Opening keynote features African worship, Adam Edgerly

Julia Henning reflects on SCORR’s opening keynote, which took place on Friday night.


Keynote speaker, Adam Edgerly, preaches on Friday night in Sutherland Auditorium about Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. | Grant Walter/THE CHIMES

Julia Henning, Writer

It was surprising to see just how many people showed up for tonight’s Student Congress On Racial Reconciliation opening session in Sutherland auditorium. Simpson University, Westmont College, Vanguard University, George Fox University, Moody Bible College, Fresno Pacific University, Azusa Pacific University and Seattle Pacific University represented their schools with pride.

“The Spirit of the Lord is dwelling here. We are going to be able to worship across cultures,” associate director of Multi-Ethnic Programs and Development Tamara Newman said, while she welcomed B.E.A.T. (Biola Ethnic Advancement Team) worship team to the stage. During this portion, all in the auditorium sang worship songs in Spanish like “Let it Rain.” I felt like I had caught a glimpse of heaven.

Linda Kazibwe-James, a Biola alumna, then led worship in native African songs. Those in the auditorium danced and sang about peace in Africa and Jesus being God.

Then, director of MEPD, Glen Kinoshita, talked about imparting the vision of using talents and gifts to reach the lost in all settings — especially urban. He was saying that dancing, hip-hop and DJing can be used to reach the urban youth.

“They need something communicated that’s relevant to them,” Kinoshita said, welcoming the keynote speaker, Adam Edgerly.

Edgerly gave a little bit of a disclaimer, saying that hopefully those attending SCORR would hear something that they don’t agree with.

“That is how we become more true,” he said.

The main passage for Edgerly’s talk was Isaiah 61. He placed the most emphasis on the first two charges Isaiah was given. The first was to proclaim good news to the poor. He said that one has successfully helped a poor person when they are in a position where they can help another poor person.

The second charge was to bind up the brokenhearted. Edgerly said that unless Christians bind up the brokenhearted and show them that God loves them and sees them, they will respond with hate. He explained that mass shooters and some of the most despicable people on earth are people with broken hearts. Christians ought to reach out to the broken-hearted before the devil takes advantage of the situation to enact hate.

He then went through a brief history of the church, during which time he highlighted certain rifts that occurred and make racial reconciliation necessary.

Edgerly ended with a charge, saying, “You will not do this unless you have an experience. You will not do this if you are here by coercion.”

Throughout the night, there was also a spoken word presentation and a portrait peace that called all people to look at one another as humans, created by God. The spoken word poem took this idea one step further by calling for social action, saying, “Redeem. Resist. Reconcile. We’re the rebels of the night.”

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