The Black Church Still Speaks on Black Women and the Church

April 25, 2022 01:02:19
The Black Church Still Speaks on Black Women and the Church
The Black Church Still Speaks
The Black Church Still Speaks on Black Women and the Church

Apr 25 2022 | 01:02:19

/

Show Notes

Rev. Riana Shaw Robinson is a preacher, pastor, and prophet. Dissatisfied with how the church talks about race, Riana makes space for “holy conversations” that are both hard and beautiful. The work of dismantling systemic racism and finding a way forward are firmly rooted in Scripture, and Riana invites followers of Christ to examine the Biblical call to racial justice and equity. 

 

Riana joins Pete Watts on the Black Church Still Speaks Podcast this month to share her experiences as a Black woman who doesn’t always feel welcomed in the Reformed church. They also discuss what it means to be a woman–in particular, a Black woman–preaching, pastoring, and leading in today's world. 

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:01 Hey everybody. This is Reverend Peter Watts with the black church still speaks. And today's guest is Reverend Rihanna, Shaw Robinson. I met her for the first time at general Senate this past summer. And it was an incredible encounter as she made a splash, uh, at general Senate talking about how she did not feel welcomed as a black woman. And so I had to get her on our show to talk about what it means to be a black woman in ministry, uh, and in the context of the reform church. And so lemme give you a little bit about Reverend Rihanna, Shaw Robinson. She is a preacher pastor and prophet she's dissatisfied with how the church talks about race. So Rihanna makes space for holy conversations that are both hard and beautiful. The work of dismantling systemic racism and finding a way forward. Our firmly rooted in scripture and Rihanna invites, followers of Christ to examine the biblical call to racial justice and equity. Speaker 0 00:01:05 Uh, she served as the associate pastor of formation at Oakland city church, where she spearheaded efforts to help the community live more deeply into its anti-racist values. And as a minister of city engagement, she expanded the church's community partners, ships, and committed to solidarity with marginalized communities in Oakland. Uh, she holds a masters of divinity from Pacific school of religion and a BA in ethnic studies from mills college. She is an east bay native and currently lives in Oakland with her husband, her 10 year old son and four year twins. She is extremely proud of her oldest daughter, who is a recent graduate of Howard university. Let's get engaged with Rihanna, Shaw Robinson on the black church still speaks. All right, well, welcome to the black church. Still speak. I am with Reverend Rihanna, Shaw Robinson, and I am so excited to be able to have you on our podcast today. So welcome. Speaker 2 00:02:12 Thank you. I am excited that we get to keep being friends, you know, those moments of connection, and then we keep connecting and reconnecting. So I am very grateful for the invitation. Speaker 0 00:02:22 Absolutely, absolutely. And so for those of you that don't know, I first met Rihanna this past summer at a general Senate, uh, gathering. Um, and she said she did not feel welcomed, uh, as a black woman. And then she went into this whole spill about why, uh, and I was just intrigued that there was someone, uh, in the denomination, uh, at, at this very moment, uh, who could identify and, uh, with me and who I could identify with as well in terms of the hospitality come on, aspect of white evangelicalism and how we are situated as, uh, black, uh, folks, uh, in, uh, in a denomination like the RCA and its history and, and what it is trying to become. Uh, and so to be able to speak with that, uh, truth and boldness, um, I said, I definitely have to get to know who she is and I definitely have to get her on our podcast. So thank you again, uh, for being who you are completely. Speaker 2 00:03:20 I appreciate that. Yeah. That was an interesting moment, you know? Speaker 0 00:03:24 Yeah. I like, yeah, let's talk about let's, let's just get into it. You know, like I said, this is a conversation in the living room. Let's just, let's, Speaker 2 00:03:31 Let's, it's learning to love myself the, of, I, and not just kind of the like passive, like self-care yes. I'm about a bubble bath. I'm about a good book, but the love of being able to stand in the fullness of who I understand, God created me to be mm-hmm <affirmative> and sometimes that means just being like y'all ain't cool. Yeah. Like I I'm gonna keep showing up, but you need to hear a little bit about what that feels like for me, mm-hmm <affirmative> because I think we're often invited into spaces with that. We want more brown people. We want more of this, but it's not hospitable, so it is come and conform and get small and ignore all these microaggressions. And so this whole season, so that was not the only moment that I got that candid, but I sure did didn't I, I don't even, and I think it was also all the other things that were happening and I felt like some of the conversations were actually not honoring people in the fullness of who they are and I was getting mad. So it was a little bit of self love and a little bit of like, no, no, no. Yeah. We, we, we need to have some real conversations instead of this sideways energy, um, that I felt like we were having. Speaker 0 00:04:51 Yeah, yeah, no, that's good. I, uh, I often wonder, you know, as I am, uh, finishing up, uh, my dissertation, uh, one of the first papers, uh, that I wrote, uh, in going through this process was, um, African American, uh, leadership in white evangelical spaces. And so I, uh, uh, wrote about just my experience in coming into the RCA and being a part of, uh, you know, white evangelicalism. Um, whereas, uh, I grew up in the traditional black Baptist church, um, and it has its own, uh, complexities around, uh, hierarchical leadership and male dominance and, you know, and all that stuff. Um, but stepping into, uh, the RCA or stepping into, uh, you know, white evangelical spaces was a lot different, um, uh, then was being in the traditional black Baptist church. So I wonder, uh, you know, tell, tell us a little bit about yourself and your calling the ministry, and even your relationship, uh, with the black church and, and how you ended up here in white evangelicalism. Speaker 2 00:05:55 You know, that moment where you just like, God, you got jokes, you got big jokes. Um, so I think it's so interesting when I hear so many people talking about their experiences. Like right now everybody's talking about deconstructing, right? They're deconstructing their faith, they're decolonizing their faith. They're doing all of these things. Um, you grew up in a traditional black Baptist church. I grew up in a black Presbyterian church. Mm-hmm Speaker 0 00:06:20 <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:06:21 On the west coast. We do exist. We are real people Speaker 0 00:06:25 Really <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:06:27 And to be perfectly honest, because that's all, I knew multiple black Presbyterian churches. At one point, people were like, oh, Presbyterians, they're so white. I was like, really? I didn't know that. Right. There's like the frozen chosen. And I was like, you know, we aren't the loudest folks, but we definitely had people bringing Baptist energy and Pentecostal energy and, and even holiness energy every now and then, and people would be like too far, Speaker 0 00:06:51 <laugh> I'm too far, too far decent. Speaker 2 00:06:54 And in order to bring it back. And so I feel so grateful to have been raised in that space. Mm-hmm <affirmative> to have been raised in a Presbyterian structure with women everywhere. