Loving the San Francisco Bay Area... Community development, urban ministry, trying to defeat poverty, faith, religion, politics, good music, the quest for the perfect pizza, the Yankees, motorcycles... All in a 'day's life'

Friday, October 12, 2007

Live Blogging at CCDA

Arrived at the annual CCDA conference on Wednesday night. It's been great seeing old friends and new like Jeremy Del Rio, Eric Iverson, Crissy Brooks, Noel Castellanos, Glen Peterson and many others. Each year is a homecoming. I was glad to say hello to Dr. John Perkins and update him on the credit union progress.

CCDA is one of the only places where I feel truly comfortable. I'm around folks who have impacted my life and in many ways think and act the way I do or want to. It feels so much like the Kingdom of God. It's not black or white, democrat or republican, pentacostal or baptist - it's all that, and more. There are conversations I have here that I could never have in other places. Today I've talked to different people about topics such as racism, community development, board development, fund raising, a devotional life, weight loss and marriage.

Last night I heard Dr. A.R. Benard from Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn. He was excellent.

Right now I'm in a workshop called, "Reconciliation Blues: Black and White in an Evangelical World" by Edward Gilbreath (who wrote the book by the same name). Here's some random comments from his talk:
It's always about race. Race, no matter what progress we have made seems to come into the equation - and at times it's not about race at all. There is rarely a clear cut answer when it comes to the racial divide. Sometimes there are other aspects that come into play.

Gilbreath's book is about stories, it's about creating a space for conversation. We haven't had an real, honest, deep conversations about racial issues.

Gilbreath talks about his life story growing up as a black man in a white world. (being told he looks like Sammy Davis Jr., Eddie Murphy, Snoop Dogg, Bill Cosby) He feels that no person should be put in to the position to advocate for an entire race - but still relished the position. "Double consciousness - W.E.B Debois) = the tension of being the only black in white institutions.

How can we talk about reconciliation when we've never been 'conciled' in the first place?

He then conducted a spirited conversation with the assembled crowd regarding racial issues.

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