Black Pastor, White Priest, Global Family

Crossing oceans can help us learn how to cross the street.

The west side of the city of Chicago is known as one of the most divided and violent parts of the world. Together, I, Michael Wright (an African-American pastor) and I, William Beasley (an Anglo-American pastor) have been partnering together in “mission on our doorstep” on the west side of Chicago. Interestingly, this road to reconciliation on the West Side of Chicago ran through East Africa.

This last year we were invited to participate in the Divine Conference at the All Saints Cathedral. This was a part of an ongoing reciprocal mission partnership where the church in Kenya and our churches in Chicago exchange missionaries. On this Michael’s first trip our Kenyan hosts immediately warmed to him asking him to give several altar calls, a great honor, and nearly everyone at the conference came forward! In one of those altar calls the reality struck us that we truly are one interconnected body. No longer was our ministry on the west side of Chicago just about the “white church” connecting with the “black church,” but both of us were coming together as part of a global family on mission together.

Left to Right: Pastor Michael Wright, Father Keith Hartsell, Provost Sammy Wainaina, and Canon William Beasley

This year at Provincial Assembly our theme is Mission On Our Doorstep: Local Mission, Global Family, Shared Gospel. Why is being a part of a global family so important for local mission?

  • Our global family helps us reach the nations here on our doorstep in North America. Would it surprise you to know that, for example, Anglican missionaries from Latin America are already helping us reach Latino immigrants here in the US or that the ACNA has a large number of Nigerian congregations in the US and Canada? Mission in North America today means reaching out to people who originate from all over the world, and who live here in our own communities. At Provincial Assembly you will be able to meet passionate mission partners from Africa, Latin America, and Asia who can help your local parish reach the nations already present in your neighborhood.
  • Our global family helps us better understand the gospel – The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:12 tells us that the body of Christ has many members who need each other. Each part of the body has unique gifts and an understanding of the gospel out of their context and lived experience that can help us understand the different facets of the same, one gospel that we share. Furthermore, they can help us also see our unique cultural blindspots. At the Provincial Assembly, you will hear key Christians leaders from a diversity of cultural backgrounds. We need these voices and perspective in order to help us better understand this Gospel we share.

In Kenya, God opened our eyes to the reality of our global family. Come to the Provincial Assembly this June and let Him open yours.

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Meet Pastor Michael Wright and Canon William Beasley and hear their West Chicago story on Wednesday 4p session at the Provincial Assembly.

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