The origin of UNSAFE

Downtown Montgomery, Alabama

House to House (H2H), with help from Common Ground Montgomery (CGM), is offering a quarterly conference to encourage and equip the body of Christ in Montgomery to love our community well and across all boundaries.

The conference, titled UNSAFE, will focus on the theology behind, barriers toward, and risks of breaking out of southern cultural Christianity as we all participate in the gospel together. In future conference dates we will focus on many challenging topics including: loving the "poor" effectively, mercy, crossing denominational lines, justice, crossing political lines, and racial tension and division.

The name UNSAFE was chosen in part because so many people ask H2H and CGM staff that live in the neighborhood, "Well, is it safe there?"

It reminds us of Lucy Pevensie asking Mr. Beaver if the lion, Aslan, is safe:

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis) 

In fact, for many of us, when we dare to dream, we often dream of scenarios where Jesus is either not there or not necessary; we imagine a marriage free from difficulty, a job where we are intrinsically good at everything required of us, a house that never ages and needs no fixing, a political climate where everyone agrees with us, neighbors that never bother us, a church that is always funded, a place where our kids never find danger or sin... We have the proclivity to dream of a heavenly state, but not one where we need anything else, let alone Jesus.

And in the daily grind that turns into years and into decades, many, us included, find we have perfected the mechanism of efficiently turning the cogs of Sunday and Wednesday church attendance, yet feel so distant from a once close risen Savior.

This is where the UNSAFE Community Conference comes in. Maybe our Southern proclivity to homogeneous congregations isn't right - whether it's a racial, ethnic, socioeconomic patterns, or any others. Maybe our propensity to be "safe" and "clean" are keeping us from the very closeness that we yearn for; maybe it's time to step out and into a place where we very desperately need Jesus with every footfall, with every breath, and with every turn. That means with every trip to Wal-Mart/ Target/ Dollar General. With every bill paid to Alagasco or Alabama Power. In every single interaction in every single moment.

We don't possibly imagine UNSAFE being the answer to all this, but we hope it is a journey that we can take together to really do what we all proclaim we're about: loving the King, and loving people.