MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — An annual event designed to improve race relations in Mobile tackles two of the biggest topics in the country at the same time: racial reconciliation and the Coronavirus pandemic. Shrink the Divide aims to bridge the gap between predominantly black and white congregations. While everything is different for the annual event, their message remains the same. Whether you attend in person, or from the comfort of an online stream, the road to unity starts with a simple conversation.
“Relationships you have with people whether they be Christians or not it’s all about communication, conversation,” said Barry McClean with The Pledge Group. I spoke with three organizers involved in Shrink the Divide via Zoom recently. “These different things that divide us come down as we communicate and really care about each other, He talks about a ministry of reconciliation that’s what Jesus talks about.” In previous years Shrink the divide was held in one large location. This year it will be mostly online and more relevant than ever
“The importance of forgiveness at a time where everyone’s tension is very high and hatred is running abound the need for love and forgiveness is so prevalent,” said Charlotte Greene with Bethel AME Church. Organizers say diversity is part of living a full life. It can be a challenge to break out of the cultural loops a person can find themselves in.
“We believe that the Gospel is a message that says that no race or no individual is superior ultimately we are all loved by God and Jesus came to draw each and every person no matter what their color, creed or background to follow Him and be saved,” said Michah Gaston with 3 Circle Church Midtown Mobile. Speakers this year are either family of victims or connected to the racially motivated Charleston Church massacre of 2015. While most may watch the service online, there is limited seating available at three church churches in Mobile County. People who want to attend in person need to sign up in advance.
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