Macon Magazine

February/March 2019

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F E B R U A R Y / M A R C H 2 0 1 9 M A C O N M A G A Z I N E | 3 9 e 15th annual Building the Beloved Community Symposium is Feb. 26-27. Gathering with local community and faith leaders, Mercer officials, students, and anyone interested in the work of racial reconciliation, Dunaway said the symposium brings national voices and ideas to Macon to help break barriers and build relationships across traditional racial divides. While national and local speakers cover the whys and hows of reconciliation, many also echo Dunaway's view that faith is crucial. "My motivation and original vision for the symposium stems from the belief that Christ's church should lead the way," he said. "e church carries the needed message and resources of love and repentance, forgiveness and godly restitution from the heart. I'm not saying government and other organizations don't have important roles, I'm saying it's incumbent on the church to lead the way." at idea led to symposium offshoots such as the Paired Clergy Network and unity worship services. "We realized the symposium wouldn't have a sustainable impact unless ideas became practical," Dunaway said. "We created breakfasts, allowing friendships to grow across racial lines and the Paired Clergy Network to link clergy for fellowship, pulpit exchanges, multi- congregational worship and community service. I guess the poster churches would Reading list A sampling of what John Dunaway, founder of the Building the Beloved Community Symposium, considers the best books he's read on racial reconciliation. "Of course," he said, "the most fundamental of all texts for reconciliation is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which in my view is the only resource that will ever truly effect peace and harmony among the races." "Why We Can't Wait" by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" by Frederick Douglass "The Souls of Black Folk" by W.E.B. Dubois "Macon Black & White: An Unutterable Separation in the American Century" by Andrew Manis "The Beloved Community" by Charles Marsh "Let Justice Roll Down" by John Perkins Mercer's Matt Harper discusses plans for the Building the Beloved Community Symposium with the Rev. Jason McClendon, the Rev. Clifford Little and symposium founder John Dunaway at a gathering at the Tubman Museum. The 2019 symposium is Feb. 26-27. The Stone of Hope, a granite statue of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. carved by sculptor Lei Yixin, next to the National Mall, Washington, D.C. The inspiration for the memorial design is a line from King's "I Have A Dream" speech: "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope."

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