Since the November presidential election, friends, colleagues and casual acquaintances throughout the United States and across the world have written me and claimed Barack Obama as the son of their state, race, country or region. Of course, countless black Americans have celebrated the fact that “in our life time, one of us is in the White House.”
What happens when Chris tians develop congregations across racial lines? Korie L. Edwards examines this question, weaving together statistics about congregations across the country with an in-depth look at one multiracial congregation.
The hope I am holding onto for Obama’s leadership is the depth and candor of his Philadelphia speech on race and the fact that his most fundamental racial identity seems to be his being biracial. He represents a new generation of children of interracial families who have experienced the rich gifts and real challenges of finding intimacy across the divide, who refuse to choose between the cultures of their two parents. They want the best of both, see the flaws of self-sufficiency and are willing to lose some friends along the way for the sake of something better than the old categories of who “my people” are. —Chris Rice
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a predominantly white denomination whose structure includes five official ethnic associations for African Americans, Native Americans and Alaskans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, Latinos, and those of Arab and Middle Eastern heritage, decided in 2006 that it needed one more group.
Last month the United Church of Christ invited its congregations to conduct a “sacred conversation” about race in response to the controversy swirling around Trinity United Church of Christ and its now retired pastor, Jeremiah Wright.
Richard Lischer, professor of preaching, Duke Divinity School: “It’s been 40 years since we have heard redemptive language in the political arena. Like Martin Luther King Jr., Obama did not flinch from addressing the lingering pain and anger of racism in America. Like King, Obama understands how questions of race are bound up with religion.