As we read from 1st Corinthians 13 – 2nd Corinthians 3 Fisk notes in the First Corinthians Interpretation Bible Study series, “Of course, whenever we encourage lay ministry we take risks. Not everyone will show discernment. Some will lack polish. Others won’t want to share the microphone.” (p. 155) And yet, when congregations fail to encourage lay ministry, they miss the forest of ministry for its trees. Ministry that is led only by those who have been trained and ordained is disempowered and falls apart when the pastor or leader goes elsewhere.
What has your congregation gained through lay ministry?
This week we read Part 3, “Managing Your Fears,” Chapter 15, “Negativity” of the T+P+A Big Read 2019, The Lifelong Activist. My mom was quite vigilant about telling my sisters and I to “think positive!” She meant well, but her intent didn’t always have the desired affect. (I appreciate that outlook while now understanding that well-designed plans plus positive thinking work well together.) As one who has for many years strove to live out my vocation, it is too easy to look at other people going down different career paths and find my own lacking because its outward fruits are not as prolific as those who have chosen more traditional paths. Rettig encourages us to do the Name Your Strengths exercise, listing “the strengths, skills, talents and other positive qualities you bring to your activism.”
Quit comparing yourself to other people and where they are on their journeys. What are YOUR strengths and how have they played a role on YOUR journey?
For June and July, in honor of Pride Month (and beyond) we are reading and praying over Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology by Pamela R. Lightsey. This week we finish reading this excellent book’s Epilogue. “At the end of the day, eradicating oppression is the heart of queer womanist theological reflection. We must examine not just racism but sexism, not just homophobia but transphobia, not just poverty but war, and not just the fluidity of boundaries but the hegemony of the status quo. The efficacy of womanist queer theology will be its ability to be inclusive in its methodology, appreciative of its womanist history, and relevant in its scholarship, all towards the goal of helping usher in freedom and justice for all people.” (p. 99)
How does your personal theology help usher in freedom and justice for all people?
C’mon over to People of the Books, our online book club in which we discuss this book and whatever else is on your mind or heart!
Check out the Find Your FBCO Map to find your local faith-based community organizing affiliate and connect with the people who are working together to live out their dreams of a more just world! What’s going on in your living of the Gospel? Let us know in the comments, in our e-mail discussion group, or on social media.
- Fisk, Bruce N. First Corinthians. Interpretation Bible Studies. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2000.
- Lightsey, Pamela R. Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology. Eugene: Pickwick Publications, 2015.
- Luther Seminary. “Enter the Bible,” n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/.
- Rettig, Hillary. “Negativity” in The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way. New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2006. http://lifelongactivist.com/part-iii-managing-your-fears/16-negativity/
- Sanders, E. P. Paul: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.