Advent Longing

By Jennifer Carpenter

I think it’s fair to say that Christmas in the United States is mostly a commercialized experience around themed decorations, gifts, and traditions.  We know from history that the holiday itself was created by hijacking a pagan holiday (winter solstice) and making it “Christian.”

What if—since we’re all in a forced “new normal” this year—we focused on Advent instead?

What Inspires Us

13th film promo art

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13th

Directed by Ava Duvernay

13th is an excellent primer on the historic connection between mass incarceration in the United States and racism.

Why this film interests me:

13th fills in the gaps of American history by revealing some uncomfortable truths about our criminal justice system that have been hiding in plain sight for decades. — Andre H

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The Color of Compromise

By Jemar Tisby

Jemar Tisby takes a bold look at the historic connection between white Christianity and racism. With grace and truth, Tisby ​guides readers to think through concrete solutions for improved race relations and a racially inclusive church.

Why this book interests me:

It’s vital that white Christians understand the history of racism in the church so they can understand reframe the fight for racial justice as essential to Christian faithfulness. — Andre H

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Raise Your Voice

By Kathy Khang

In ​Raise Your Voice,​ Kathy Khang encourages people who are often marginalized because of societal factors like race and gender to boldly use their God-given voices.

Why this book interests me:

In Raise Your Voice, Kathy Khang encourages people of color to accept Divine permission to speak up in spite of the power dynamics that try to compel us to stay silent. — Andre H

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Native

By Kaitlin Curtice

As both a citizen of the Potawatomi Nation and a Christian, Kaitlin Curtice offers a unique perspective on these topics. In this book, she shows how reconnecting with her Potawatomi identity both informs and challenges her faith.

Why this book interests me:

Kaitlin’s perspective helps me to interrogate how much my understanding of Christianity is mediated through a Western settler-colonial lens. She’s one of many voices helping to undo the lie that Christianity and indigenous culture are mutually exclusive. — Andre H

I bring the voices book cover

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I Bring the Voices of My People

Written by Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes

Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes offers a compelling argument that the Christian racial reconciliation movement is incapable of responding to modern-day racism. She demonstrates how reconciliation’s roots in the evangelical, male-centered Promise Keepers’ movement has resulted in a patriarchal and largely symbolic effort, focused upon improving relationships between men from various racial-ethnic groups.

Why this book interests me:

The American evangelical church has long promoted strategies for racial justice that won’t work. Books like this one are showing us the way to break that cycle. — Andre H

The Brown Church

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The Brown Church

By Robert Chao Romero

Dr. Romero takes the reader on a journey through the rich, but often unseen history of the latino church.  Pulling out key concepts like mission integral, and borderlands theology, he shows the powerful contribution of the latino church to the larger global church conversation.

Why this book interests me:

The brown (latino) church has wrestled with the combination of social justice and Christian faith for longer than many North American churches.  So the insights here are both deep and profound–but also the specifics of the latino community help me understand the unique contributions of the Asian American church.  –Nikki T-S