Resources to Bless and Encourage - by Erma Zimmerman

I have had an interesting two weeks as I have “devoured” books that have addressed various cultural/racial issues we are facing today. I have been totally blessed and encouraged by the following books.

Since I am in the “ministry” I choose books that address the church cultural by male and female, “black and white”, young and old and two “history books” that spoke to the heart of the “divide” between races.

Here they are! We all are at different “places” but a great season in the church to learn how to move towards realizing the prayer of Jesus in John 17 that “all my be one” so that the world will recognize that you sent me.

“History Books”
Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman. He was a pastor, educator, theologian and mentor to Martin Luther King Jr. and this book helped shape the Civil Rights Movement. He uses the life of Jesus and the transforming work Jesus spoke into lives who were “disinherited” in his day such as the woman at the well, the tax collectors, woman caught in adultery etc. or in terms today, people groups who have their “backs against the wall”. Great read!

Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King, Jr. This offers a penetrating analysis of the events and pressures that propelled the civil rights movement to the forefront of American consciousness. Good read for us who are not familiar with Martin Luther King Jr. and his vision and actions.

Books that are helpful for church conversations:
Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison. Latasha Morrison served on staff at Gateway Church led by Robert Morris in Texas. She now leads a ministry called Be the Bridge. www.bethebridge.com She is a black writer and shares her vision, experience, and insights on racial reconciliation to bring the church into unity. She has developed a model of “listening/prayer groups” as a way of being proactive in our conversations and moving the church “forward”. Check out her website.

White Awake- An honest look at what it means to be white by Daniel Hill. Daniel Hill served on staff for Willow Creek and then planted a church in Chicago. This book describes his journey and interactions as a young white pastor in cultures other than his own. I found it to be a helpful guide for those who want to learn more about both the theology and the practice of reconciliation in America today.