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> like women preachers, women, pastors, and not just the ways that some black churches run and that the women are behind the scenes holding stuff down while somebody else was there, the women were front. And so from a very early age, my call was nurtured, you know, 10 years old, get up and read the 10 commandments, get up and lead worship in this way. Do this, do this. I think I was an elder by the time I was like 21 mm-hmm <affirmative>. Um, and in the Presbyterian church, it looks a little right. But also they were just super old. So I don't know if that was your tradition as they just old, the Presbyterians are real old. Yeah. And so there's like, come be the young person in this Speaker 0 00:07:50 Space, younger adult ministry was age 40 to <laugh>. Right. Speaker 2 00:07:54 There's like, come be young. And a part of the gift that I think sometimes when you're the new kid on the block, in any space in, you know, traditional spaces or even in the white evangelical spaces, you get to ask some questions and you can do it in a way that doesn't always feel super aggressive. Speaker 0 00:08:11 Mm-hmm <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:08:12 You just repeat back. Okay. So what you're saying is you want young people, but you are not willing to do anything different from what you are currently doing. I just wanna make sure I understand, right. The craziness coming outta your mouth. Right. All right. You want people of color, but you are gonna keep pretending like the like racist history of our denomination did not exist. Mm-hmm <affirmative> okay. Can you help me understand that? So it's, it is a posture of curiosity, but it's a little bit of a aversive. There we go. I'm not calling it petty. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:08:44 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:08:45 Just aversive. Yeah. Um, but I feel so incredibly blessed to have, have been shaped by those folks who taught me, who I was, who helped me to love myself and then stepping you're right. Stepping into the RCA. I was like, oh, we are not in Oakland anymore. Like, I don't even know where we are, where, oh, we are in Holl. We are in Holland, Michigan right now. Yeah, Speaker 0 00:09:09 Yeah, yeah. Speaker 2 00:09:10 Um, and I stepped into a multiethnic church. Um, and I don't everybody. Well, actually I do tell everybody this story, uh, the first invitation I got was like, Rihanna, come join this multiethnic church. And I was like, I do not believe in those Speaker 0 00:09:21 <laugh> Uhhuh. <affirmative> Uhhuh <affirmative>. Speaker 2 00:09:24 I was like, I live in a multiethnic world. I want safe spaces. Yeah. And I think marginalized folks, church has been the safe space. Mm-hmm <affirmative> you show up, you get to have the real conversations. You get to have people call you baby, sweetie. You get to be invited to live into the films of yours. So I was like, I don't, I want that. Speaker 0 00:09:43 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:09:44 I'm not interested in your multiethnic vision of whatever it might be. And then the holy spirit was like, girl gets you a little self over to this church. And I was mad for like two years, Jonah mad mm-hmm Speaker 0 00:09:58 <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:09:59 Um, and the holy spirit just kept talking and I saw some beautiful moments of people having very real conversations about white supremacy and very real conversations about how to do life together. And that was in my church context. So I was like, okay, God, if you're here, we can have these things. And so, um, so I guess that's how I ended up in the, the RCA. Okay. And then I just kept going and I was like, oh, I like my church. Speaker 0 00:10:22 Right. Speaker 2 00:10:23 My church is OK. Right. Like not perfect, but okay. And then I was in Holland, Michigan, and I was like, oh, no. Speaker 0 00:10:30 Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So when, uh, when you were going through, uh, your ordination, uh, process and, uh, becoming a minister word and sacrament and, uh, MDiv and all that good stuff, um, um, I believe you did the, uh, um, M F C Speaker 2 00:10:48 M FCA. Yes. I did Speaker 0 00:10:49 MCA M FCA program and, and I, and I, that was another point that I remembered from general Senate, um, was that, um, uh, called core course, uh, got up and spoke about you and talked about, uh, the way in which you even challenged, uh, the curriculum and the books that you guys had to read. Can you talk about that a little bit in that process and in your experience around even your ordination process and in the, uh, RCA and, and how you had to navigate that? Yeah, Speaker 2 00:11:18 Absolutely. Um, so to take it all the way back when I came under care, I went to my first classes meeting and the pastor I was with was like, heads up. There's not gonna be any black people. And I was like, I do not understand the words coming outta your mouth. We are in Philly, right? Yeah. And this is called the classes of the city. Right. So I can't, I don't understand what you mean. We are no black people. And he is like, they they're no black people. And he was like, and by the way, there also aren't very many women. And I was like, what do you mean mm-hmm <affirmative> oh, I walk into a room and easily 70 white dudes, old, white, old, white dudes, young white dudes, just all mm-hmm <affirmative> measure of white dude. And I was just like, oh no, this is not for me. Literally not another black face there at all. There were maybe three other women in the space, but it was just like, wow, this is what into, um, but I was like, okay, I guess I'll do this. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Um, and I think the first time I met co I have my shirt on today, you can't see it. Cuz I'm only says I met God, she's black. Speaker 2 00:12:28 And I may have worn that shirt to the meeting. And core was like, I don't even under like, he, you just saw the look of conf like, what are we gonna do with you? Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And in our first meeting, I was like, you know what? I'm trying to get ordained. It feels important. I need my voice heard da dah, dah. And Cora's just like, I don't Speaker 0 00:12:50 Mm-hmm <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:12:51 Welcome. And it was, it was very sweet though. Yeah. Because we had a lot of hard conversations and I was like core. We can't talk about the RCA history without talking about slavery. Yeah. Like, and he's like, yeah, Speaker 0 00:13:06 <laugh> Speaker 2 00:13:06 Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And I was like, and stop making me, we did the spiritual, like pastor whatever on how to be a pastor. And there was an entire chapter in one book of how to take care of your wife. And I was like, I would like one, because it sounds really wonderful to have a wife. Can I have one of those too? Speaker 0 00:13:25 Right. Right. Speaker 2 00:13:27 And so just all of these ways that, you know, we talk about intentional or not, but they were communicating over and over, over. This was not made for you. Speaker 0 00:13:37 Mm-hmm Speaker 2 00:13:38 <affirmative> this is not for you. We're glad you're here, but this is not for you. And every time I would come, Cory would be like, did you bring your shirt? And at first it was a little like, oh, I don't like it. And then it was like, did you bring what shirt you bring today? Come Speaker 0 00:13:52 On. And Speaker 2 00:13:53 So he was getting excited and he ended up being such a support to me in the whole process. But I think it's interesting to kind of hold the spaces, um, and name the spaces that I was in. So we had the RCA, white dudes Speaker 0 00:14:09 Mm-hmm <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:14:11 Old white dudes, old Dutch, white dudes. And then the seminary that I was in is actually an incredibly progressive seminary, um, called Pacific school of religion. Speaker 0 00:14:21 Okay. Speaker 2 00:14:22 And there I was considered a conservative Speaker 0 00:14:26 <laugh> Speaker 2 00:14:27 Exactly. If you know me, you're like, wait, what? Mm-hmm <affirmative> and I was a conservative because I believe the Bible matters. And I believe that we should continue to read the Bible. Right. Because I love Jesus. And I was willing to say like, I love Jesus. And there's like, woo. But what about justice? And I was like, those are not in contrast to me. Like I see those going together. Um, and so that was a really interesting way of finding myself. