Washington, DC – Achieving unity in diversity among churches is tough. Where do we start? Hope of the Generations Church, VA, is starting with their new initiative, STEPS (Spiritual Thrivers Establishing Peace & Solidarity). “I think we need to find just one thing to agree on, and then we can go from there,” explains Pastor Tenickia Polk. Pastor Tenickia leads a new, small and diverse congregation in Fairfax, VA of varying cultures and socio-economic statuses. She admits it can be challenging to maneuver through all the varying idiosyncrasies and differences we have.
“Having a doctor sit next to someone overcoming homelessness is no small feat. Throw in different races and ethnicities, and the dynamics will change even more. At times, everyone is uncomfortable- including me. But like any relationship, the only way to stay together is with continuous honest dialogue, reflection, readjustments, and personal growth in God. STEPS is yet another way we are continuing efforts to realize God’s hope in John 17:21, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” We’re starting with one STEPS event on June 1st…one day, one project, one experience, one presentation. Then, we’ll just wait to see what God will do, and how He leads.”
On Tuesday, June 1st, a group of families from rural Georgia will work with the school children from southeast Washington, DC to take one step in achieving this unity in diversity. Hope of the Generations Church in Fairfax, VA is coordinating this cultural exchange. Together, the group will build raised garden beds for the students at St. Thomas More Catholic Academy to help manage, and learn to grow their own food (something the students from Georgia are accustomed to doing). In addition to the gardening project, the children of the both groups will work together to create high energy “skit” dramas under the direction of Maurice “Murph” Murphy who has done this style of drama, and drama training working with young people in churches and schools for over 10 years.
Some of the skit themes include overcoming things like fear, low self-esteem, and anger. The older students will perform several skits for adults and the younger student population in grades pre-K- 2 so that everyone is edified. Pastor Tenickia hopes that this one step of experience together will lead to more steps, and ultimately a lifelong greater understanding. STEPS is a part of the Hope of the Generations Thrive Week. Hope of the Generations Church, VA is a member of ACTS Global.