City Highlight: San Francisco Bay Area

Ten years ago, a friend of mine who has a passion for racial reconciliation and caring for the poor started informally discipling me and told me to go to a seminar by Edward Gilbreath (author of Reconciliation Blues: A Black Evangelical's Inside View of White Christianity). As I listened to Ed and heard other seminar participants share their stories, my eyes were opened- there were whole sections of Scripture and hundreds of verses about caring for the oppressed and marginalized in our society that I had not noticed in my church upbringing or from reading the Bible on my own. Six and a half years ago, my husband, Jason, and I chose to take positions with CSM as Co-City Directors in order to continue exploring God’s heart for the poor, for racial reconciliation and for justice. As a CSM City Director, I appreciate getting to personally learn more about issues that are near to God’s heart, while also providing an opportunity for youth leaders of CSM trips to disciple their students while they participate in ministry together through prayer and service. One way that I have been growing over the last month is through reading Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer sharing true stories of people he has worked with and known. Bryan has helped me put many faces to the statistics of Mass Incarceration in our county, one of the things we pray for during our CSM Oakland Prayer Tour. He has also convinced me further of the benefit of CSM groups investing in youth in our cities and praying for these young lives long after the trip is over.

I highly recommend both of these books as we continue to disciple others, study scripture and pray for God’s Kingdom.