Anja Staten is Executive Assistant to the Senior Leadership Team at Christ Community Church, and a member of the planning team for Converge 2:14. Here she shares her heart – and our collective heart at CCC – for the conference.
Our dream for Converge 2:14 is to gather the people of God from their scattered places in our region and converge in one place with the purpose of exploring the promises of Ephesians 2:14 – unified peace in Christ Jesus.
Some of us are still wrestling with why we need diversity. We are reaching the lost and seeing people commit their lives to Jesus, but the faces around our dinner tables and in our churches look like our own. Aiming for diversity can feel awkward, out of our comfort zone, and artificial. There can be underlying feelings of racial guilt or even frustration that this still seems to be an issue.
For this group, we will have a conversation centered around what we believe the Bible teaches about diversity – that it is good, even vital, for the health of any church. We will talk about the consequences of “separate but equal,” and lay a Biblical foundation for this as a social justice issue. It is our hope that those wrestling with this would leave with a desire and hunger to converge.
Some of us are already convinced that we need diversity. We desire it, but we are having a hard time living out this value. Our Facebook friends and dinner guests tend to look like us.
For this group, we will have a conversation about what has worked in various community contexts. There will be personal stories of hardship and triumph. There will be practical breakout sessions detailing current ministries. It’s our hope to draw as much diversity as we can to this conference, and hope that people not currently engaging in life together can continue to converge.
Some of us are already living a diverse life. Our Facebook friends and dinner tables reflect diversity. We know the challenges and advantages of opening our lives to people who don’t look like us. In this process, hurts and challenges can cause us to retreat to our comfort zones. New challenges arise we have never encountered.
For this group, we will have a conversation about how to maintain this openness and expand it into more areas of our lives. We will provide opportunities to continue to converge.
There is intrinsic value in these conversations. There is even more value in moving from these conversations to concrete actions. Our desire is to converge around the richness of the unified, diverse and abundant life that Jesus Christ died to purchase for us, and before a watching world, to be living epistles reflecting the beauty, power and peace of lives and communities that, empowered by the Prince of Peace, are Separate No More.
Our dream is to see this conversation result in opportunities to continue to converge:
We need your voice in this conversation.
Come to Converge 2:14!
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