The Welcome Surprises of a Conversation

In case you missed it, the Alliance-sponsored elder conversation between James E. Forbes, Jr. and Mahan Siler, moderated by Nancy Sehested and Christine Wiley, on December 14 was both a surprise and a gift! Dr. Forbes, retired from his prominent public roles as professor at Union Seminary in New York and senior minister emeritus of Riverside Church in New York City, on the 400th anniversary of the slave trade felt inspired to write a ​White Manifesto​ for white citizens. Knowing of the Alliance’s commitment to racial equity and healing, he offered his Manifesto to us as challenge and gift. From discussions with Forbes came a ​White Manifesto from Mahan Siler​ and the idea of a conversation between Forbes and Siler, Sehested and Wiley, held on Dec. 14, with the ​recording available for viewing.​

The response to this elder conversation surprised us! Over 400 persons signed up for the conversation and more have accessed this dialogue through the Alliance ​YouTube​ channel. Furthermore, 45 persons registered their follow-through interest, some self-identifying as elders to explore the connection between being an elder, being an Alliance person, and being about the work of anti-racism. Others expressed their commitment to continue working with the Alliance in our efforts to become an anti-racist organization.

The elder conversation on December 14th, sparked by a contemporary prophetic elder of the church, may be more of a beginning than an ending. A chord was struck. A portal opened. A stirring, perhaps of the Spirit, is happening among us. If you’d like to join those who signed up for being about the work of anti-racism through the Alliance, ​sign up here.​ You will be among good company as together we work to transform ourselves, the Alliance and our local worshipping communities.

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