New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-07-16 21:00:00 –
At the first men’s unity breakfast in Baton Rouge in 2017, two men (one black and one white) met for the first time and formed a lasting bond.
The black Ewart Førde and the white Le Jensen are the men. And their relationship is one of the symbols that breakfast organizers can have at the event.
“Le traveled with me to my home country of Trinidad and Tobago, and here in the United States,” Førde said. “Our relationship showed so many possibilities from the beginning that I chose to focus on it and the unified process for my research as a sociology graduate student at LSU. Has no substantive personal relationship with people of different ethnicities. “
Jensen, 70, said he went to his first breakfast to make that connection.
“I’m looking for an opportunity to build relationships with people who don’t look like me,” he said. “They were standing and Ewart was one of them.” “The intentional relationship was an essential relationship that I can no longer see my life without him.”
Førde, 59, said a few weeks ago he and Jensen were together in a racial reconciliation panel and were asked to share their story.
“To my esteemed honor and great surprise, he (Jensen) told the audience that I was not only his friend, but also his best friend and the best friend he had ever had. My friend but my brother. ” “This is the power and potential of Unity Breakfast. It’s a deliberate desire to make a personal difference, if no one else does. It’s not just the two, but the entire range of our influence. Because it exceeds. “
Rev. Elmo Winters, executive director of Kingdom Group International, which hosts the monthly breakfast event, said the two men “have had the strongest relationship I’ve seen for a long time. They travel together. They support each other. We traveled together on a mission trip abroad. You look at one and look at the other. They are the perfect thing we are trying to get people to do. It’s a picture. “
Breakfast events are held to promote racial unity and healing through discussions, prayers, and the Word of God among men of different races, ethnicities, denominations, backgrounds, cultures, and financial positions.
“The bottom line is that we want people to build relationships,” Winters said. “It’s not about eating grits, eggs, and bacon together and having a real meal. Then you’re on your way. It’s about starting a relationship that can transcend all sorts of divisions. “
After relying on Zoom during the pandemic, Unity Prayer Breakfast will resume face-to-face meetings at 9620 Florida Blvd., Suite 500 in the Broadmoor Shopping Center next to the HiNabor supermarket at 8am on July 24th. It will also be virtual.
“We are very excited to be able to do that,” said 71-year-old Winters, a pastor, church planter, missionary, and minister who has been in the ministry for over 43 years. He is a member of the Baton Rouge Renew Church.
The positive side of virtualization last year, according to Winters, was the opportunity to reach a larger audience.
“One of the things that happened during the pandemic was that it was virtualized at a monthly meeting and began to spread across the country. It started like a wildfire,” Winters said.
Men’s Unity Breakfast began to accelerate eight months after White Baton Rouge police officers killed a black man, Alton Sterling, in 2016, according to Winters.
“Initially, the Alton Sterling event put us in the position of our city, where it became clear that we really had to seriously discuss the issue of race and division.” Winters said. “We see our country, and even our world, who have never seen anything like racial anxiety. The division we see is culture as well as race. Seen as a whole. We are not as divided as we are today. We have been called by God and have come to do everything we can to bring things together …. We are in gathering people. I’m passionate about it. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to do this. You just get people together and listen. “
The key that Winters emphasized is listening.
“I’m amazed at how much you can achieve by just sitting together and listening to others, without thinking,” he said. “We have a dialogue that begins with what you hear, not just what you speak. When people hear the story of others, it changes their overall attitude; it is their outlook on life. Change the whole thing. “
The results are promising, according to Winters.
“We have been very successful and more than 60% of the people who continue to come have changed their attitudes and started to build relationships,” he said.
According to Winters, it is important for believers to come together to lead the responsibility for change.
“I wonder if one can be a follower of Christ and realize that we cannot divide. We must be united,” he said.
According to Winters, Jesus addressed the issue of “one” in John 17:21.
“He prayed for the unity of the church, the believers, and the people in the room,” Winters said. “We are proud to have a black church and a white church, and it must mourn God. That is really the case, as believers promote unity. That’s what we have to do. “
The format of the men’s unity breakfast includes prayer. Fellowship; A brief discussion by Winters on an undecided subject. Round table on the selected topic. Sharing contact information.
“We encourage them to go beyond table discussions and reach out to someone, pray with someone, call someone and meet for a coffee for at least the next 30 days. One-off event “.
“Seriously, I have to let the guys go. They don’t want to leave. The guys are still in the parking lot and seeing a lot of friendships. That’s just beautiful,” he added.
Winters leads the Kingdom Group with his wife, Therese Hill Winters, who is president. This is the cooperation of an organization working to “change the world by actively destroying the walls of division and building a bridge of unity.” The 7-year-old nonprofit uses three major project areas to reach its goals as a world-changing agent. Media and publishing; and reconciliation training / coaching.
Winters has also written two books: “Overcoming Racial and Cultural Barriers to Disciples” and “Going by Growing: A New Approach to Being an Effective Witness.”
Faith Matters: Men’s Unity Breakfast is building relationships that cross the racial divide | Terry Robinson Source link Faith Matters: Men’s Unity Breakfast is building relationships that cross the racial divide | Terry Robinson