racial experiences

A New Way to Relate


"All of us are wired for relationship. We’re wired to be with other people. We come from tribal ancestors who found safety, security, identity, and developed a plethora of amazing cultures that span the globe by associating in groups.

"We often feel the need to define and defend our group against other groups... But for those of us who are trying to live lives of Jesus-centered faith, hunkering down and only taking care of our own doesn’t really seem to be an option..." 

For Easter, we started a new series on all of the relationships in our lives, whether as group members, partners, parents, friends, or colleagues. What wisdom does Jesus (as well as thinkers of today) have for us about living well in the midst of all these relationships? Listen below or check out the notes here, and tune in next week for more! 

Jonny Leano: Addressing Identity in a Centered-Set Church

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"Hawaii is a racially diverse place. Former Governor of Hawaii Linda Lingle says that Hawaii is a place where the “racial and ethnic lines are often blurred or deemed irrelevant.” In other words, Hawaii focuses on racial diversity at the center. And racial diversity in Hawaii is a great source of pride that distinguishes us from the mainland.

"But for me, Hawaii was not a racially diverse paradise. I am part of a growing population of immigrant Filipinos in Hawaii, and as of 2010, Filipinos surpassed Japanese to become the second-largest racial group in Hawaii, just behind Caucasians.

"Yet I still felt racism and xenophobia growing up. I was teased for being Filipino. I also witnessed how neighborhoods were segregated based on race and class. And this was confusing. I thought that fellow Hawaiians celebrated our different racial identities… but sometimes I felt that Filipinos were the exception…"

This week, Jonny Leano shared with us his experiences growing up as a Filipino citizen in Hawai’i--and later participating in predominantly white churches in America. Listen in (or read his notes) for more on how we can become a spiritual community that allows people to live out their full identities and share their unequal experiences of race and class—yet still maintain a focus on Jesus as the one who brings us together.