When we sing “We are One in the Spirit,” it is a wonderful reminder to me of what our call is as Christians. Our call as a Christian community is to be ONE IN THE SPIRIT. This song represents that call to community while showing compassion and humility. Paul says in I Corinthians, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we are all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slave or free – and we were all made to drink of the one Spirit.”
In 2014, Molly Barker, the Founder of Girls on the Run, created a program called “The Red Boot Coalition.” Molly served on the Commission for Political Reform, a group tasked with exploring ways to encourage civil discourse at the highest levels of government. She was not satisfied with the results of the committee’s work, so she ventured off on her own to see if she could discover what drives the “us versus them” mentality. It just so happens that she wore red boots on this trip. She discovered that the red boots not only pushed her outside of her comfort zone but provided an opening for meaningful conversations with others. Her red boots became an ice breaker. Molly purposefully sought conversations with people she encountered on her trip across the country. These conversations changed her. She was able to find the heart-driven, open dialogue that was missing from our various communities. From these conversations, The Red Boot Coalition was born.
Red Boot Groups are now meeting across the United States. These groups use the 11 core principles developed by Molly to seek and foster connection, community, and leadership that unites.
This past January, Carolina Villa and I attended training in Charlotte to become Red Boot Guides. We believe this program can help participants become better listeners while helping us learn ways of telling our stories (and opinions) that lead us to meaningful dialogue – away from an “us versus them” mentality. We can, with practice, sing more meaningfully “We are One in the Spirit.”
I invite you to talk with Carolina or me to find out more about the program. We believe that by engaging in honest sharing and compassionate listening, we will create places where people feel safe, connected, and loved as we actively listen, learn, and lead.