All God's Children
 

All God's Children

How Confronting Buried History Can Build Racial Solidarity

by Terence Lester
Foreword by Daniel Hill

All God's Children
paperback
  • Length: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: June 20, 2023
  •  Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 978-1-5140-0595-8
  • Item Code: A0595

The more you understand someone's history, the better you can see their humanity. This is true for individuals as well as for society at large. Race relations have suffered because of the erasure of important Black history and cultural context. As we fill in the gaps of our collective knowledge, communities can grow in understanding, empathy, and solidarity.

Terence Lester shares the buried history of the struggles Black people have faced against unjust systems. He tells powerful stories of courage, injustice, pain, and triumph, including ones from his own history. He also unpacks the sociological and cultural dynamics of unconscious bias and inattentional ignorance that keep us apart, and how they can be overcome. This honest account of what it's like to be Black in America paves the way for the church to move beyond showing support from a distance toward loving one another in long-term solidarity, advocacy, and friendship.

"As I joyfully read through Terence Lester's amazing book All God's Children, I realized this was exactly the resource we need for the wilderness season we find ourselves in. . . . As you prepare to read this book, I invite you to open your heart and view All God's Children as a handbook for navigating the wilderness our nation is in. Allow Terence to pastor you in your quest for deeper formation that leads toward greater sight, greater understanding, and ultimately greater love for God and neighbor."

Daniel Hill, pastor of River City Community Church and author of White Awake, from the foreword

"We belong in God. We belong with each other. And somehow, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'We must learn to live together,' or 'we will perish together as fools.' Terence Lester has provided us with some of the ways we can take this journey, and it is up to us to respond with open hearts. He has challenged us to carry the teachings here forward into our everyday lives and live like Christ."

Vonnetta L. West, senior nonviolence instructor for the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), from the afterword

"Terence Lester has a longstanding track record of listening to and standing up for those society would rather forget. This book beautifully, and in some spaces hauntingly, weaves together the story of the unhoused while providing crucial racial analysis that did my soul so much good to read. I think this book deserves a space in classrooms and libraries all across this country."

Robert Monson, codirector of Enfleshed, writer, and podcaster

"I love Terence Lester's mission: 'to ensure that no one feels invisible.' He says that to see someone, to recognize their dignity and know them truly, you have to learn their story and understand their history. We White folks have a centuries-old tendency to bury history that makes us uncomfortable. It's long past time to confront the painful truth of systemic racial injustice in our country. All God's Children isn't a feel-good, let's-all-get-along book, but it's absolutely about love—the kind of love that confronts injustice at every turn. I'm so thankful for Lester and this heartfelt, challenging book."

Marla Taviano, author of unbelieve and jaded

"Many churches in America struggle with the word justice despite its inextricable link to Christ's ministry. Terence provides a crucial invitation and pathway for today's church to take: come back to Jesus and a more just vocation."

Rohadi Nagassar, pastor of Cypher Church and author of When We Belong

"Terence is one of my favorite voices on the topics of justice and faith. For him, they're inseparable. I'm always grateful for his reminder to move past knowledge and head toward movement; as he says in All God's Children, 'As we bear the loads of others, we become who God meant for us to be.' This book is spiritual formation literature at its finest."

Brandy Wallner, spiritual writer

"All God's Children is the companion people of faith need right now. It is vulnerable, courageous, honest, and engaging. Finding a way to be at the same time comprehensive, caring, and challenging, Terence Lester weaves faithful insights and historical context alongside his own personal history and helps us break down the ill-conceived barriers that keep us from living out the solidarity to which God calls us. In a time when competing voices seek to incite our outrage and distrust of one another, Terence's work clears a path and invites us into deeper solidarity and unity with all God's beloved children."

Rev. Chad Wright-Pittman, associate pastor for care and outreach at First Presbyterian Church of Anderson
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CONTENTS

Foreword by Daniel Hill

Introduction: Everyone Has a Story
1. A Past I Could Not Touch
2. A History Few Wanted to Understand
3. God Is Justice
4. Confronting Buried History
5. Unpacking Biases
6. Engaging Differences
7. Engage Your Community
8. Practice Proximity
9. Sit at Another’s Table
10. Break the Silence
Conclusion: Be the Solution

Afterword by Vonnetta L. West
Acknowledgments
Appendix
Notes

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Terence Lester

Terence Lester is a minister, speaker, community activist, author, and founder of Love Beyond Walls, a not-for-profit organization focused on poverty awareness and community mobilization. His campaigns on behalf of the poor, including #LoveSinksIn, have been featured in USA TodayBlack Enterprise Essence, and Reader's Digest. They have been viewed by millions of people globally on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS News, NBC, Upworthy, and "The Bright Side" with Katie Couric. His books include When We Stand, I See You, Getting Past Stuck, Simple Prayers for Hurting People, and Identity Theft.