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multi ethnic hands

God’s desire for a multiethnic church

James Hein, pastor at St. Marcus, Milwaukee, Wis., wrote this editorial comment for the June issue.

My congregation sits in the center of Milwaukee, a city frequently residing atop lists of “most segregated cities” in America. Our congregation always observes the celebration of Juneteenth, a landmark occasion I was embarrassingly unfamiliar with prior to my arrival. Juneteenth is a blending of “June” and “nineteenth,” honoring the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas learned about their emancipation. It is the oldest-known celebration of black freedom from slavery.

America’s founding documentation claims “self-evident truths . . . to liberty . . .”—unless you were black. Founding fathers advocated for human rights imbued by God while simultaneously retaining slavery. Many who considered themselves faithful Christians even attempted to rationalize their inhumanity by distorting Scripture to support their agenda.

In my five-plus years working in the city, a scriptural truth that somehow escaped me until now is God’s desire for a multiethnic church. Just read Acts chapters 8 to 15.

Explore these articles from the June issue:

Parent conversations: What does it look like for a father to be a strong Christian leader?

Parent conversations: What does it look like for a father to be a strong Christian leader?
There’s been talk over the past few years about the negative portrayal of dads on TV and in movies. Most on-screen dads are not strong characters. They provide comic relief and are often the butt of the family’s jokes. That’s made the job of today’s real-life . . .

The Lord calls: Article 2

The Lord calls: Article 2
After 24 years of faithful service, Pastor Smithson decided to retire. The members of the congregation knew that the Lord would provide another pastor to care for their souls. Pastor Smithson had assured them of that when he announced his retirement. They . . .

It's time to forget

older hands holding
I rest my hand lightly on my wife's because it hurts her too much when I hold it. From her lift chair, she looks at me through sunken eyes and forces a smile. She whispers, "I want to grow old with you." I return her smile as warmly as I can. I pat her hand and . . .
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