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so I am too conservative for progressive spaces. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and they also a predominantly white institution wanted to police the ways that I showed up in my blackness. Yep. Then I go to the other side and they're like, you actually might be a heretic, like are not sure about you. Speaker 0 00:15:12 Right. Speaker 2 00:15:13 And so it's actually, I would say it was actually a really beautiful process to be like, no, this is who I am. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And sometimes who I am in any space is too much for those folks. Speaker 0 00:15:24 Right. Speaker 2 00:15:25 And that's a then problem, not a me problem Speaker 0 00:15:32 In saying that, uh, there are a lot of African American men and women, uh, who feel, or who have that same experience of being too conservative for progressives mm-hmm <affirmative>, uh, because we, and then being, being too radical for conservatives. Yep. Uh, to where we get called, uh, you know, Marxist and you know, all this other stuff from conservatives. And then we get called, you know, from progressive to that were, you know, too conservative. And it reminds me of, uh, Esau McCauley's book, um, reading while black. Um, and he says, you know, when he, uh, went to seminary, uh, and it was this liberal seminar and they were saying, you know, so, so the Bible is not really, you know, true. And he was like, Hmm, that's not what my grand said. Right. And then he said, but I was in these white, uh, conservative spaces. And they were, you know, saying that justice wasn't part of the, he was like, wait a minute. That's not what my grandma was. And so it was like, there's a certain way in which black people, uh, uh, are situated, um, in the faith to where, uh, it doesn't matter, conservative, progressive. We are still, uh, these peculiar from, to me, these peculiar people, uh, who still believe the Bible, uh, and still believe, uh, the, of God, wasn't some white blonde hair, blue eye savior. Speaker 2 00:16:57 Right. Speaker 0 00:16:58 <laugh> and so, and so it just makes us these like unicorns, I guess. I don't know. Uh, and, and so, you know, in navigating, you know, that space between, you know, progressives and conservatives, um, and, and being, and a black woman, can you talk about, um, like, what is it, how have you, uh, gone through that process with like dismantling racism in that way? Um, in, in the way that the, the church engages worship or in the way that the church, you know, governance and poverty and, uh, you know, in all of that in, and how do you yeah. What does it mean to really dismantle dismantle racism? It's a term that everybody's using, um, just like DEI, even though people don't know what DEI is. Yep. Um, uh, but it's just these buzz words. And so, you know, what does it really mean to dismantle racism in a church? Um, in a denomination mm-hmm <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:17:57 I think for me, what that looks like right now, mm-hmm <affirmative> is being unapologetically for women of color. Speaker 0 00:18:04 Mm-hmm <affirmative>, Speaker 2 00:18:06 That's what it means. And so I am less interested in this season of trying to teach white people things. Speaker 0 00:18:14 Mm. Speaker 2 00:18:15 Because I think that's also where we could end up. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> he just help us, like we want, and you're like, I actually do know things. And at one point, um, Austin, Channing brown in her book, I'm still here. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> talks about the season you go through, when you feel like the Negro that's going save whiteness. Speaker 0 00:18:32 Right. We Speaker 2 00:18:33 Gonna save white people. We going give 'em real religion. We're gonna talk about who Jesus really is a God of liberation and you know what? That's exhausting. Speaker 0 00:18:42 Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:18:44 And so in this season, I am unapologetically for women of color. And I think that that dismantles racism mm-hmm, <affirmative> when more women of color are willing to stand in the fullness of who they are and push back against things and not just be like, okay, you can just bring me in and put me on stage. And I'll say some things, but I won't say the wrong things. And you gonna catch me late, like, Speaker 0 00:19:09 Right, right. Like they did with Austin. Channy Speaker 2 00:19:12 Right. Like they did with Christina Cleveland. Mm-hmm like, they've done with so many other black women. They're like, we really want you here, but don't say that. Speaker 0 00:19:19 Right. Speaker 2 00:19:21 So I'm not in the energy right now where I'm really willing for people to tell me, don't say that Speaker 0 00:19:26 Mm-hmm <affirmative>, Speaker 2 00:19:27 Mm-hmm <affirmative> and that doesn't come from me kind of thinking I'm all, all that that comes from really the grounding that I am fearfully wonderfully made. Speaker 0 00:19:36 Mm. Speaker 2 00:19:37 And I wonder if more black folks were holding that posture mm-hmm <affirmative> which unfortunately, the world and the church is constantly trying to take down. Speaker 0 00:19:48 Right. Right. Speaker 2 00:19:49 So I want people of color to just like, stand with some swagger of, I am fearfully and wonderfully made and not, you can't tell me nothing, but a little bit, you can't tell me nothing. Yeah. And I'm not gonna do that. And you're not gonna shut me up. And if you can't handle this, I don't need to be in your space. Speaker 0 00:20:10 Mm-hmm Speaker 2 00:20:11 <affirmative> and that's, it's hard for a lot of folks cuz we don't know what it looks like to go away. Right. And we're but where would I go? Mm-hmm <affirmative> you're like I could go back home and you're just like, Ooh. But home also doesn't quite fit anymore. Speaker 0 00:20:23 Yep. Speaker 2 00:20:24 Yep. Because now even in black spaces, right? Like, so I'm trying to, I think there's a new generation of black folks who are not willing deal with the madness of like white evangelical spaces. Not even willing to go there. Yep. Don't fit into progressive spaces cuz they love Jesus and they understand Jesus as the son of God, the risen savior and also the one who is calling for liberation of all people mm-hmm <affirmative> and they also can't go back to the black church, especially some of us women mm-hmm <affirmative> because I will also not be told to sit down in those spaces. Right. And while I hold the Bible to be the word of God, I got questions mm-hmm Speaker 0 00:21:04 <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:21:05 And I think we get to, and I think I was like, ask your Speaker 0 00:21:07 Question, right? Ask the question. <laugh> Speaker 2 00:21:10 Like, I'm God, your questions don't scare me. But I think in some church spaces, those questions do scare people. Yeah. And so I think we're at a moment where I am much more interested in creating new spaces rather than trying to tweak mm-hmm <affirmative> or make little inroads or show up as a tool mm-hmm <affirmative> in other spaces mm-hmm, Speaker 0 00:21:33 <affirmative> creating new spaces and um, reimagining, uh, you know, space. So, uh, when we think about church planting, uh, church planting is that whole apostolic, uh, break new ground. Um, sometimes it's, uh, being, uh, dissatisfied with the status quo and the current structures of a church or, or whatever the case may be. Um, and then God calls you to, to a new work, uh, to, to create something new, a new space. And so, uh, talk about church planting, uh, from a black woman's perspective. Um, what is, what is, what has church planting been like, um, uh, that you've observed and seen and what, what could it be and what would you want it to be? Speaker 2 00:22:19 So let's even push back on the idea that I am hoping at one point to birth a church Speaker 0 00:22:25 Mm-hmm <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:22:26 And how does that even change our paradigm? Um, planting offers some very, in my mind, male energy mm-hmm <affirmative> right. You gotta go in, you gotta put something in, you gotta put it down, you gotta break something open and then yourself will grow out. