“I initially joined a Be the Bridge group because I thought it was the right thing to do,” Margo says of why she said yes when a couple friends told her of their group that had just started. It seemed like the logical choice as she was beginning to learn about racial justice issues. “It was a head decision, not a heart decision.”
That all changed for her as she began to work through each session. “Through the process of forming relationships with people of color I realized the importance of Be the Bridge, not as just the right thing to do, but because my own heart needed a good dose of the truth and needed to be changed.”
As time went on she also realized how much her church needed Be the Bridge. Despite the truth of that, she felt a continual prompting to see a different vision of how to move forward. “My kids go to [a school] in the Atlanta Public School system. Our school is very diverse and parents take pride in that. However, our school is not as integrated as it could be. We are all super excited about our children getting a school experience in a diverse atmosphere, but our community didn’t seem to be as integrated as our children.”
This is a problem in many cities in America. Even if a school brings together a diverse group of families, the neighborhoods they come from are not integrated the way the school is. We live parallel lives apart from one another. Without the work of reconciliation, this doesn’t change, and Margo realized that. So thankfully, someone else started a group at her church, and she reached out to teachers and families at her children’s school.
“Going through the leaders guide I realized that as a White woman, I was not able to lead the group on my own nor did I feel prepared or equipped to do that.” She was right in that assessment; Be the Bridge small groups are designed to be co-led by members of different racial or ethnic groups. “I would say that going through [the curriculum] the first time really opened my eyes, but I had in no way arrived! I wanted to start a group partly to keep myself accountable to keep learning and growing. I approached a teacher at our school about co-leading with me and she was super excited to take that on.”
While she still maintains friendships with members of her first group (including two of whom joined this new group as well), her second group is slowly working their way through each session and growing in understanding and relationship with one another. They are half way through, so deep into the heart of the material discussing repentance and forgiveness.
That head decision, has now become a life and heart transformation. “Be the Bridge has identified hidden sin in my own heart. Judgements I had that I wore as a way to make the injustice of our broken world around me make sense. Beliefs in my heart that were not born out of love, but out of self preservation. I’m learning to continually let go of untruths…to lean in and sit with my discomfort and ask the Lord to change me and grow me.”
The Leader’s Guide Margo looked through to plan leading a new group is available for download here.