get a chapter started in Natchez.

Our goal is to teach people how to develop unity in the body of Christ one relationship at a time.

Today we will have an opportunity to do just that. We will have a time of dialogue from 8 a.m. to 12:30 at the Steckler Building campus.

Pastors from area churches of both races have committed to be involved.

I encourage you to join us for this opportunity to learn more about each other.

This is an opportunity for Christians of both races to have open discussion in an atmosphere of love.

Mission Mississippi has hosted open dialogues in other cities across Mississippi and now we are privileged to have one here in Natchez. Saturday’s discussion will be focused on where as a community we are in regards to race and where we need to go.

I especially encourage all community leaders and those running for office to join us.

Many social programs have been developed to deal with the race issue, but the one element they were missing was the focus on Jesus Christ and His love.

Jesus commanded us to love one another as He loves us.

Isn’t it about time we started purposely living out this commandment within the body of Christ?

Please consider joining us this morning.

If you cannot attend please pray for us that our time would be fruitful.

Cheryl Sanford-Givens is on the board of Mission Mississippi and is a Natchez resident.