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> mm-hmm Speaker 0 00:22:44 <affirmative>. Speaker 2 00:22:44 And so, as I've been thinking about what it looks like to birth a church, what does it mean to be a co-creator with God mm-hmm <affirmative> and to have that and I, and I'm sure actually many planters or people, anybody who's starting a new church, you feel like a co-creator with God. Right. But how do I think about that? Kind of more like Mary holding Jesus in her womb mm-hmm <affirmative> and being really available to hold and nourish and care for, and then offer something into the world that may not be exactly what she expected. Um, but still having the, the knowledge of what that is. And so that's the part that is another thing, right? You show up in spaces where you want to start a new church and it's like, okay, you wanna be a church planter. Here's a, how you do that. Here are the five steps to become a church planter. And I'm just like, Speaker 0 00:23:36 Right. Speaker 2 00:23:37 No, not my steps. Speaker 0 00:23:39 Yeah. Yeah. They Speaker 2 00:23:39 Were not, those were not steps for me because it's like, oh, just go to these people and get some money and Uhhuh tap into your network and preach a good, and I'm like, that sounds awful. Like that's not the church I wanna be a part of. Yeah. And so what does it look like instead to tap into some more feminine energy? That's about co-creation who else do we need to bring to the table in the beginning? <affirmative> to be Cod, to be co mothers of holding and incubating something. How do we be patient in the gestation process? How do we birth something into a community that we expect the entire community to hold and nourish and care for? Um, so I think that the that's a place where I'm noticing like it wasn't written for me. Yeah. And the community that I wanna birth centers. Women of color. Yeah. Yeah. Not folk, like that's a different paradigm. Yeah. I had one conversation with somebody and I was like, well, there's four of us who wanna do this together. And there's like, whoa, we don't understand that model. Who's in charge. And I was like, we are co-creating there's like, but who's really in charge. Speaker 0 00:24:49 Right. They always say it has to be somebody that has to make the final decision. Really, Speaker 2 00:24:53 Really? What if we, if we created this together and it wasn't, you have to show up like me, or you want me to show up like you, like you show up in your gifts. Yeah. I go, wow. Your gifts are amazing. Cuz you are fearfully and wonderfully made. And my gifts are also amazing. And what conversations do we have to have? So I just think it's a paradigm that is not created mm-hmm <affirmative> for. Um, and I also think, you know, even who you go talk to in the beginning, you know, who controls most of the church planting money. Right. White men. Right. And some of those white men still ask me, so what do you think about women in ministry? Um, Speaker 0 00:25:34 In ministry <laugh> Speaker 2 00:25:35 I was like, well, me and my like uterus are here and we're good with it. Like this whole body that I'm in. But those are like, if that's even your first question, right? Like all of the barriers before even somebody going. Yeah. So like when white dudes wanna plant a church, everybody's like, oh my God. Look at them being a multiplier. We're so excited. And if I say, and they actually know what kind of church is gonna be. Right. Cause it's a, I don't wanna say it's a cookie cutter, but it's like right. If everybody's following the same recipe. Speaker 0 00:26:08 Yeah. We're gonna have the 40 people on our core launch team we're gonna do. Then we're gonna have a large launch or a big launch. And then three years we're gonna be self-sustaining self reproducing. It's all self, self, self, self, Speaker 2 00:26:21 It's all self, self, self. Speaker 0 00:26:24 Even the language there is terrible. Speaker 2 00:26:27 And so when I'm coming, going, we wanna start with a shared leadership model. We wanna start with co-creation. We want to understand that people are showing up in the fullness of who they are. So they need the gospel and they do need to hear that Jesus loves them. They also need some therapy. Mm-hmm <affirmative> they also need a nap. Mm-hmm <affirmative> they also need these things, especially women of color who are holding so much. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so I think that most of these spaces still don't know what to do with me. Speaker 0 00:26:57 Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:26:58 And I don't feel particularly, I don't feel like it's necessary where I have to make them like me or make like I'm not looking for approval from folks because I actually do feel like it's a call from God and I'm like, God, if we gonna do this, Speaker 0 00:27:16 You gonna supply it let's Speaker 2 00:27:17 Go. Speaker 0 00:27:22 So I, you interviewed, uh, EFM, Speaker 2 00:27:24 Efram Smith is so dope. And every time I talk to him, I'm like, you are so amazing. Brilliant. Speaker 0 00:27:30 I want you to react to, uh, this conversation we had, it's a, a clip I wanna play. And we're talking about church planting. He says this black church planting is happening there. There are some black churches that are being birthed this week. Mm-hmm <affirmative> uh, I talked to African American church planters, potential church planters all the time. Unfortunately it's the way in which these churches are being planted. That is a problem. And so I hate to sound this harsh with it, but I think this is the reality. And I would know what you think about this too. I think of black church planting and the only metaphor I can think of is what if the majority of black women that were having babies were having them outside of hospitals with no hell coverage. That's what black church planting is like today. Speaker 0 00:28:33 So woo <laugh>. So when you were talking about birthing, um, you talking about being a black woman, it, it just sparked this, uh, me remembering our mized conversation about church planting and, and black church planting in that we are, uh, planting churches and we're not planting them in say predominantly black denominations, but doing them in, uh, predominantly white, uh, spaces. Um, and so this was the analogy that he had is like we're birthing, but we're doing it outside of, outside of the hospitals that would care for us and the healthcare coverage that we would need. And, and so, yeah. What, what's your reaction? How, when you think about that, how do you react to that? Speaker 2 00:29:13 There's so many reactions to that Because you know what black women have done for a really long time, they have birthed babies outside of traditional institutions. