These are the House United Heroes. They are bringing people together across difference for the common good. They collaborate and build community where others would draw away into their circles of safe sameness. The people below are from across the country, and most of them are doing things that you and I could do, if we put our minds to it. If only the whole world knew their stories, Christian divisiveness wouldn’t be the only news about us.
If you know people who seem like HU Heroes to you, nominate them here. Contact us.
MLK famously called 11 AM on Sunday morning the most segregated hour in America. Shiloh Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL decided to go the other way. Two churches — one African-American and urban, the other white and suburban — became one. The pastor, HB Charles has it right: “The Bible says that from the church, God is making a tribe of every nation, people and tongue. I feel like the church should look like that.” As Jesus prayed in John 17.20-23, that kind of thing wakes the world, so the Washington Post ran the story. I can’t wait to visit this church! Until then, let’s pray for them.
The UN Church
Rich Nathan and his 10,000 fellow-worshipers at Vineyard Columbus Church in Ohio don’t all look alike. They don’t all sound alike. In fact, they come from 125 different nations around the world — 125. Imagine this brilliant collection of humanity on a Sunday morning, and you’re getting close to what I imagine the first Pentecost being in the Bible (Acts 2). There, “everyone heard Peter’s words in his or her own native language.” At Vineyard Columbus, God’s Spirit translates, too. I’ve already booked my seat in their worship service for Saturday, October 1. The current sermon series is called “Different Together.” I want to say an AMEN to all this! Anyone want to join me?
The Pastors of Richland County
A few years ago, the pastors from an odd assortment of widely various churches in a rural part of Wisconsin decided that worshiping and doing mission together outranked avoiding each others strange beliefs and practices. What followed is a Christian success story about coming together across difference for the common good. Hooray for the Pastors of Richland County!
Table or Bridge?
A friend in Minnesota is one of my House United heroes. Here’s the story as I told it in the Aug 16 HU E-Note. What they do is a pretty good ideal. You ought to try it!
I met yesterday morning with faithful evangelical friends who have morphed their weekly Bible Study into a worldview window. They meet over dinner – they share more freely around the table – and identify a belief system or way of doing the world that they don’t yet “get.” It might be another kind of Christianity, another religion, another political perspective – anything that flummoxes them. Then they read scripture, pray, and learn more about that particular “other.”
This is a pretty cool idea, right? It brings to mind a part of St. Francis’ famous prayer that I’ve always thought is particularly Christ-like: “Oh divine Master, grant that I might seek not so much…to be understood as to understand.”
Christian-Muslim Peace in Egypt
“Egyptian sectarian tensions came to a temporary halt on Monday when a Christian butcher in the restive Alminia region offered his Muslim neighbors goats and calves free of charge for the holiday of Eid al Adha… The butcher, Adel Rasmi… said that on the day of the festival, from a very early hour, he visits Muslim houses to slaughter the animals. ‘I feel especially happy to be trusted by Muslim brothers. It shows you how people can love each other, irrespective of their religion.” Link
Here’s a kid who changes things. Robby Novak is our twelve-year-old Kid President, whose latest video on disagreeing has 2.5 million plays. He brings a kid’s kind of common-sense wisdom that inserts sanity in insane times. This video has a House United ring, doesn’t it? Link Keep an eye on Kid President, friends. If we’re lucky, one day he may drop the “Kid” part.