Chris Rice has often joked that white folks need to learn to clap on the second and fourth beat. In 1993 Rice, a white man, coauthored with his black partner Spencer Perkins More Than Equals (InterVarsity Press), a book about their years of learning to live reconciled as a black and a white. Since then, their time has been consumed with a growing ministry of racial reconciliation.
So it seemed like a dream come true for Rice when his church, Voice of Calvary Fellowship in Jackson, Mississippi, recently filled with white folks who, in fact, could clap in sync with their black partners—and vice versa.
"This is the sort of gathering that we hope will become multiplied all over the nation," Rice said. "None of these people claim to have it all figured out. But they can say that they are committed to relationships of reconciliation for the long haul."
CHRISTIAN TWOSOMES: More than 100 people gathered at Voice of Calvary and Reconcilers Fellowship last month in Jackson for an unprecedented conference, Yokefellows Against the Odds, sponsored by Reconcilers Fellowship, publishers of Reconcilers, formerly known as Urban Family. Only twosomes of different races "committed to relationship and mission across racial lines" could attend the two-day event.
The Sunday morning church service has long been considered the most segregated hour of the week in America. But the ebony and ivory constitution of the Yokefellows gathering broke the mold of the typical Christian meeting. Rarely is church seating perfectly staggered alternately with blacks and whites from pew to pew, and row to row—voluntarily.
Chris Martin, who leads Leadership Foundation in Knoxville, Tennessee, attended the conference with his black yokefellow, Jarvis Ross. ...1
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