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Speaker 2 00:29:27 And so, you know, I'm thinking about the midwives and the doulas and the women who come around other women and support them towards that. So that's where actually I think that there's some interesting dynamics between men and women. Mm-hmm <affirmative> right where I'm like, oh, I don't need them. Right. Like I know I still have people who have knowledge who have support, who are gonna love me, who know what kind of tea I need to drink later, who gonna tell me to scream at the right, like that, that community is available. And so I think the challenge is that we stopped looking to that community as the primary resource. Because even when we think about the ways that early churches were planted, mm-hmm <affirmative>, they weren't getting resources. They weren't getting stuff. They were, we all go meet over here. <laugh> mm-hmm <affirmative> we gonna do what we need to do. It'll be a place of wholeness, of Liber, of resistance, of gospel mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so how do we ch like how, instead of looking to the institutions, they do have money and that's real, and I'm not mad at a check. Speaker 0 00:30:33 Right, right. Speaker 2 00:30:35 But how do we actually honor the resources that are already in the book community that will create the churches that the community needs mm-hmm <affirmative> so if the idea is I wanna create something that the institution is gonna approve of so that they will give me money. Okay. That is one posture. Speaker 0 00:30:57 Right? Speaker 2 00:30:59 The other one of, I am going to go and see all of the sources that are already available right around me. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and I'm gonna invite those folks to come together to co-create a new space. When I got to preach at the rock, that's what I felt mm-hmm <affirmative> right. It felt like co-creation mm-hmm <affirmative> of folks saying, well, this is how I am gonna show up. This is what I can offer to this, you know, like the rock soup now. Speaker 0 00:31:23 Right, right, right. Speaker 2 00:31:25 Where people are willing to show up. And so, so yes. And, but I wonder as a woman who has been pushed out for so long and created other community as black folks who have been pushed out, I think we've gotten a little too reliant on the institutions to black, what we do to fund what we do. Cause you know what, black folks also got money, right? Like we have money, we have resources. There are ways that we can show up for each other. So how do we like shift all of that paradigm? Mm-hmm Speaker 0 00:31:56 <affirmative> how do we, uh, the, the thought that I've been, uh, asking is how do we get back to the idea of the village that it boom, to a principal. Um, and it's, uh, you know, growing up in, uh, black communities where, uh, when you walk down the street, you know, everybody could discipline you. Everybody could say something to you. Uh, but it was all for your good, um, right. And so everybody on your block was a resource. And so, so it wasn't this individualized then that you then had to go to government for assistance. Speaker 2 00:32:29 Exactly. Speaker 0 00:32:29 It was, uh, we gonna take care of ourselves cuz we don't even trust the government in how they gonna treat us. Speaker 2 00:32:35 Yeah. And my dad, you know, and it's, and it's even harder for me to hold that. Right. One generation removed from the civil rights movement. I grew up in the bay area. It's a different energy with the way that I show up. But my dad's from Gary Indiana. And when he talks about his community, it makes me wanna weep. And I'm not my dad's like, I am a pro segregationist. I was like, daddy, you can't say that <laugh> of my run for president. You jacked up. My mother actually does work for the government. It had to be like heads up. My father did a podcast. He said he was a pro segregationist. I am not his view to not reflect. He had to do the whole caption thing. Speaker 2 00:33:11 But when he talked about the community, he was like, oh, my teacher lived close. And the doctor and the mechanic, and he was even talking about the, who live behind the mechanic shop, who taught him how to cus mm-hmm <affirmative> right. That no one was outside of the community. And everybody was like, yes. Mm-hmm <affirmative> I see again. I see you. Yeah. Wherever you are. Yeah. Fearfully and wonderfully made. And that was actually a really interesting experience for me to be at a multiethnic church. Yeah. When I grew up at the church, everybody could fuss at me. People still a black woman can fuss at me right now. Uhhuh <affirmative> maybe don't yes, Speaker 0 00:33:47 Yes, yes. Right, right. Speaker 2 00:33:50 We don't talk about luck, baby. We don't I'm sorry. Bless Speaker 0 00:33:53 I right. Bless. Right, right. Just real Speaker 2 00:33:55 Quick. And I would let my kids run free and I knew that somebody scoop them up. Somebody would mm-hmm <affirmative> call them back. Somebody would cuddle them if they fell down, like there was a way that I knew that they would be loved. Speaker 0 00:34:08 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:34:09 I never quite got there in the multiethnic church. Yep. And that was a, that was a place that felt really sad. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> cause those same behaviors that I find that, you know, we do in the world the way we police our children before other people police them. Yep. They weren't free at church. Speaker 0 00:34:25 Right. Right. And Speaker 2 00:34:26 I had to, some people I'm like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. You don't. You don't get to speak into my baby's life. Yeah. Because I don't think we're on the same page about who we are trying to grow them up to be. Yeah. But yeah. How do we, how do we tap into the village where, cause you know, black folks, villages look real different. Right. You can hate so and so you can hate them. You could just be like, they a hot mess mm-hmm <affirmative> let something happen to their family. Speaker 0 00:34:51 Right. You gonna be right there. A Speaker 2 00:34:53 Meal will show up Speaker 0 00:34:54 Mm-hmm <affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:34:56 And so how do we do some of that? How do we cultivate that energy in the spaces that we're true. Trying to grow where it's not, again, it's not trying to get permission, but it's reclaiming. Yeah. Some of the things that we lost as we started to get the little crumbs from the institution, it's like, Hey, if you do it this way, we will give you $10. <laugh> right. Speaker 0 00:35:16 And we're Speaker 2 00:35:17 Like, whoa, 10. Speaker 0 00:35:18 And then you look up and they then gave $20 to the other, to the exactly. White guy. <laugh> white Speaker 2 00:35:23 Guy who is less qualified mm-hmm <affirmative> who doesn't ha who just knows somebody mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so how do we stop saying like, and I'm not even saying it's a looking for a handout. We do wanna be supported. We do wanna be acknowledged. We do wanna be seen for the good work that we do. Speaker 0 00:35:39 Right. Speaker 2 00:35:41 But I don't need a, you know, who I need, I don't need a sample of approval from the white church. Speaker 0 00:35:44 Yeah, yeah, Speaker 2 00:35:46 Yeah. Especially if the white church is not gonna acknowledge that it's a white church and wants to just keep saying it's it's the church, the big sea church. Yeah. Without putting that modifier in front of it, cause don't want it. Speaker 0 00:35:57 Yep. Yep. You know, I was, uh, uh, part of the research that I've been doing, um, uh, in my, uh, doctoral work, uh, has been, uh, I'm focusing on, um, desert father's mother, spiritual formation practices kind of stuff. And so in some of my research and looking at some of the women, um, in talking about desert mothers, uh, and thinking about like Perpetua and Felicity and you know, folks like that. Um, and how, uh, before there was the official Bible before there were official churches, uh, that women were apostles and prophets, um, and pastors and teachers, and they were leading house churches because women were, uh, the authority figures in their homes. Speaker 2 00:36:45 Yep. They were the culture Speaker 0 00:36:46 Keepers. Right. And so, and so churches happened in the house, which naturally meant that women were leading and pastoring these churches. And then when Constantine, uh, made Christianity and official religion and