Dear OBCM Family and Friends,

Below is a post that I shared on my personal Facebook Page. It shares a bit of my story. I shared it when I shared Phil Vischer’s recent viral video on Race in America that stemmed from a class that Phil and Rob Vischer taught here in Okoboji three summers ago. I encourage you, as Conference approaches, to engage ‘The Space’ in your life.

The conversation about Race in America is important. It is even more important as it relates to Christ and his church. Linked at the end of this post is Phil’s recent video. Rob teaching in Okoboji on this topic and a video shared by our friend Kelvin Walker. The video shared by Kelvin is from the Christian and Missionary Alliance national gathering in 2015. It helps all of us to consider more the important conversation about race in America and in the church.

-Jon

THE SPACE – This valuable video has been shared nearly 55,000 times. You likely have seen it. I am sharing because of what this video represents to me. It represents the space. The space that we must acknowledge exists. The space between our experience and beliefs and the reality of others experience and beliefs.

This space exists for all of us. We just have to be courageous enough to recognize it. I was fortunate enough to sit in the class where this video content was first shared. It hit in the space in my life.

In my journey this space has been hit multiple times. In theology, spiritual disciplines, views of God, social justice, community engagement and more. Graduate school was where I became more aware of the space….and then grateful for it.

I found myself in a Cohort of people who loved God and came from many different streams of the Christian faith. They, and my courses, challenged me to engage with the space. I love the people in that Cohort “the Q” to this day. We differ in theology and practice but I am better, and more compassionate, because of engaging the space.

This is also one of the reasons that I love my job. I am privileged to lead Okokoboji Bible Conference Ministries (OBCM) OBCM is a place where the space can be safely engaged. OBCM is where the course this video content came from was first taught. It is a great place to engage the space….and then have a Nutty Bar or pie and ice cream with the person you had a small theological difference with. Everyone can find common ground with a Nutty Bar or Pie and Ice Cream!

OBCM is not just about engaging the space, it is also about simply coming together under the broad banner of Jesus to worship, learn and grow in relationships with other people.

Maybe this video engages some of the space in your life. Maybe, if your like me, if helps to represent that space exists in some area of your life, faith or social ideology. Now is a good time to not dig your heels further into your beliefs without first examining them and engaging the space. Maybe a little heel digging will be needed after examination….just don’t dig without first engaging the space.

I Love Ya'll, For Real – Micah Bournes

"I love y'all, for real, but sometimes you make me feel dumb." – Micah BournesDuring #AllianceCouncil2015, Micah Bournes brought his experience as an African American man to attendees through spoken word poetry. His words are still important for us to hear today.

Posted by The Christian and Missionary Alliance on Wednesday, July 1, 2020