The Ugly Truth About Church | Forum for Theological Exploration Stories From the Field: Oregon Fellowship | Forum for Theological Exploration 25 Questions from a South Minneapolis Pastor During the George Floyd Uprising | Forum for Theological Exploration Dark Moments Call for Faithful Leaders | Forum for Theological Exploration I See You | Forum for Theological Exploration Go offline on April 22, 2020 | Forum for Theological Exploration Arundhati Roy’s haunting account of the massive trauma unfolding among migrant workers in her native India amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

"> Walking Into the Future this Easter Season | Forum for Theological Exploration God has Left the Building | Forum for Theological Exploration Thoughts In A Pandemic | Forum for Theological Exploration Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon - In Her Own Words | Forum for Theological Exploration Callings | Forum for Theological Exploration FTE Remembers Rev. Dr. James H. Cone | Forum for Theological Exploration Oh the places we will go…to write | Forum for Theological Exploration A Risk I Am Willing To Take | Forum for Theological Exploration Letting Leaders Lead | Forum for Theological Exploration Five Influential People You Meet in Grad School | Forum for Theological Exploration Peace | Forum for Theological Exploration Dissertation in a Nutshell: From Topic to Defense | Forum for Theological Exploration Finding Hope | Forum for Theological Exploration Rest for the Journey Ahead | Forum for Theological Exploration Learning to Breathe for a Marathon | Forum for Theological Exploration Why Social Entrepreneurship Should Matter to Faith Leaders | Forum for Theological Exploration Lutheran Volunteer Corps, one of my mentors asked me why I had chosen a faith-based organization focusing on social justice, rather than a secular organization. This question caught me completely off guard—I had never considered that my passion for social justice could come from anything but my faith. So many of the Scripture passages that speak to me most deeply are those that call for an end to oppression and injustice, that call for us to care for those who are in need, for those who are rejected and for those who are forgotten. From Jesus to Martin Luther King, Jr. my models of social justice are strongly tied to faith.

"> Social Justice as an Extension of Faith | Forum for Theological Exploration Introducing the Leaders for Tomorrow’s Institutions | Forum for Theological Exploration A Lesson on Leadership | Forum for Theological Exploration When in Doubt, Do ... | Forum for Theological Exploration “We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations …” | Forum for Theological Exploration What is our next most faithful step? | Forum for Theological Exploration What is Changing? | Forum for Theological Exploration Survival in the Lily Fields: FTE Doctoral Fellowships | Forum for Theological Exploration Faith & Politics: Conversations Leading to Action | Forum for Theological Exploration 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 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 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 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 Sacred Cows at the Lord’s Table | Forum for Theological Exploration The Church Knows Something | Forum for Theological Exploration Critical Feeling | 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 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

The Ugly Truth About Church

By: Rich Havard
October 20, 2020

Let’s be honest.

The church is often not a hospitable space. Faith communities have centered the privileged and pushed others to the margins. Religious groups have tried to snuff out those with a burning zeal for justice in order to maintain the status quo. Ministries have dismissed many who doubt and ask curious questions.

If we desire for the church to truly create hospitable space, we must first lament the ways our communities have failed to do so.

Ian Pitcher, Tanamá Rivera Vargas, and Audree Garcia, three undergraduate students in the Inclusive Collective, penned this poem to name the pain points of many—wounds and resentment caused by the church’s locked doors, crossed arms, and blocked paths. But these young poets and faith leaders refuse to stop with lament. The last line of their poem offers a glimpse of hope, “That must change, Hollow words must ring true!” Ian, Tanamá, and Audree are pursuing another way forward as they strive to create faith spaces where all of God’s people are truly welcome. Hospitable communities where people can be their true selves, discover who God is calling them to be, and gain the fuel for courageous, faithful living.

May we all hear their pain and frustration. May we lament the sins of the church.

And may we all move forward in a fresh, creative, and bold way.

Hands

Arms Crossed, words spoken

But do you hear?

Your Body kneels before the symbol

But is it seen?

Water hits the basket

But do you feel?

The doors are locked, again.

Why?

Here are movements only movements

The mind sleeps,

Or perhaps it’s elsewhere

Another time, or place

But, it’s needed here,

Well not, here exactly, but outside

It sits too long

It needs to hear the songs, feel nature, live.

These hands have been still too long.

Do they not feel the pain?

Can they not hear the cries?

They must!

But then, how can the doors be closed?

Are they afraid of what they might learn?

Is that why they change the songs, rewrite words, forget the stories?

No wonder they are still, but

That must change

Hollow words must ring true!


The Inclusive Collective (IC) is a member of FTE’s Community of Practice Cohort which is a two-year journey with an emerging network of Christian institutions committed to accompanying young adults in vocational exploration and discernment for ministry.

IC is a vibrant, growing, and diverse campus ministry at the University of Illinois at Chicago and across Chicagoland. The ministry exists to fuel young adults through Jesus-rooted soul work. They strive to create experiences where people encounter God in such powerful ways that they feel inspired and energized for courageous, faithful living. Experiences that stir them to follow Jesus, disrupt the status quo, and co-create God’s Beloved Community.

Tags...: Design Thinking, Thinking Out Loud, Shaping the Future


Blog comments powered by Disqus

Read More