The shootings in South Carolina and subsequent issues over the Confederate flag among other things, points out the fact that folks have lots of different opinions about lots of different things. More than 20 years ago an organization came into existence in Mississippi that reaches across racial lines and invites discussion. Mission Mississippi is trying to promote understanding.
I’m sitting in the office of Nettie Winters, the Director of Mission Mississippi, an interdenominational movement to promote racial reconciliation among Christians in Mississippi.
"One of the greatest things I believe that has happened in the state of Mississippi and for the nation for that matter, maybe even in the world is that Mission Mississippi in partnership with The Fellowship of Christian Athletes walked/ran a illuminated cross across this state over 25 hundred miles," said Winters. "And we had 94 celebrations. Some 22 thousand people totally gathered around that cross at those celebrations. I thought that was great. And I thought it was the greatest thing we ever did to bring this state together in terms of crossing racial lines, political lines.
Then someone ups the ante with a racially motivated shooting and immediately there are calls for dialog. Problem is, there is no real mechanism in place for dialog except shouting at one another, or maybe Facebook. And then who are you hearing from there except folks on your friends list and you already know how they think.
Except Mission Mississippi has been having meaningful racial dialog for over 20 years. Immediately after the South Carolina shooting, Mission Mississippi called a prayer meeting.
"We had over 50 people go to Pearl Street AME Church to have conversation and prayer around what was going on in South Carolina," added Winters. "And so we found out from just that short period that people are wanting to have the conversation. They want to be in an environment where its safe, the atmosphere. And the climate is safe to be to be ignorant, if I can say that. And that you can be politically incorrect and people won’t attack you, won’t label you, won’t judge you. And we’re really asking the people and pushing the people and encouraging the people who say they is a part of the Christian Community to act like it."
And it may well start in the church. If the church at large can’t get it right then we’re sunk. But if it can, then it will make a great deal of difference.
Copyright 2015 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.
IF YOU HAVE A STORY IDEA CONTACT WLBT/WDBD AT (601) 960-4426 OR EMAIL US AT News@WLBT.COM.
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, MS 39201