Part of our vision at Hillcrest is to welcome everyone and love all. One of the ways we live that out is to invite others into the adventure of walking with Jesus, especially those who are missing or not represented well in the story of our church. Every generation and culture bring value and depth to the journey we intend to hike together. We also live this out by being known by the love Jesus revealed to us, which is given freely to all who pursue him. See below for ways we are intentionally seeking to better understand and build bridges across racial lines.
Dividing Lines Tour | Hillcrest occasionally participates in a drive through educational tour on historic segregation in the Kansas City Metro, primarily through its real estate. Nathaniel Bozarth, ethnographer and host of the “Wide Ruled” podcast, narrates this 90-minute drive, bringing in interviews from several area students and notable city figures such as Sid Willens, Bill Tammeus, Mamie Hughes and Margaret May. We believe the only way for Kansas City to experience deep, lasting change is for there to be a fundamental Holy Spirit-led change in the hearts of individuals. Those changes happen best when we share experiences and conversation, with hearts open to what the Spirit is saying to us collectively.
Breaking Barriers: Developing God’s Heart for Our Neighbors | Recently, a group met to discover what barriers we each need to overcome in order to love others well as Jesus commanded? We can have internal barriers based on our environments growing up, media, or limited exposure to cultural experiences. Jesus came to break down the barriers and He prayed for unity so we can love one another freely. The 5-week experiential study explored scripture, reflected on experiences, and participated in cultural outings to help us develop God’s heart for our neighbors and live in the unity Jesus prayed for in John 17.
Sankofa: A Journey Toward Racial Righteousness
Sankofa is a word from the Akan tribe in Ghana. It means San (to return), ko (to go) fa (to fetch, seek, and take). The bird with its head turned backward taking an egg off its back embodies Sankofa’s meaning. Sankofa attests that we must look backward (into our history), before we can faithfully move forward together, in the present and future. The Sankofa experience does just this, by exploring historic sites of the Civil Rights Movement, connecting the freedom struggle of the past, to our present realities.
Sankofa invites the Church to understand racial righteousness as a critical component of our Christian discipleship. This immersive discipleship pilgrimage equips believers to participate in the kingdom mosaic and pursue biblical justice. Sankofa empowers participants to become ambassadors of reconciliation inside and outside the church. Find a partner and join us on the bus!
Hillcrest occasionally participates in Sankofa, especially when it originates from Kansas City. Learn more about this incredibly powerful experience here...
See here for an article from the Evangelical Covenant Church, our denomination, which speaks about how our oneness is a powerful witness to the world.
Hillcrest partners with organizations that increase understanding and build bridges across racial lines in the Kansas City area. One organization is called The Way of Unity. You can learn more and see their calendar of events here...