second installment of my thoughts on diversity in the classroom. It doesn’t take the events of last week to make it difficult for me to write on the topic because even on ordinary days (if those actually exist) whatever I feel led to say smacks of being trite.

"> Classroom Violence | Forum for Theological Exploration The Pulse of Justice – The Passion of Jesus | Forum for Theological Exploration Leading Differently When Different is Dangerous | Forum for Theological Exploration Where Were You on Bloody Sunday? | Forum for Theological Exploration Our Students Will Lead Us | Forum for Theological Exploration Pentecost: A Time for Change | Forum for Theological Exploration Can the Church Help End Violence & Injustice in Our Communities? Seven Themes We Heard in Chicago. | Forum for Theological Exploration “Go, set the world on fire!” But don’t burn it down. | Forum for Theological Exploration Shake, Rattle, and Roll: Culture, Queerness, and Faith | Forum for Theological Exploration Behind the Doctorate | Forum for Theological Exploration Refreshed Through Discernement | Forum for Theological Exploration Creating Space for Imagination | Forum for Theological Exploration Leading Differently by Listening to Whispers, Shouts and Echoes | Forum for Theological Exploration God, thank you for making me BLACK! Black History Month Musings | Forum for Theological Exploration Same Ole Gospel | Forum for Theological Exploration terrorist shooting in San Bernadino, CA.

"> Leading with Love in the Wake of Islamophobia | Forum for Theological Exploration Set the Prisoners Free | Forum for Theological Exploration Sacred Work | Forum for Theological Exploration It Takes a Village | Forum for Theological Exploration What’s Your New Year’s Resolution? | Forum for Theological Exploration The Hope of Now | Forum for Theological Exploration Trusting Brown Hands | Forum for Theological Exploration God Beyond Borders | Forum for Theological Exploration More Questions Than Answers | Forum for Theological Exploration Reflections on three years with CMTEV | Forum for Theological Exploration A call to ‘Opt-in’ | Forum for Theological Exploration Theological Education, Diversity, and a Transformative Future | Forum for Theological Exploration Benefits of a Vocational Friendship | Forum for Theological Exploration FTE’s Ministry Exploration and Mentoring Grant; The grant was such a tremendous blessing as it enabled me to develop relationships with women that have utilized their experience and/or understanding of grief in their respective ministries.

"> Affirmations of Calling | Forum for Theological Exploration Ferguson & Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community, Dr. Leah Gunning Francis discusses the significance of her work for faith communities and emerging Christian leaders.

"> Seven Questions with Leah Gunning Francis, Author of “Ferguson & Faith” | Forum for Theological Exploration A Reflection on My Ministry Exploration and Mentoring Grant Experience | Forum for Theological Exploration The Sublime Power of Belief | Forum for Theological Exploration Theological Education After Ferguson and Long Island and Baltimore and Charleston and…. | Forum for Theological Exploration The Ministry of Surrender | Forum for Theological Exploration The Stillness | Forum for Theological Exploration Racism: The Most Sinful of Legacies | Forum for Theological Exploration What Is Thy Name | Forum for Theological Exploration Active Faith is Urgent | Forum for Theological Exploration The Birth of Goodness | Forum for Theological Exploration Re-Arranged by the Spirit | Forum for Theological Exploration Vocation in Between the Aftermath of Violence and a Hoped-for Future | Forum for Theological Exploration To Follow a Call | Forum for Theological Exploration Where Two or Three Are Gathered | Forum for Theological Exploration Tooth Fairy | Forum for Theological Exploration Marking Vocational Transitions Faithfully | Forum for Theological Exploration Mission Year to attend FTE’s Discernment Retreat in Lake Arrowhead, California.

"> Our Becoming | Forum for Theological Exploration Falling Deeper Into My Calling | Forum for Theological Exploration Let the Streets Inspire You | Forum for Theological Exploration Whose Name is on the Invitation? | Forum for Theological Exploration The Feeble Art of Radical Hospitality | Forum for Theological Exploration Finding God in the Rabbit Trail | Forum for Theological Exploration What is Worship to Me | Forum for Theological Exploration A Resolution for Religion | Forum for Theological Exploration Sacred Cows at the Lord’s Table | Forum for Theological Exploration I am a Pile of Trash | Forum for Theological Exploration The Church Knows Something | Forum for Theological Exploration Critical Feeling | Forum for Theological Exploration “Do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:19 | Forum for Theological Exploration Buddy Crossed the Line | Forum for Theological Exploration Campus Ministries Shaping the Future | Forum for Theological Exploration Teaching Theology after Ferguson | Forum for Theological Exploration Imagination Next | Forum for Theological Exploration If it was a Snake ... | Forum for Theological Exploration The Power to Reshape Brokenness | Forum for Theological Exploration Campus Ministries that Stick | Forum for Theological Exploration How to Harness the Awkward Pause | Forum for Theological Exploration 2015 FTE Doctoral Fellowships. This is an appropriate moment to reflect briefly on why we do the work of supporting rising theological educators of color.

