Significant and meaningful conversations are happening in our global society every day. Yet, in the midst of this, God calls us as Christians to humility and faithful practice in the face of today’s most daunting issues. So over the next year, we’re inviting you to explore the nuances of peacemaking, refugee crisis, local justice, poverty, racial reconciliation, care for the vulnerable, and more with a posture of curiosity. Through a series of Learning Labs, or thoughtful sessions on the topics of our day, we’ll engage divisive issues from the standpoint of humility—in an attempt to learn from one another and grow towards unity over discord.
Human Trafficking Learning Lab—Sunday, April 22 at 6:30pm
Globally, there are an estimated 4.5 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation. A number of them are right here in our hometowns… Each night when the most of us are in bed there is another world that comes alive right here in West Michigan. Come to grow in awareness of the multilayered, broken systems that continue to entrap and exploit the most vulnerable—get caught up on what God has been doing on this front through Mars Hill—and discern what is next for us as we work and partner towards measurable change for the oppressed.
SAVE THE DATES FOR THESE FUTURE LEARNING LABS:
Sunday, May 20—Peacemaking
Racial tensions are, in many ways, as high as we have seen in decades. The conversation cannot be ignored and in fact, the Church is uniquely equipped to play a key role in our cultural dialogue [and transformation] around race and justice. So on Thursday, March 8, we humbly learned about race in America, as well as the church’s past role and current calling. Together, we discussed and dreamed about what it means for us to live out the way of Jesus and make measurable change in our world despite the divisions and tensions we see around us every day.
In the complex milieu of borders, allegiances, taxes and war zones—there are more than 65 million people worldwide who are displaced and over half of these refugees are children. All are among the most vulnerable, easily overlooked, ignored, and exploited. In the face of this crisis [both globally and here in West Michigan] how can the church think critically and creatively about our calling to care for and welcome the stranger, while faithfully stewarding the communities and resources that surround us? On Feb 11, we engaged in conversation with some of the leading local and national voices to prayerfully discern a way forward.
Also, Matt Soerens’ helpful and accessible book on this topic can be found here. If you’d like more information on how you, your family, or your house church can engage in welcoming and supporting refugees locally, learn more at these outside websites: Refugee Education Center and Treetops Collective.