When I think of Austin Channing Brown, it’s hard not to picture a passionate advocate. Over the past decade, Austin has been growing more and more into a prophetic voice for racial reconciliation, poverty and injustice within the world. She is a courageous collaborator with various Christian ministries to advance visions of racial reconciliation and socioeconomic understanding.
I’ve got to be honest with you, as someone who has ‘migrated’ to the USA from the UK – I had a lot of catching up to do when it came to racial reconciliation. The history was barely taught in my European school system, and as I found myself attending an urban college in downtown Chicago, I realized I had a lot to learn. And learn I did. My freshman year of college I poured myself into research, relationships and prayer to understand the extent of the injustice, sin and pain that had been caused both historically and presently. In a persuasion and debate class, I chose to speak on racial reconciliation for my final project due to the friendship and testimony of a wonderful woman and older student named Linda in my class. Her stories of abuse, racism and prejudice rattled my heart to its core and it was through the writing of John M. Perkins that I felt compelled, no commanded to care and give voice to reconciliation through the heart of the gospel. A white, Northern Irish girl, being broken open for racial reconciliation in the USA.
Why do I share all this?
I share it because, I’m sure that all of us have a story of the call to reconciliation in our lives. We are all invited to become broken open for the sake of the Gospel, for the sake of reconciliation to God and to others. This is a messy, painful, and pride hurting conversation. It’s by no means an easy task – but it’s a necessary one, and I for one was immensely grateful to the prophetic voices who gave guidance, direction and hope in the midst of my being broken open.
These voices are so necessary. They are beacons of light to those of us who feel lost at sea in the waves of desperation, hopelessness or despair. They cry out in the wilderness and seek justice, reform, peace and reconciliation.
Austin Channing Brown is one of those voices.
I don’t know about you, but in light of our world right now, in light of Baltimore, Ferguson, Brooklyn, Ohio, and every other news headline that’s been reported (and for every story that hasn’t), I am aching, yearning, crying out for wisdom. I feel so much and I desire guidance so deeply. This Sunday, Austin is joining us to talk about how the Eucharist breaks us open for reconciliation – and I could not think of a more relevant, important or needed message for our tribe or for our world.
Join us in the messy work of being broken open. Join us in the vision for reconciliation. With Austin as our guide, rest assured you are in revolutionary and kind hands.
Peace and grace to you,
Jenna Perrine & The Practice Team