From Outreach to Embracing: A Biblical Model for Equitable Allies – May 19

We live in divided times. Often the very means we employ to bridge the chasm between peoples and places becomes a wedge that widens the gap. Some christian outreach practices and program are guilty of such actions.  Unfortunately, outreach ministries often perpetuate systems of social apartheid that maintain separation between practitioners and the very individuals they intend to help.

Rev. Dr. Denise Kingdom Grier is offering a path from apartheid perpetuating outreach practices to introduce an interdependent, biblically based posture of engagement called embracing. This workshop will introduce voices from pop culture to illumine the lies that keep poor people, black women and people who do not attend church on the far end of the chasm. The workbook will offer Jesus as the ultimate embracing figure whose example sets allies on a faithful path toward equitable community engagement.

This workshop rises from Dr. Grier’s Doctorate in Ministry project: From Outreach to Embracing: A Johannine model for Community Engagement (2017). Pastor Denise Kingdom Grier is the lead pastor of Maple Avenue Ministries in Holland, MI. Her past experience as a social worker as well as her lifelong commitment to community engagement informs this important work. She is married to CJ with whom she shares two biological children, Gezelle and Chris as well as many other deeply cherished young adults who have been embraced into their family and home.