Evangelical Unity Week Focuses on Racial Reconciliation

April 08, 2010

By Abbey Shoemaker
CIU Student Writer

The Rev. Alvin Bibbs, the executive director of multicultural church relations for the Willow Creek Association, was the featured chapel speaker for CIU's week-long emphasis on Evangelical Unity, a CIU core value.

Bibbs challenged students, faculty, and staff to think and behave as biblical reconcilers in a world polluted by social injustice, poverty, and even segregation within churches. Through his use of the Bible, news clips, and carefully compiled research, Bibbs gave a powerful charge to the student body on how Christians can live consistently with God's Word while remaining relevant to the political, social, and economic issues of our day, especially as they relate to race.

Professor Andre Rogers, the director of CIU's Pastoral Ministries Program appreciated Bibbs approached to the subject.

"If I've ever heard a prophet speak on our campus, Alvin Bibbs spoke as a prophet with a tender heart about a sensitive subject," Rogers said.

Sophomore Olivia Reibold was encouraged by Bibbs' challenge to reach out to others in the name of Jesus, even in organizations that are not evangelically-affiliated.

"If we serve just for the sake of service, the results will be short-lived; if, however, we take steps toward reconciliation in Jesus' name, the outcome will have eternal significance," Reibold said.

Students also took part in a discussion with Bibbs over lunch as he challenged them to dialogue about the biblical principle of reconciliation.