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“May they be one, as the Father and I are one.”
Jesus expressed the desire of his heart in this prayer for us, his people,
Yet we confess this has not been true.
The divisions between whites and blacks in our culture at large
Have been just as strong in the church.
Yet Jesus prayed, “I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one,
So that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”
Our testimony of your love has been damaged by the church’s complicity in the sin of racism.
It is damaged by our division now,
By our side-by-side existence that ignores the truth that we are brothers and sisters
Bonded by the tie of sacred blood.
One family, with one Father, one Spirit.
When we worship together,
When we celebrate our kinship,
When we see Jesus-resemblance in each other,
We unite in family harmony,
And the world gets a glimpse of God.

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dvent is here! Family holidays are upon us. Are you anticipating? Are you celebrating? I’m doing both.

I founded the Greenhouse as a soil where leaders and movements can grow. One new “seedling”—now a young tree?—is the remarkable growth of Walk Across the Street: a ministry of gospel reconciliation.

It started when the Spirit prompted me on a Sunday afternoon to stand up from my lunch, leave my wife at the table, and walk into a church gathering where I unexpectedly met Pastor Michael Wright in front of his entire congregation.

I don’t think that we imagined that we would become what we are now—friends, co-pastors, and leaders in conversation about how the gospel is good news for black & white churches in Chicago.

Walk Across the Street is profoundly simple. We, brothers and sisters in Christ who are generally divided by race and culture, look up at the Father together, see each other as family, take steps toward each other, and join together on mission to the world.

Hundreds of Christians in Chicagoland are now participating.

I write this as the Walk Across the Street Choir is preparing for its Chicago Christmas concert, which will be held at a historic black church in the Austin neighborhood.

A few days ago I walked through the sanctuary just before choir rehearsal started. Men and women who would never otherwise meet each other or move in each other’s worlds were talking and laughing together. In a few moments they would be worshiping together, blending their voices in harmonious unity.

This is Walk Across the Street. This is a glimpse into the Kingdom of God.

Let’s celebrate. And pray with us that this movement of reconciliation will grow. Grow to a tree big enough to burst the greenhouse!

I encourage you to learn more at www.walkacrossthestreet.org.

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Believe in this ministry? WATS is a mission movement with no source of outside funds except individual donations.  See Giving Options.