Updated: Mar 15, 2021
“The Christianity of America is a Christianity, of whose votaries it may be as truly said, as it was of the ancient scribes and Pharisees, 'They bind heavy burdens, and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.”
― Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
On January 6, 2021, many of us watched in horror and rage as the riotous mob of domestic terrorists stormed the US Capitol and overtook the building without resistance from law enforcement or military. We lamented at the co-opting of Scripture and the invocation of a Jesus that did not represent our understanding of Christ in the world…
That night, members of OFM met virtually for our bi-monthly Happy Hour for a time of sharing and sacred space. We needed the time. We needed each other.
As we reflected on the 10 months prior to that flash point, it became apparent that this was not a one-time event, but rather the result of systemic injustices that stemmed from the plague of white supremacy and racism in our country. We were all struck by the efforts of White nationalist evangelicalism to stamp out good, liberative theology that began in Black American pulpits and in the writings of Black American theologians. White nationalist evangelicalism seeks to smear the true words of W.E.B. DuBois, Martin Luther King Jr., James Cone, Dwight N. Hopkins, Cheryl Sanders and others who have countered the lies of White exceptionalism that promote Christianity as a White religion, and White Jesus.
Over the next 12 months, theologians from the Organizing for Mission base - both lay and clergy alike - will be sharing from their own experiences and those of their communities identifying ways that our theologies might lead us towards community, rather than push us apart. We will be exploring a carefully curated theology that empowers, liberates, and sparks imagination to draw us closer to God and to one another. We invite you to join us into deeper dialogue with us over the course of the year.
May the God who inspired our ancestors of old to live into the fullness of who God created us to be, inspire us now to be seekers of truth and doers of justice so that all might know the abundance of love throughout the world. Amen.