"> Why We Do This | Forum for Theological Exploration In Praise of Small Spaces | Forum for Theological Exploration Culture Shock | Forum for Theological Exploration Can We Keep Our Promises? | Forum for Theological Exploration An Opportunity to Re-Engage not Remake the Church | Forum for Theological Exploration Living Stream Church of the Brethren.

"> Innovative Ministries: Stepping outside my box | Forum for Theological Exploration Attentiveness and Practices in Christian Ministry | Forum for Theological Exploration Conducting My Beautiful, Cacophonous Clone Choir | Forum for Theological Exploration Can you Repack That? | Forum for Theological Exploration An Open Reflection to My Younger Self | Forum for Theological Exploration A Christian Take on Mindfulness | Forum for Theological Exploration The Building of Community in Unlikely Places | Forum for Theological Exploration Compensation for Being | Forum for Theological Exploration Transitioning-into-Ministry (TiM) Participants Gathering. The first year I thought it was a fluke. The second year I was looking for it. This year, I was expecting it. What was is “it”? The power of a room.

"> The Power of a Room | Forum for Theological Exploration Listen Closely | Forum for Theological Exploration Communication as an Art | Forum for Theological Exploration Celebrating a Birthday or Celebrating the Birth of an Idea | Forum for Theological Exploration Shhhhhhhh! | Forum for Theological Exploration Do We Know Enough About Other Religions? | Forum for Theological Exploration My Time At the FTE Vocational Discernment Conference | Forum for Theological Exploration Is the Institutional Church Worth Saving? | Forum for Theological Exploration A Muddy Epiphany | Forum for Theological Exploration In Search of Community | Forum for Theological Exploration Prayers on the Wind | Forum for Theological Exploration Live the Questions | Forum for Theological Exploration Ask a Millennial Why They Stay | Forum for Theological Exploration Afterlife Chat at Midnight | Forum for Theological Exploration Vocation and Inspiration | Forum for Theological Exploration On Mountains and Empty Spaces | Forum for Theological Exploration What a Vocational Calling to Ministry Means to Me | Forum for Theological Exploration The Anti-Tourism of Meditation | Forum for Theological Exploration When Lions Have Historians | Forum for Theological Exploration Five New Features on fteleaders.org | Forum for Theological Exploration

Faith & Politics: Conversations Leading to Action

By: Diva Morgan Hicks
September 16, 2016

During the 2012 election season, my pastor said, “You’ll find Christians on both sides of every political argument” in one of his sermons addressing Jesus and politics. Those words were freeing and challenging to me. Was this an invitation to initiate conversation about politics through the lens of faith?

I’ll never forget June 27, 2013.

It was my first date with my now husband, John.

We went to a local Italian restaurant and sat outside on the patio that was lined with white, twinkling Christmas lights. The sun was setting just over the Atlanta city skyline and it was a perfect atmosphere for a first date.

And then, before drinks were ordered or food was served I asked, “What do you think God has to say about poverty and abortion?” By the look on his face, I don’t think he had ever been asked that question on a first date or any date!

Many people think that talking about faith and politics is taboo, but not me.

According to a new Pew Report, many Americans hear about political issues from pastors or clergy leading their congregations. I am proof of this study.

During the 2012 election season, my pastor said, “You’ll find Christians on both sides of every political argument” in one of his sermons addressing Jesus and politics. Those words were freeing and challenging to me. Was this an invitation to initiate conversation about politics through the lens of faith?

Yes.

So why are people, especially Christians, so timid to discuss these topics in relationship with one another? Why are you afraid?

For me, it was the fear of pushback or not being “on the right side” of the conversation. I also think that people can easily compartmentalize their religious and political views. And while some political issues might be easier to faithfully respond to, others are empty of the voices and actions of Christian leaders.

But how many issues do we neglect to voice our opinions about or look at from a Christian perspective? Regardless of the political issue, it is necessary and sometimes urgent that Christians engage in both conversation and action around these topics to create a more hopeful future for our communities.”

As I traveled around the country this year listening to the stories of Rev. Dr. Amy Butler, Dr. Luther Smith, Dr. Emilie Townes and Christian Peele among other leaders, the idea of exploring the intersection of faith and politics became a consistent theme.

These pastors, scholars and rising Christian leaders shared how the work they do is not limited to the pulpit or the classroom.

It simply is part of their call as a Christian leader to participate in these challenging conversations, be present within our communities and lead change for good within our society. Whether hosting community gatherings to address social issues, building relationships with state officials, participating in the advocacy of non-profits healing our communities or generating conversation and action through congregations and classrooms, these faith leaders are committed to instilling hope within our communities.

With the election season upon us, I want to encourage you as a Christian leader to engage in conversations that lead to action. It’s not about being right or wrong. Instead it’s about discussing these issues through the lens of faith, learning from one another, engaging in action and creating the hope-filled future we desire to see.

On Tuesday, September 27th FTE will host a conversation on faith and politics in Washington, D.C., to address questions, share challenges, exchange ideas and explore how you might impact your community. I invite you to begin or continue exploring the intersection of faith and politics by either registering to participate in this conversation with diverse Christian leaders in person or online at fteleaders.org/livestream.


Photo: Art4TheGlryOfGod by Sharon

Tags: Inside FTE, Thinking Out Loud


Blog comments powered by Disqus