the church moved from the house to an institution, well in society, women didn't have a role. So then they lost their authority role in the institution of the church. And so it just reminds me, uh, even in your conversation about how, how do we move the church back and reclaim those spaces away from institutions, uh, in the way that institutions operate so that there is liberation and freedom in leading, um, and pastoring and birthing, uh, uh, churches, Speaker 2 00:37:37 Because you know, uh, it is for freedom that Christ set us free. Mm-hmm <affirmative> right. And so many things me and Paul, we can have a lot of conversations about a lot of things, but Paul was constantly challenging the systems at play mm-hmm <affirmative>. Paul was constantly being like this hierarchy is not the hierarchy that God designed for the world. Cause Jesus came and turned it upside down. And so that's the part that starts to crack me up. And people are like, women can't preach. And I was like, who preach the first Easter sermon go. Speaker 0 00:38:10 Right. Speaker 2 00:38:11 Right. Not all those dudes who were afraid to get too close mm-hmm <affirmative> it was the women who were willing to go and be with the dead and go to the dirty places and go to the unclean places who got to be the first ones to declare that Jesus Christ was risen. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so that's the part where that's where I, that, you know, when we start cherry picking what's in the Bible. Speaker 0 00:38:32 Yeah, Speaker 2 00:38:33 Yeah. No, like women have been holding it down yeah. For a really long time and not just cooking and cleaning, but if we wanna be honest, Jesus sure did get fed while he was decent and disciples got fed. Right. We wanna talk about the, you know, and also the, like our current church mamas. Yeah. If the church mamas were not planning the pop outlook, what would happen? Right. Speaker 0 00:38:56 Well, if the church mamas, uh, again, uh, even during the civil rights movement, we don't talk about all the food that was made in the hoity that was given to all these, uh, folks who were moving in and out of cities in churches. And, Speaker 2 00:39:11 And that's the part where we, when we talk about hospitality, black folks are actually really good at hospitality. Mm-hmm <affirmative> right. I don't know if you have that feeling like if you walk into a black church, somebody's gonna hug you. And I know we have these new things around consent and we should be able to do that, but let an auntie or grandma be like, come here, baby, gimme a hug. Yes ma'am yep. And it healing and it will be life giving. And I will feel loved by a stranger mm-hmm <affirmative> Speaker 0 00:39:40 Mm-hmm Speaker 2 00:39:40 <affirmative> the church that I grew up. There were like two white people that came and they showed up and they were loved. Like there weren't any questions asked there. Weren't like, oh, are you gonna, it was like, Hey, welcome to the family. Yeah. Like, this is what you need to do. And even sometimes to our own detriment, I think about Charleston mm-hmm Speaker 0 00:40:01 <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:40:02 Those folks were practicing hospitality to someone who wanted to come in and it costs them their lives. Right. White folks don't play hospitality like that. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, it's not a hospitality that is dangerous. That is willing to be open to somebody else coming in. And so yeah. How do we do that? Yeah. You know, the church mamas who were packing lunches, but again also who were sending their babies out so that they could get arrested and go to jail and made sure that they were dressed. Right. The folks who was, say reading about, oh, I'm gonna name her Pria. Do you know who I'm talking about? Speaker 0 00:40:42 No, Speaker 2 00:40:43 I'm gonna find, I'll send you the link, but she was the prayer warrior for Dr. King Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so when he talks about his, I have a dream. Speaker 0 00:40:52 Oh yes, yes. Speaker 2 00:40:52 That was a prayer that she had prayed. Right. Speaker 0 00:40:55 Right. Speaker 2 00:40:56 And not only that, hearing more about her, like she was a queer woman as well. Mm. And so we have all these ideas of who's in and who's out and what it looks like to be a leader. Yeah. But then we forget that even the people who get lifted up are held by others. Yeah, Speaker 0 00:41:12 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:41:13 Yeah. So, yeah. So I think that that's just where, like, how do we go back to the village? Mm-hmm <affirmative> where we show up for each other. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:41:21 So, you know, you, you've been thinking about, uh, birthing a church, um, uh, with, uh, other women of color that are centered, uh, that's centered around women of color. Uh, so when you think about reimagining, you know, that space, what, like, what does that look like? Uh, you know, for you, as you, as you guys are talking about it and, uh, you know, dreaming about it, um, uh, without the white gaze <laugh> right. Uh, and you're just streaming like of what could be possible, what the spirit is birthing, what does that look like? Um, you know, <affirmative>, Speaker 2 00:41:53 I think it's twofold, right? So on one hand, it's about healing and wholeness, because we know a whole lot of people who do love Jesus, who have faith, who have been so incredibly wounded by the churches that they're in Whitey, evangelical churches, black churches, Korean churches, that women have been hurt in those places. And so what does it mean to invite women of color to come back and be like, no, yes. Jesus loves you. Mm-hmm <affirmative> yes. Fam you can preach if you wanna preach. Yes. Like, come on. Like, we wanna do the work of, um, I think restoration mm-hmm Speaker 0 00:42:33 <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:42:34 And inviting women to stand on their wholeness, which they haven't been able to do. So we like, that's a real clarity. Speaker 0 00:42:40 Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:42:41 Of healing and wholeness. Yeah. And then on the other side that I think about personally is what is a church? I wanna raise my daughter in. Mm Speaker 0 00:42:49 Mm-hmm. <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:42:50 Where she doesn't come out wounded where she comes out. She's like, when people are like, well, what do you think about women in ministry? She's like, I don't, she's like, I don't know. But I think men in women, ministry is men in ministry is super weird. Mm-hmm <affirmative> like, like that, that her whole paradigm has shifted. Yeah. That she's like, oh yeah, no, I love justice. And I love Jesus mm-hmm <affirmative>. And I memorized a 23rd pal. And I also have question about like that, all that her faith is so rich. And like I said, also that places where we say God is in your nap, sweetie, mm-hmm <affirmative> go lie down. CIS mm-hmm <affirmative> God is in the therapy. We got therapists on staff as a part of our deacons. Yeah. God is in movement. So even trying to push as far as we can of not just the like, okay, we will have a call to worship, welcome call to worship. We will sing two songs that get us ready and welcome us into. We will then have announcements, sermon that like to challenge some of those movements. What happens if we ate first? Right. Speaker 0 00:43:54 Right. Speaker 2 00:43:54 Then we talk, what would happen if our sermon was co-created this is the verse we are working on. Let's go. Yeah. What is the word from God that, that God has for us? What if one day church was taking a nap, like legit, just having people sing over you. Mm I like, and I think about that, that makes me wanna cry. Can you imagine in the wariness of the world, we're all so exhausted. Mm-hmm <affirmative> if you went to church and what the church mamas did was they, they, they did some of the work of the 23rd