I’m deeply committed to the integration of an interior life that is attached to Jesus and an exterior life that represents Jesus’ priorities of justice and reconciliation in the world. These two postures are sometimes pitted against each other, or one is downplayed while the other is lifted up. My friend Pastor Daniel Hill likes to say that we lean toward being unbelieving activists or inactive believers and I think he’s right about that. This sermon (beginning at 4:30) by Pastor Rich Villodas of New Life Fellowship Church in NYC is one of the most beautiful visions I’ve heard for holding together these two essentials of the Christian life.
This video is long, rambling, and about as lo-fi as it gets, and I think it’s pretty great. Pastor Michelle Dodson and I recorded this a few months back for an all-day Faith & Race workshop that our church recently facilitated. I regularly have really interesting conversations about these topics with really smart, thoughtful folks like Michelle so it’s nice to be able to share this one here.
There’s nothing about this I don’t like.
The kids’ voices saying those names. Gets me every single time.
A couple of weekends ago New Community had the chance to host, along with some other neighborhood churches, my friend Ed Gilbreath. I reviewed Ed’s new book, Birmingham Revolution, a few months back. For the Chicago Revolution conference Ed spoke about Rev. Martin Luther King’s time in Birmingham, paying special attention to his time in jail and the resulting letter that is now so well known. He then traced Rev. King’s time to Chicago and pointed to the challenges he faced here. The entire conference was thought-provoking, challenging, and encouraging and I’m including Ed’s talk here because I think it’s very worth your time.
A few years ago, after I graduated New York University, I returned to my home town in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area (or the DMV as it is affectionately termed) to start my life as an actor. The DMV is home to some of the greatest regional theatres in the country. Of course, it is also home to some of the most important sites in American history, which, quite naturally, much of the culture and community is focused on.
In the few years I lived in the DMV, I must have played every black woman of note that ever lived. From Harriet Tubman to Diane Nash to Claudette Colvin to Caroline Branham– Martha Washington’s enslaved Lady’s maid. I liked to call myself the time-traveling black girl. ..
So, I wanted a way to present all of the most interesting, and somewhat infuriating encounters that I had, the feelings that they brought up, and the questions that they left unanswered. I do not think that Ask A Slave is a perfect way to do so, but I think that it is a fun, and a hopefully somewhat enriching start.