Wednesday, January 19, 2011
For we are what God has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. - Ephesians 2:10
Monday, Dr. Quinton Dixie, associate professor of religion at Purdue-Indiana University Fort Wayne was the featured speaker at the Martin Luther King Day prayer breakfast at Goshen (Ind.) College. He quoted King's call for us to remain maladjusted, never adjusting to segregation, the madness of militarism and other sins. King went on to say that it may well be that the world's salvation depends on the maladjusted.
King's quote reminded me of the weekend meeting I had just concluded with Damascus Road trainers, organizers, chaplains, partners and Mennonite Central Committee staff. Within the Anabaptist sphere, the Damascus Road program has provided valuable resources and education in helping agencies, congregations and members address racism head-on.
More recently, some Damascus Road folks have felt the program would be freer to grow and be truer to its mission if it was not so institutionally connected to Mennonite Central Committee. It is hard to let go of something that has played such a valuable role in the life of the church. But listening to Dr. Dixie on MLK Day, I had to admit that it is hard for a movement like the Damascus Road program "to remain maladjusted" within an institution of any sort, even a good one like MCC!
The group gathered to discern the future of the Damascus Road program was unnecessarily harsh about MCC, I thought, the organization that was responsible for birthing it. On the other hand, this same group was passionate about the work God has called us to, a way of life, really, to combat the destructiveness of racism, work that can affect generations to come.
May God bless the future of this ministry, wherever God leads it. I am hoping MCC can continue to be a valued partner, contributing to the world's salvation, maybe even a bit maladjusted!