songs. Speaker 0 00:44:25 Mm-hmm Speaker 2 00:44:26 <affirmative> they laid you down and they told you to rest, they walked with you in a, in a hard situation. They set a table for you and reminded you that you could be fed. They anointed you like, so even that intergenerational space of church mamas who have been through it and survived this new generation of folks who are trying to figure out if they can, if their faith and survive and our babies, um, who are coming up to grow in a new thing. And I'll say, it's for my daughter, it's also for my son. I want my sons to also be in a space where, when somebody goes, what do you think about women in ministry? They're like, well, I think my mom's pretty cool. Speaker 0 00:45:04 Right. <laugh> right, right. Right. Speaker 2 00:45:06 My aunties are great at that. Speaker 0 00:45:08 Right. We talk, um, you know, a lot about intersectionality, um, and the work of, um, Kimberly Crenshaw and, um, and be hooks and, you know, phenomenal women like that. And so there's a, um, Dr. Uh, Shane Walker Barnes. Speaker 2 00:45:30 Oh yeah. Speaker 0 00:45:32 Um, I bring the voices of my people, the womanist vision of reconciliation Speaker 2 00:45:36 Is that on my desk right now, let me see if that's on my desk right now. Cause it might be, cause I was leav that the other day <laugh> Speaker 0 00:45:43 And so, you know, it it's on my desk and, um, it, it was one of my favorite books, uh, for seminary, um, you know, with my doc in my doc to our program. And there was this one, um, um, part in her book that I'm really challenged by and it has to do with intersectionality. Um, and she's talking about white supremacy. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, and she's talking about, uh, how, uh, she doesn't specifically say black men. I don't think I, I want, wanna find the quote, but, uh, essentially she says, you know, she talks about what white supremacy is and the hierarchal structure. And she says that men of color, or maybe black men, um, uh, uh, uh, try and situate themselves, uh, to proximity of white male, um, uh, um, uh, authority or power with then oppresses women even more. And so, and I said, I was challenged by that because that again has not been my experience in terms of, um, in terms of ministry. Speaker 0 00:46:45 But I know within the black church, uh, in general, uh, it was a reason why womanist theology was birthed after, because she was like, brother, take your foot off my neck. Right. <laugh> and so can you talk, can you know, now, you know, again, this is the black church still speaks, this is a conversation living room that black people are having. And so this is something we wrestle with, uh, one of my really good friends, uh, Jess launched her nonprofit that she's been, uh, uh, running for, you know, about two years called preach her. Uh, and so she's been gathering, uh, uh, black women from around the city of LA, uh, who called in the ministry who are called to preach and affirming them and supporting them and all that kind of stuff. And so, um, when I saw that today and just thinking about, about our conversation, I said, it is for such a time as this. So can you just talk, can you talk about, yeah. Can you talk about that? Uh, a piece within the black church, the hierarchical male dominance, um, uh, and how that is another facet of like holding black women down, even within our own and where that comes from. Speaker 2 00:47:54 I think, I think it is so hard to escape white supremacy. It is so hard to escape patriarchy. And a lot of folks went to white seminaries mm-hmm <affirmative> right. Like cuz that's where they could go. And even if they went to black seminaries, who, what theologians were they reading and learning from mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so even while I'm like, oh, I went to this black church, I love my pastor. He's great. He was great, spectacular. And I was like, oh evangelicalism, that's not, that's not our stuff. But I started reading, what book did I read? Jesus and John Wayne Like read the cliff notes. You ain't gotta read the whole thing. It's really a book for white people to be like, we crazy. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> white people for white people saying we crazy. And this is how we got Trump. And this is how we've created some of these things. But some of those things, I was like, Ooh, my pastor would say that Speaker 0 00:48:49 Uhhuh <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:48:49 He had been shaped by some of this literature. He had been shaped by some of the thinking, because those are the voices that are the loudest. So even if we're in our own spaces, white male, everything is always coming at us always. And so I think that that's the place for me that I challenge everybody. I'm like, what theologians are you using when you prep your sermons? Mm-hmm Speaker 0 00:49:16 <affirmative>, Speaker 2 00:49:17 Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, you know, black men and white men. Who are you? Are you using Howard Thurman? Are you bringing his voice in? I just got this one will Gaffney a women's Leary for the whole church. And she, she don't play will Gaffney. And she like translates all of he stuff herself. Right? Mm. A brilliant black woman. I'm like, this is my, this is where I'm starting. Yeah. When I'm doing my sermon prep. Yeah. And so I think that that's the place that the voices of black women are still, we're still fighting in there. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and so I think in the black church, that's what, that's what I would love to hear. Mm-hmm <affirmative> black men going, oh, I'm bringing womanist theology. Be clear about it. Speaker 0 00:50:00 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:50:00 I'm I'm oh, will Gaffney taught me or those other things. And even the idea of, you know, I think it can sometimes get everywhere. Right. Even in black church. Oh baby, come up and preach. Right. Letting a woman like, and feeling like, ha ha I let the woman stand in the pulpit. Speaker 0 00:50:19 Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:50:20 And you're like, I'm like, I don't give cookies for that anymore. Like I don't give cookies. Like what did Chris rock say? You get cookies for doing a bare minimum. <laugh> Speaker 0 00:50:29 Right, right. Speaker 2 00:50:29 Being a he's human being. And so I think it is a, a process in the black church as well. Yeah. To actively honor the women who not just are there, who have built up the spaces to actively seek out women feel loin black theologians mm-hmm <affirmative> um, during the M FCA process, we had to write our credo, which is the gazillion page of what do you believe and how much do you love Calvin? Speaker 0 00:50:56 Right, right. <laugh> Speaker 2 00:50:58 So actually I grew up in a reform tradition, so my theology is very reform mm-hmm <affirmative>. But the primary source that I used was woman in and feminist dogmatics on reformed theology. Speaker 0 00:51:11 Mm. Speaker 2 00:51:12 And I was like, there are, it's like, well, you know, that thing of like, well, we can't find any qualified women of color. I was like, wow. I found a whole book. Speaker 0 00:51:21 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:51:22 And it was such a gift. Right? Like it was a reaff affirmation of who I am like a black him and going who we gonna wrestle with the cross, but we're not throwing it away. Yep. We gonna call out this problematic suffering of, you know, suffering, elevation mm-hmm <affirmative>. But we gonna talk about what it means that Jesus suffers with. God's like, so all of these things. And so I think that that's a place where I would hope black men in the church would not only be passively shaped by black women. Mm. They wouldn't only let black women feed them. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and make sure they look right and raise their babies and do that. