From February 17th-19th, the Urban Mission Center had the opportunity to go to the Salvation Army's Regeneration conference with the Dwellers and Apprentices of Temple House. This year's conference theme was reconciliation and we were treated to the speakers, Dr. Cornel West, Steve Carter, and Captain Lisa Barnes. Dr. West spoke on racial reconciliation and why doing justice is important for our Christian walk. Pastor Carter spoke on how we are blessed to bless others and on how to fight out implicit biases. Captain Lisa Banes lead us through a healing process and preached about how she's had to reconcile with others in her own life.
It was my first time attending Regen, and I have to be honest, I was incredibly impressed. I was thankful to hear the message that Dr. West spoke when he said, "Justice is what love looks like in public." I think that phrase is important to remember as we go about learning what justice looks like in our present time. But the standout was Captain Lisa Barnes. During the worship night that she led us through a process of reconciliation with those who have hurt us in the past. She had a few officers stand in the front of the Chapel as "placeholders" and she gave people the opportunity to go and speak to the placeholders as if they were the person or thing that had hurt them. The room grew heavy as people rose to confront the demons of their past and move forward toward healing and reconciliation. It was an honor to be in the room as the Spirit moved in the room to help people towards healing.
Again, I'm thankful for the Salvation Army as they give young adults and their leaders space to discover what it means to practice reconciliation in our lives. As we go forward, I hope that those who attended the event take the words that they heard and will work to apply them in their daily walk as Christians.