Community Reconciliation

ShareFest Update

Imagine a small army of volunteers from 27 Jericho Partnership churches and beyond, joined together to honor God through corporate worship and acts of service … all with the goal of building bridges and partnering better - together.

Bringing people together is a key element of community reconciliation, and bringing people together for a greater good is what Jericho Partnership hopes to achieve through ShareFest 2018.

Introducing Community Reconciliation

Jericho’s mission to “transform the city of Danbury for the glory of God and the common good of its people” has been founded on five objectives:

  1. Increase the number of Danbury youth embracing a biblical worldview.
  2. Increase the graduation rate of at-risk youth, while developing young men and women of honor
  3. Foster the sanctity of life on a whole-life basis
  4. Offer the transforming hope of Christ to adults struggling to overcome homelessness, addictions and mental illness
  5. Advance the physical, emotional and spiritual transformation of Danbury neighborhoods

Now, in part as a response to our nation’s general spirit of disharmony, Jericho’s Board of Directors has endorsed a new, sixth objective:

6. Reconcile all the people of Danbury to God and to each other by living the gospel of Christ and by Jericho Church Partners being closely connected to each other and to the city of Danbury, united in breaking down barriers that separate us from God and from each other.

Five Unexpected Benefits of Volunteering

We know that volunteering to serve others –  at Jericho, we call it “being the hands and feet of Jesus” – is a blessing to those who receive your time, compassion and love.

But what about the volunteer? Recent research has determined that there are some surprising benefits to the person sharing his or her time with others.

Here are five unexpected benefits of volunteering:

Pastor's Corner: Leroy Parker

We are living during some tumultuous times in the United States of America. When we look at the political climate in our country, it has in a major way opened the vaults of racism that many people thought would never be resurrected. The issue is not the resurrection of systemic racism, but the blatant denial of it, rather than owning it and moving forward toward reconciliation.

Since the 1600’s, we’ve had issues with race in our country. There are many who are on the front lines of this issue, trying to eradicate this evil, which pervades all of our communities. If we are going to have intentional movement toward racial reconciliation in this country, it must start with the body of Christ. Even within the body of Christ, there are those who suggest that we don’t have to deal with this issue in 21st century. But the sad reality is that it is more blatant in our linguistic expression, actions and judicial system like never before. The body of Christ has to take seriously God’s admonition in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and will forgive them sin, and will heal their land.”

Our vision then must be bigger than trying to bring black and white people together, but more importantly, reconciling them to the Lord Jesus Christ. It means nothing to work hard for social justice when we don’t appreciate or place value on those whom God has created in His image. He called them good. The Bible is very clear: there is no other way to look at our fellow brothers or sisters than through the lens of a loving God who sculpted them with His loving hand (Genesis 2, Psalm 139). Therefore, we are and were created in the imago dei whereby we have no right to look at the other and put ourselves above them based upon looks and socioeconomic positioning with the culture.

If we are going to see significant strides towards racial reconciliation in this country, we must honestly acknowledge the sin and repent of the sin that is constantly pulling us apart rather than bringing us together (1 John 1:9). The civil rights activist Andrew Young said, “Any racial reconciliation we’ve had in this country has not come not out of confrontation but out of a spirit of reconciliation. If we continue to practice an eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth, we’ll eventually end up with a land of people who are blind and toothless.”

– Leroy Parker, New Hope Baptist Church, Danbury