“Take a Knee” – A Sermon from Minister of Reconciliation

Scripture on 1 Corinthians 12:20-26 says, “As it is, there are many members, yet one body.  The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”  On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this.  But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another.  If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.”  Continue reading.

One Bag of Tea, One Conversation, One Relationship

During General  Assembly (2017), Reconciliation Ministry launched a new initiative, “One Bag of Tea, One Conversation, One Relationship.”  This campaign is founded in the principle of “Oneness in Christ”.   In our endeavor to work for racial and social justice and to ensure radical welcome for all, we can only accomplish this if we know each other better.

We invite you to join the movement towards wholeness and embark on the journey of breaking down the walls that separate us by strengthening the bonds that make us one. The idea is simple: 1) invite someone or a group to share a cup of tea with, preferable someone you would like to know more about.  For example, you can choose someone or a congregation that is different from you such as in gender, age, race, etc.,  pick a date and location and follow the steps in the script to the right.

Our office has special packets of tea with the script and wrappers with specific questions, each packet has a cost of $15 (shipping included) and it comes with 20 tea bags.

If you are interested in doing this in your congregation or want more information about it, feel free to contact us!

New Staff Announcement – Reconciliation Program Minister

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana and Reconciliation Ministry of the General Church welcomes Minister Bere Gil Soto to our staff as Reconciliation Program Minister.

This collaborative staffing agreement between the General and Regional expression of the Church emerged out of a recognition of renewed conversations about issues of systemic racism and its local and national implications.  As we seek to jointly address resourcing congregations and leaders for contextual and effective mission, we are very grateful for the gifts, graces and passions for reconciliation that Minister Gil Soto brings to this call of the Church.

Born and raised in Central Mexico, in the beautiful town of San Luis Potosí, she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí. Since early in her life, Bere has been passionate about social justice issues, learning from her mother who worked hard and relentlessly to demand equal rights for people with disabilities. As a lifelong member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), she was involved in many roles of the Church in Mexico; from choir member, Sunday school teacher, VBS Director, worship leader and youth minister in the local church, to Secretary of National Board of Youth Ministries, as well as Moderator of the National Assembly.

Bere came to Indianapolis in 2012 to pursue a dual degree at Christian Theological Seminary, graduating in December 2016 with a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy.  She has served the Church in numerous capacities including as a member of the planning team for the 175th Indiana Regional Assembly, and served her Field Education as student Pastor at Casa del Alfarero, as well as Reconciliation Ministry Student Intern. “My passion resides in people’s stories and the beauty and power that come out of them. At the end of it all, we are all part of God’s creative story!” She currently serves as Minister of Worship for Iglesia Hermandad Cristiana (Discípulos de Cristo) in Indianapolis.

In her new role, Bere will complete the implementation of the Region’s RECONciliation Tour project, coordinate and direct reconciliation educational programming for both expressions of the Church with specific focus on regional camp and conference and clergy anti-racism education program.  In her role with General Reconciliation she will manage communications and the congregation-based community organizing (CBCO) network database.

This position is co-located in both the Indiana Regional Office and the Disciples Center where Bere will be accompanied by supportive colleagues who share in the Church’s commitment to our identity as a Pro-Reconciling and Anti-Racist Church – faithful, growing and serving our members with a passion for justice.  Please join us in welcoming Minister Bere Gil Soto to this new call and collaborative ministry.

Grant application guidelines

Updated Reconciliation Ministries grant guidelines and policies have been posted on the Resources page.

General Reconciliation Grant awards are intended to catalyze new and/or existing projects that target anti-racism/anti-bigotry initiatives toward promoting reconciliation and recognition of human dignity through racial justice incentives. Award amounts can range from $2,000 to $10,000. Applications are due in January.

Webinar: Justice System, Mental Health and the Church

NBA Logo tagline 2014

NBA Webinar: Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear:

Mental Health, the Criminal Justice System, and the Church

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

1:00 p.m. CST / 2:00 p.m. EST

Live webinar via Fuze – register here!

