Last week 50 men gathered at Jumonville Camp and beat the COVID blues with two days of celebrating our unity in Christ and being challenged by our speakers to be peacemakers who seek understanding. We are thankful that about 20% of our attendance was in the age range of 12-19. The term we were challenged with was “racial conciliation” as Steelers JT Thomas expressed it and he stressed it must be sought in Christ and it required our hard work. Very importantly, we were coming together as the body of Christ united in the Spirit across all worldly boundaries of race, political ideology, and socio economic differences. We “make every effort” to bind ourselves with the peace that flows from Christ and the gospel. Our theme for the retreat was: United by the Spirit – We Bind Ourselves with Peace.
“Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” Ephesians 4:3 NLT
JT Thomas told a powerful story of his life experience growing up in Georgia under Jim Crow laws. Jim Crow laws mandated the segregation of public schools, public places, and public transportation, and the segregation of restrooms, restaurants, and drinking fountains between white and Black people. He told us about becoming the first black football player at Florida State University in 1969. His talk was followed by a forum discussion with our Locking Arms Board member George Fleming and Dennis Briggs.
Many thanks to our worship band led by Stu Hayes and Doug Lane. Additional speakers included Dustin Holland, Kevion Latham, Mr. Kim Costanza (Del Rey Ministries – delreyministries.org ) and Jon Kolb (ATP – adventurestraining.org) . Thanks as well to brother Ed Savolskis (Conrad Catering) for a great dinner Friday night, to John Carey for all his help and the staff at Jumonville who took such great care of us all weekend!
Please take 20 minutes to watch a powerful interview (Click the Link Below) conducted by our Locking Arms brother Joel Gray with the Pirates Josh Bell. Josh provides a refreshing perspective on how we can be the change in the midst of our current racial divide.
Locking Arms Joel Gray Exclusive Interview with Pirates Josh Bell: