Thinking Outside the Box | Sojourners

Thinking Outside the Box

I was quoted by Dr. Soong-Chan Rah and Jason Mach in “Is the Emerging Church for Whites Only?” (May 2010). I have been a member of the Christian Community Development Association for 10 years and a member of the Emerging Christianity movement for four. The former’s emphasis on racial reconciliation is as important to me as the latter’s emphasis on reconstructing the church.

A characterization of the Emergent church as all-white is wrong. My church, Wicker Park Grace, is about 25 percent people of color. The issue cover, showing a box of uniform white crayons, tells members of my church family that they are persona non grata—denying that my friends Jhonathan, Noe, Mirari, LaDonna, Nkosi, Andy, and Dev even exist.
Ignorance can’t be claimed here. I pointed out the demographics of my church to the authors and introduced them to Alise Barrymore, an African-American pastor of a multiethnic Emergent church. Although they quoted her, they did not mention that she was a person of color.
Your online publication of responses from inside the Emergent movement contributed to a balanced presentation. I would have preferred that the more authoritative print version, especially the cover, had also communicated more of that objectivity.
Rebecca Cynamon-Murphy
Chicago, Illinois

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Sojourners Magazine August 2010
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