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25 Questions from a South Minneapolis Pastor During the George Floyd Uprising

The police murdered George Floyd in the same neighborhood as my church, New City Church. Many pastors have reached out to me asking how they can help, and lately my most common response has been: start having conversations with your own people, because if this hasn’t happened in your neighborhood already, it certainly can.

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By: Tyler Sit June 05, 2020


Dark Moments Call for Faithful Leaders

The events over the past several days following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are the result of anger, grief, and trauma from the injustices and violence Black people have endured for hundreds of years.

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By: Stephen Lewis June 02, 2020


I See You

To those with chronic illnesses and disabilities—I see you. In the midst of this pandemic, I see you. With messages around us of whose lives are worth saving, of how maintaining productivity is critical, of how social distancing is the “worst” and must end soon…

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By: Zoie Sheets May 04, 2020


Go offline on April 22, 2020

On April 22, 2020, Earth Day turns 50. During that first celebration in 1970, more than 20 million people, including many religious leaders and young adults, went outside to demand a better world. In that same year, the National Environment Protection Act went into effect establishing the Environmental Protection Agency.

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By: Patrick B. Reyes April 21, 2020


Thoughts In A Pandemic

how do we do social distancing in community

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By: Emilie Townes April 17, 2020


Walking Into the Future this Easter Season

Vocation rarely unfolds in the abstract. It is granular, day-by-day, often emerging out of life’s bone-crushing losses and the grace-filled ability to create ourselves anew. I thought about this when I read novelist Arundhati Roy’s haunting account of the massive trauma unfolding among migrant workers in her native India amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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By: Dori Baker April 10, 2020


God has Left the Building

Recently a friend asked, “How’s the ‘God business’?” I wittily replied with a play on an Elvis catchphrase, “God has left the building.”

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By: Anton Flores-Maisonet March 30, 2020


Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon - In Her Own Words

The loss of a life well lived can give rise to good grief. Over the past week, while pained and saddened by the passing of Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, the FTE community has paused to reflect with deep gratitude on the tremendous legacy she leaves. In both seemingly small gestures and grand strides Dr. Cannon’s teaching, mentoring, and ministry helped us remember how to be human, how to be the family of God. Sometimes good grief sends us into the picture albums, shoeboxes, and scrapbooks that enable us to tell ourselves the story of the love that will endure beyond the grave.

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By: Matthew Wesley Williams August 17, 2018


Callings

This past year has been a roller coaster of questions, reflection, doubts, and fears. After spending my whole life thinking I knew what I wanted to be in this world, I decided I had been wrong. I was not called to a life of practicing medicine. When I made that decision, I voiced it aloud to various groups I belong to, including my campus ministry, which voiced affirmations and support, making me feel secure in my decision.

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By: Zoie Sheets July 27, 2018


FTE Remembers Rev. Dr. James H. Cone

Today we grieve the loss of Rev. Dr. James H. Cone, a Bill & Judith Moyers Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary. He was a friend and mentor to many in the FTE community and will be missed dearly. On behalf of FTE, I offer our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Cone’s family, friends, and colleagues.

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By: Matthew Wesley Williams May 07, 2018


Oh the places we will go…to write

Literary great Virginia Woolf once described her desire for a room of her own, a place to write and think in peace. I agree with her wholeheartedly. Having the time and space to write are so important. However, writing time seems to be the first to be eliminated from any busy academic’s schedule. More often than not, we must be intentional about protecting both. We have to make time to write and have a physical space for writing. Carving out time and better yet, reclaiming our writing time is crucial.

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By: Lauren Frances Guerra March 23, 2018


Five Influential People You Meet in Grad School

It has been said that we are a combination of the five people we spend the most time with. I grew up with a dicho or saying in Spanish that goes: “Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres.” Translation: “Tell me who you walk with and I will tell you who you are.” Who we surround ourselves with speaks volumes about our character. I find this to be especially true in academia because academia often fosters competition over collaboration. For this reason, discernment and learning to identify who has your best interest at heart is important.

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By: Lauren Frances Guerra January 26, 2018


A Risk I Am Willing To Take

A short time ago if you had told me that I would be moving states for a church, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. I had been deeply wounded by a church in the past and finally found a safe place. Yet as unexpected as it was, that is exactly what my husband Will and I did! It all started like this:

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By: Ashley Easter January 18, 2018


Letting Leaders Lead

The “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia spurred a lot of subsequent activity, not only in the United States but also up in Canada. In Vancouver several groups organized an anti-immigration rally at our city hall. This rally elicited the organization of a counter-protest on the same day, in the same place. Upwards of 4,000 people quickly signed up to attend.

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By: Roger Revell January 12, 2018


Peace

A poem on peace written by Christina Schmitt, a 2015 Regional Discernment Retreat participant.

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By: Christina Schmitt November 06, 2017


Dissertation in a Nutshell: From Topic to Defense

To reach candidacy or become “ABD” is an exciting milestone in the doctoral journey. You’ve officially made it through years of coursework and passed your comprehensive exams. Now, in my opinion, you are moving into the last and perhaps most challenging stage of your formation as a scholar: the dissertation.

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By: Lauren Frances Guerra October 19, 2017


Where are the Mentors?

“Where are the mentors?” This question is my constant companion as I navigate the unchartered waters of the next great emergence in the Christian church.

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By: Kathleen Braafladt August 15, 2017


Two Pastors, a Chaplain and a Bar

“Now that my kids are adults, they aren’t interested in going to church anymore, even if I am the pastor,” the woman lamented, looking down at her plate. The other women sharing our small lunch table—a college chaplain and another pastor—frowned in sympathy.

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By: Linda Kay Klein July 24, 2017


Finding Hope

I never knew what question I was seeking the answer to until June 1, 2017. After worship one night during the Christian Leadership Forum dinner I busted into deep, flowing tears…

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By: Queen Frye June 23, 2017


Rest for the Journey Ahead

Eleven days after my seminary graduation, I boarded a plane to Atlanta for the Forum for Theological Exploration’s 2017 Christian Leadership Forum. While I was already excited to join my cohort and meet scholars whose work I admire, I walked away from the Forum feeling thankful for an additional gift: FTE’s hospitality that demonstrated that I was welcomed, honored and affirmed as a member of this community of Christian leaders.

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By: Jasmin Figueroa June 22, 2017

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