Roge first learned about Be the Bridge from her friend, Kristy, who had heard Latasha speak at the IF:Gathering conference. Kristy had decided to start a local Be the Bridge small group and wanted Roge to be a part.
It was truly a blessing because she was starting to see the ways the racial reality within the church were damaging her. “I looked around my church and I realized that I had been living out respectability politics because it was what I was told was right as a young Black girl in the White church. Nice, Christian Black women behave like this and say things like that. My soul was dying and it was either speak out, live as God created me and seek to share that with the church body, or leave the White church. I chose the former. I have always tried to be ‘safe’ for people to engage and ask questions, so starting the group was definitely God’s calling.”
Because of these dynamics, getting the group started wasn’t easy. “The biggest challenge we faced is being in a majority white church, knowing we were called to bring this to them, but knowing we needed the voices of people of color as well. God has been so faithful to provide every single thing we needed.”
Once the group got going, there were still a lot of racial dynamics to work out. “Our first couple of meetings were very much White people feeling like it was Q & A with people of color time. We had to be deliberate with shifting that centeredness and creating a culture and space whithin our group that ensured a safe place for people of color while at the same time creating a space for White people to lean in and become equipped by doing their own work.”
Their group is still working through the curriculum, but they don’t want to get to the end! Not because they don’t want to do it, but because they don’t want it to be over. “They want to know how to begin changing their families, their neighborhoods, their world. God used Be The Bridge to do this in our community and people have forever been changed. We are humbled and grateful to be apart of what God is doing in this time with His people, and we are thankful for Be The Bridge.”
Want to be a part of a Be the Bridge small group? Check out our guide on how to join a group!
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