Segregated Sundays: Taking on Race and Religion

"I don't really see a while lot of interaction," said Eaton. "They just kind of stay in their community and we stay in ours. That's not the right thing, but that's how it is."

Changing Churches

On the most recent visit to Burt Avenue Wesleyan Church, it was still evident that despite taking a forward step in worshiping together, congregants of both churches were reluctant to give up their old habits. Members of Biggers' church instinctively sat together in two pews in the front of the primarily white church.

"Ya'll spread out, spread out, make some friends," Biggers urged.

But the service seemed genuinely open and inclusive. Both white and black congregants sang together, took communion together and afterward, joined in a meal together.

"It was awesome, just completely awesome," said Means after the service. "I mean colossal. I know God was showing me some stuff."

Eaton agreed.

"I think it's just a wonderful idea," said Eaton. "How else are we gonna do that in this world? Little by little, one step at a time. That's how I look at it."

And that's how Biggers looks at it as well. He believes now is the time for America's churches to take the lead in healing the nation's racial wounds.

"We are all brothers and sisters in Christ," said Biggers. "If there's one Lord, one faith, one baptism, then we ought to be able to worship together That's why we go, we go to worship, to make a point that in Coshocton it's not the most segregated day in America."

As word about Mission Sunday spreads, Biggers says he is now receiving invitations to visit other congregations. While those invitations may be local, Biggers has dreams of expanding Mission Sunday beyond Coshocton.

"Can you imagine [400, 500] churches across the country, one Sunday would close their doors and go visit another church that looked different from them?" asked Biggers. "Could you imagine what would happen spiritually?"

On June 29, 2008, Biggers is planning a nationwide Mission Sunday. He hopes to organize 1,000 churches across the United States to visit churches that he says "look different from one another."

If you want to learn more about Bigger's nationwide Mission Sunday this June, please contact him by filling in the form below.


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