With the recent rise in mass shootings and debates over gun laws, many of us have been thinking differently about mental health and the criminal justice system. This webinar will explore the complex and longstanding relationship between mental health and the criminal justice system, describe justice issues relating to this relationship, and set the ground work for the church to think differently about our response to, and relationship with, the prison population.

This webinar is the first in a mini-series of joint webinars offered by the NBA Prison & Jail Ministries and NBA Mental Health & Congregational Care Affinity Groups.

Webinar Presenters:

  • Angela Whitenhill, M.Div., LCSW: Psychotherapist, Chaplain, and Convener of the NBA Mental Health Affinity Group
  • Dean Bucalos: Pastor of New Life in Christ Christian Church, Program Coordinator of Mission Behind Bars and Beyond, and Mission Specialist for the NBA Prison & Jail Ministries Affinity Group


Learn more about this webinar and register today!

Webinar: Juvenile Justice and Restorative Justice

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Central Standard Time (2:00 PM m- 3:00 PM Eastern)

NBA Prison and Jail Ministries Affinity Group and Reconciliation Ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) are proud to offer a series of webinars focused on congregational and general church involvement in prison and jail issues.

The “school-to-prison pipeline” is an emerging phenomenon in our country. One of the major feeders of mass incarceration is the juvenile justice system. Schools often rely upon the police for discipline, resulting in a rise in referrals to the juvenile justice system.

Structural racism in police, schools, and the juvenile justice systems has led to the disproportionate number of brown and black youth in juvenile detention facilities. In this webinar, learn more about the school-to-prison pipeline and ways you and your faith community can become part of emerging solutions, including those that employ the principles of restorative justice.

Webinar: Juvenile Justice and Restorative Justice


Webinar Presenters

  • Rev. Dr. Dietra Wise Baker: Pastor and Planter, Liberation Christian Church; Chaplain and Program Development Manager, Episcopal City Mission
  • Rev. Dean Bucalos: Mission Specialist, NBA Prison and Jail Ministries; Program Coordinator, Mission Behind Bars and Beyond; Pastor, New Life in Christ Christian Church
  • Moderated by Rev. April Johnson, Executive Director, Reconciliation Ministry

Related Resources

You may find these materials to be helpful preparation for this webinar:

Special Offering 2015: Be Reconciled; Move, Heal, Bound Together

2015RMOfferingLogoThe 2015 Reconciliation Offering will be received in congregations on September 27th and October 4th.

The Special Offering is used to fund our Church’s mission imperative to become an pro-reconciling and anti-racist church utilizing the tools experiential education (training), inclusive worship and intentional dialogue. Our efforts to promote healing, relationship and restoration in the whole family of God are enlivened by funds from this offering providing for programs of leadership development ,curriculum for dialogue and learning, and partnerships within the Church and our communities. The year 2015 has catapulted the conversation about human brokenness evidenced in the sin of racism and perpetuated in our institutional structures and systems. Your generous giving to Reconciliation Ministry is transforming lives and strengthening Christ’s witness in the world that we love one another, even as Christ continues to love us!

More about the 2015 Reconciliation Ministry Offering

We Need Prayer. . . We Need The Church

“We need prayer George. Tell your viewers to pray for the families of victims and for our nation. Our nation and world need prayer, George.” These are the words spoken by a community leader this morning during a live interview on Good Morning
America news television broadcast.

When tragedy visits our communities, it is our natural inclination to seek refuge in the church. On last evening, June 17th, 2015 an historic church of the community was targeted in a suspected hate crime and tragic loss of life. One day later, though shaken, the Church continues to serve as the place of refuge. Our faith does not have its foundation in brick and mortar, but in the Church universal – the beloved community and family of God. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in our embodiment of “unity as our polar star” stands in solidarity with the families and the community of Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Their unconscionable loss and their palpable grief can be felt throughout the entire world and body of believers.

Continue reading We Need Prayer. . . We Need The Church