We live in a nation that’s divided. We live in a region that’s divided. Our cities, our workplaces, even some of our own families are divided. In this moment, we are divided by culture, race, politics and just about every other difference you can image – or so it seems. We see protests and riots, hashtags and video clips, pundits and debates on television. We scroll through our newsfeed and become overwhelmed with dissenting opinions. In those moments it’s easy to get a sense that nothing could ever change for the better. The toxic combination of declining virtue alongside unfiltered opinions creates an environment that causes even the most hope-filled person to shudder. But I believe an opportunity exists – an opportunity like no other. Perhaps, God is just getting started. Perhaps what it means and looks like to be a Christian in the midst of our divided culture is changing and an opportunity for evangelism, mobilization, and unity is emerging.
Engaging a Divided Nation
On Thursday, October 13th, Christians and thought leaders from across South Florida will gather at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church for Q Commons Fort Lauderdale as Dr. Ravi Zacharias, Christian apologist and best-selling author, encourages people of faith to take three bold and necessary steps to lead and respond in our divided times. Come learn what it looks like to engage a culture that feels like it’s pulling itself apart. Zacharias will present his case for how we can be influencing our culture for good in a time that feels anything but unified. Following him will be authors and political commentators Ross Douthat and Kirsten Powers along with Grammy Award winning artist Lecrae as we enter into a conversation on how to Engage a Divided Nation.
Continuing on the theme of our nationally simulcasted speakers, Q Commons will also feature three local speakers presenting on “How to Engage our Divided City.” Among them are Rev. Dr. Isaac Petite Frere, a local pastor and community leader, Dominique Burkhardt, a lawyer and former public defender, and Clinton Jones, Sr., father to the late Corey Jones, who was tragically killed by a plainclothes police officer in Palm Beach Gardens while waiting for help with his broken down car. These local leaders will be guiding us into a dialogue on how to meaningfully engage the cultural moment of our city.
Rev. Danny Slavich, pastor of Pembroke Road Baptist Church recently told me, “The church shouldn’t merely engage this conversation but rather lead it. True reconciliation happens within the context of the church and its people. The primary focus of the church is reconciliation; the Cross of Jesus Christ bridges the divide of our hearts both vertically to God and horizontally to one another.” In Danny’s words, the cross frees us to not only realize the nature of this conversation can be offensive and uncomfortable, but it provides the power to keep it going. “We must love each other so deeply to keep this conversation going and not give up.” Many of the topics of Q Commons are hard and touch the very fiber of our beings and shape who we perceive ourselves and others to be.”
Q Commons is a unique conversation, motivated by the Christian faith, that is committed to exploring cultural topics and advancing good. However, Q Commons is far more than an event; it represents the opportunity to lend your voice to a conversation on what it means to stay curious, think well and advance good here in South Florida. It’s our hope that you’d walk away thinking, having met a few new friends and committed to engaging culture through the lens of the Gospel.
I believe this moment will serve as a time where you heart, mind and soul are reoriented back to what it means to be God’s demonstration of community to the watching world. Similar to the prophets of the Old Testament, it is my hope and desire that our presenters’ words would cast vison, provide encouragement, present challenges, stir emotion and inspire change.
Join us. We need you. South Florida needs you.
To learn more about Q Commons or to reserve your seat, visit www.qcommons.com/fortlauderdale.
Edwin Copeland helps lead RENEW South Florida, a church planting and leadership development organization committed to seeing a gospel moment take root in our tri-county area. He can be reached at [email protected] Read more articles by Edwin Copeland at: goodnewsfl.org/author/edwincopeland/