Racial reconciliation has been an important part of both Rock Church and Circle Urban Ministries since their respective founding. However, the effort took great strides for both organizations when they joined forces in 1983. Since that time both ministries have sought to live out the principles of a blended body. In 1993, Glen Kehrein (founder of Circle Urban Ministries) and founding Pastor Raleigh Washington co-authored Breaking Down Walls outlining practical steps to work toward racial reconciliation.
The Eight Principles of Reconciliation presented in the book were gleaned from their years in ministry together. The staff and volunteers of Circle and the Rock Church represent a racial diversity that we are determined to nurture by savoring our differences while capitalizing on our commonality in Christ.
We are intentional about tackling cross-cultural problems. Our Fudge Ripple Sundays are specific meetings intentionally planned to address problems and deepen black-white relationships in our church. On the Sundays designated for these quarterly meetings, all blacks get together during the Sunday school hour in a “chocolate” meeting and express whatever concerns them. Following the church service whites do the same; the “vanilla” meeting. After lunch when we all get together in a combined “fudge ripple” meeting where we serve fudge ripple ice cream and Oreo cookies.
When we come together in the two-hour fudge ripple meeting, we talk about all the issues that came up in the earlier meetings. Our goal is to be preventive rather than prescriptive.