I attended a very interesting conference at Wheaton Bible Church in West Chicago, Illinois this last Friday and Saturday, March 16th and 17th. I went at the encouragement of Amy Rowell of World Relief, Moline. It was all about mission and ministry with new immigrants in the US. There was good representation not only of Euro Americans but also recent immigrants and the second generation, adult children of first generation immigrants.
The array of organizations at this important conference were all from churches characterized as Evangelical Churches. And this does not mean the Church of Peace, even though we have the word “evangelical” on our cornerstone. In this framework, Church of Peace is characterized as Mainline.
The question on my mind is “Can Evangelical and Mainline churches work together to address the needs of our new neighbors? Is our love of God and love of neighbor powerful enough to cause us to set aside some of our familiar rivalries, push our disagreements to the edge and our love to the center?”
Only experience will tell. There seem to be enough new neighbors and human need in our part of Rock Island to keep a lot of folks busy, and our time can be better spent if we can work respectfully and cooperatively. And I saw some hopeful possibilities at this conference.