By Nick Galezewski
"Now when Jesus realized what they were thinking, he said to them “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, and no town or house divided against itself will stand.” Matthew 12:28
Greater Milwaukee is the most segregated major metropolitan area in the United States. This reality is reflected in both our neighborhoods and churches. But let’s be honest – Racism is not a skin problem, it’s a sin problem – and it divides us.
For the first time in the U.S. there are more people who identify as non-religious and unchurched than those who identify as Christian – and we can definitely see the effects of racism in our predominantly unchurched society.
But among those who identify as Christian, who worship the same God and have been saved by grace through their faith, instead of faithfully living out the love of Jesus, it often seems that there is even more divisiveness. Jesus warned us that a kingdom divided against itself is destroyed and no town or house divided against itself will stand. If we, who are Jesus followers, fail to bridge this gap between the dominant group and minorities within the Church, the world outside the Church has no chance!
Bridging these gaps begins by building relationships and building relationships begins with a conversation.
Front Row Seat, a ministry supported by BASICS, serves to do just that - to build relationships between people through conversation where minorities and non-minorities can gather in a psychologically safe place to engage in Spirit-led conversations and together, face the sin of racism.
On February 19th, for the first time in nearly 2 years, an in-person Front Row Seat took place when Eastbrook Church graciously opened its doors to host the event.
Through a generous donation, Front Row Seat was able to help foster that next step by offering coffeehouse gift cards to participants who agreed to meet within 10 days after the event. 1/3 of the participants took advantage of this offer!
The impact of Front Row Seat is making a real difference in Milwaukee. Since its inception, Front Row Seat has engaged over 700 people with representatives from nearly 30 different Churches in the Greater Milwaukee Area! But , as Levar Burton says: “You don’t have to take my word for it.” Here are things participants are saying about Front Row Seat:
While progress has still been made, there is much work left to do!
Join the Conversation!
To find out more about Front Row Seat, click here
If you would like to be a host site for an upcoming event, please contact Laurie Hendrickson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nick Galezewski at email@example.com
There are a few dates still available for the Fall, but spots are filling quickly!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.