Racial Reconciliation Over Dinner

How can congregations help heal the racial tensions in our nation? Some of the best tools are the simplest: eat together, sing together, and serve together. In Rome, Georgia, Lovejoy Baptist Church, a predominantly African American congregation, and Westminster Presbyterian Church, a predominantly white congregation, formed a partnership.

Rev. Carey Ingram of Lovejoy and Rev. Greg Lund of Westminster agreed to bring the congregations together regularly for a potluck meal, worship, and service projects. Prayer requests and recipes were shared. Friendships formed.

We hope other churches will come together in this way. It’s important, and it’s also great fun.

“We gather every fifth Sunday for a meal and shared worship,” says Ingram. “We take turns hosting. When Westminster comes to Lovejoy, Pastor Greg preaches. When we’re at Westminster, I preach.”

Last fall, the two churches pooled resources to buy new backpacks for children at Anna K. Davie Elementary School. Lund and Ingram delivered them together and helped the children choose their favorite colors. Another day volunteers worked in the school’s garden spreading mulch. At a community concert, the two choirs sang together, blending styles and voices.

The partnership is celebrating its first anniversary and is going strong. “This connection grew out of a pastors’ prayer group. That’s where I met Carey,” said Lund. This idea took root long before the shootings in Minnesota, Baton Rouge or Ferguson. It grew out of prayer and friendship. They also believe this connection was part of God’s plan.

The congregations hope to see other partnerships form. Ingram added, “We hope other churches will come together in this way. It’s important, and it’s also great fun.”

Tagged under:

Share on: