What a sweet and tender Lenten season for many of us here in Baltimore who have been journeying together with George Hopkins
and the Repentance Project
. We have encountered great darkness and brokenness in our past with tentacles that reach into the present. We opened Lent with a deeply challenging evening with Bill Haley and George Hopkins sharing with us their personal journeys in coming to terms with the lasting legacy of the inhumanity of the mass enslavement of fellow image bearers, many of whom by God’s amazing grace embraced Him in their pain and suffering and are my brothers and sisters and mentors in the way of Jesus.
In walking through “An American Lent” since the beginning of Lent we have been challenged and inspired by the voices of godly men and women like Howard Thurman, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bryan Stevenson. In the midst of our journey, Bryan Stevenson came to Loyola University for one of the most inspiring and challenging evenings I have had the privilege of being a part of. Bill, and George, and Bryan all speak to the difficult road through repentance to reconciliation and ultimately restoration and the fulfillment of God’s design for His “beloved community” (to borrow Martin Luther King Jr’s term) in our midst.
I’m so grateful that through Coracle, Heather Strube, and I were able to partner with Curt Thompson caring for His servants working in challenging areas of Asia. Curt’s work on the destructive and evil nature of shame (The Soul of Shame) culminates in the beautiful assurance, that like with Peter in the healing of his deep shame over his denial of Jesus, we too are sought out by Jesus (John 21:15-19). And as He engages us, He not only heals our shame but commissions us to minister to those He loves. Jesus’s invitation to all of us is to come and receive the full fruit of His sacrifice of love to break the strongholds of death and evil in our lives and our communities and through the journey of repentance and death to receive new life in all its abundance flowing out of the extravagant love of Jesus. It was for this joy that Jesus was able to endure the cross and He invites us to join Him!
Curt also helped me see how essential loving community is for us to be able to enter into the fullness of the healing and empowering Jesus desires for us. We need venues where we can face the brokenness of our individual and communal pasts and be loved and restored and freed to engage each other with hope, joy, courage, and love. We hope that Coracle here in Baltimore will complement the work of Jesus in our lives through our churches and intimate relationships with our brothers and sisters. In the weeks ahead we are excited to offer several opportunities for us to travel together in this journey of healing and commissioning.
On April 8th George Hopkins will lead us in a time of personal and communal processing of all that we have been exposed to through the Repentance Project. Please join us for that evening, and feel free to invite others. You can RSVP here. On April 28th we will be offering a new day long retreat in partnership with Brian Donohue of Cuirim Outreach to explore how we can live in the reality of Jesus’s kingdom here and now (click here for more info or to register). The following Saturday, May 5th, Bill Haley will be leading a retreat specifically for men and women whose vocation has led them into the world of business and finance (more info here). And then on June 30th we will host our first Creation-focused retreat which will include a guided pilgrimage through the Loch Raven watershed as a way of connecting with God through nature and community.
May the Father, and the Son, and the precious Holy Spirit continue to meet and heal and release each on of us this Easter season into the greater works He still has for us to do! Come, Lord Jesus, come and reign among us that Your heart’s desires may be fulfilled in us.
Community Minister for Coracle Baltimore
On Behalf of the Coracle Baltimore Team