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. But instead to actively be seeking out black women feel lotions mm-hmm <affirmative> and that's what my babies are getting. Right. And not always as like, mommy's a womanist, like, like you can see some of the images that I have behind me. There's one of Mary and a baby. Yep. And I love that both of my children, my two littlest ones come in, they go, oh, is that me? Is that you? And I'm like, Speaker 0 00:52:26 Right. A Speaker 2 00:52:27 Beautiful way for them understanding themselves in the church. Yeah. Uh, I'm looking at my office right now. Yeah. I got a lot of lady energy in here. Speaker 0 00:52:35 Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:52:37 And so they get to imagine, like, what happens if we start talking about God as divine feminine mm-hmm <affirmative> um, one practice that I've been doing that is been a gift to me, but I maybe Jackson people up. What happens if you say the 23rd song <affirmative> Speaker 0 00:52:49 Mm-hmm <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:52:51 Only with she pronouns Speaker 0 00:52:52 Mm-hmm <affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:52:55 How does that then change the relate the way that you understand God. And so I think that that's the, that's what all of us need to be doing, right? Yeah. Yeah. We make God real small. It's like, well, God not blonde eye, you know, blonde hair, blue eyes, but he's still a dude. Hold on, wait, wait though. Speaker 0 00:53:12 Right. Speaker 2 00:53:12 You know, I be God, she's black men. Speaker 0 00:53:15 Right. How do Speaker 2 00:53:16 We challenge some of those ideas and expand our understanding? So I think that would be my challenge to the black church actively, actively seek out the brilliant voices of black women. I love that you are talking about your friend who started this thing for black women preachers. I am going to the adrenal league preaching Institute this summer, uh, with woman preach. And so it's gonna be five days of black women, not just preaching, but doing the beautiful work of honing our craft. Yeah. Learning how to do it, digging in so that we can go and show up in spaces with boldness and with confidence. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:53:52 Yeah. What's the, now what's the name of this conference? Speaker 2 00:53:54 That one. It's the adrenal Lee preaching academy. Okay. Um, adrenal Lee was one of the first like black women given permission to speak in a particular denomination. And one preach is an organization. This one is specifically for black women, but they have all women preachers. OK. Coming in to say, let's go. Speaker 0 00:54:14 Yeah. Yeah. So Speaker 2 00:54:15 Mm-hmm, Speaker 0 00:54:15 <affirmative>, it's nice. My last, uh, thought or, you know, as we, uh, get prepared to close this, uh, time, um, is being in, uh, the RCA and it's probably a long, a longer conversation, but being in the RCA, um, and you know, you mentioned reform theology, um, and resources. And so, um, you know, uh, what does it, you know, as we close, what for you, what, what has it meant and what does it mean for you to be black and reformed Speaker 2 00:54:48 Heard a whole book about that? There's like many books. Actually. I actually do have a book on my thing to be black and reform, I think about by a guy. So I'm like Speaker 0 00:54:58 Is by, by Anthony, uh, Speaker 2 00:55:00 Hold on, book off, I'm get my book off shelf and Actually have two of them. We have one by Anthony Carter, mm-hmm <affirmative> and a whole nother one that talks specifically about apartheid in South Africa. Speaker 0 00:55:15 Mm-hmm Speaker 2 00:55:16 <affirmative> because I think to be black and reformed and not talk about the very real history of a apartheid in South Africa to talk about the very real history of the RCA, who, sorry, in my history class, they're like, oh, you know, the Dutch just came for economic opportunities to the new world. They did shipping mm-hmm Speaker 0 00:55:43 <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:55:45 I like economic opportunity. I was like, you mean the slave trade? Can you just say it please? Speaker 0 00:55:51 Right. Just name it. <laugh> come on. Speaker 2 00:55:55 Right. And I think that that's a part of actually what it means to be reformed and black. Mm. Is sometimes, like I said, I'm not always trying to fight white folks. Speaker 0 00:56:04 Yep. Speaker 2 00:56:05 But I do want white folks to understand that me being here just in my body should be an invitation for some real confession and repentance. Speaker 0 00:56:15 Right. Right Speaker 2 00:56:17 And that I can come in and I can be like, actually I do love reform theology. I love me the Bible. I love grace. If God is not sovereign, we got some Speaker 0 00:56:27 Serious issues. We, we in trouble, Speaker 2 00:56:29 Serious Speaker 0 00:56:30 Issues. And what's so funny is that when I came into the RCA and they were, you know, five points of Calvin and it was like, if you don't remember anything else that God is sovereign, uh, he's in control. I said, oh, so, uh, the black church has been reformed from the beginning, Speaker 2 00:56:44 From the beginning. Speaker 0 00:56:45 Cause every time we got in church, the pastor would say, and God is in control. <laugh> Speaker 2 00:56:50 Because if God is not Speaker 0 00:56:52 <laugh> right. Speaker 2 00:56:53 He got some problems. Right. And so that's what it, that's what it is to me. Like there's like C you're. So again, like I said, people don't know what to do with me because I believe these things. Yeah. But I think to be black and reformed is two, one. And maybe you feel the same way we step in with our eyes wide open. We know what we're stepping into. We know some of the battles that we have to fight. We know which ones we're willing to step into and which ones we're not mm-hmm <affirmative> and we are still standing on the traditions of our folks who have been speaking into us. Yes. Speaker 0 00:57:25 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:57:27 And the truth that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. So, so I'm just like, you know, really, I just wanna, I want folks of color just to come with a lot more swagger. Speaker 0 00:57:37 Right. Speaker 2 00:57:39 I don't need you to tell me that. I'm great. The Lord said <laugh> right, Speaker 0 00:57:43 Right, right. Speaker 2 00:57:44 <affirmative> and I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Oh, you don't think so. That sounds like a you problem. You can take that up with God. <laugh> Speaker 0 00:57:51 Right. If you don't think so that means you don't believe a Bible. You don't believe if you don't believe a Bible and maybe you not say maybe I need to be doing some evangelistic work on <laugh>. That's what I think justice work is, uh, in the church would be as Evangel it's it's, it's, it's a, you know, uh, these folks who say they believe what the Bible says, but don't really believe what the Bible says, uh, need, need some transformation, need some or, Speaker 2 00:58:16 You know, I think about it. Oh, okay. Here it goes. And maybe this is a closing point, you know, about the slave Bible, right. That was written mm-hmm <affirmative> and they took Speaker 0 00:58:23 Out, took out part Speaker 2 00:58:25 <affirmative> all of it. And the whole idea was to keep black people subservient. Right. I think that that switched around and it took a claim on white folks mm-hmm <affirmative> and white folks forgot all of that justice part of scripture. They, so they thought that they were writing it to make black folks some kind of way. And instead they were like, look at our new Bible that makes us feel real good about ourselves. That makes us the center instead of making a liberating God, the center of the scripture mm-hmm <affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative> so I think you're right. That it is about evangelism. Like you clearly forgot some parts. Hold on one second. And I think that's the part where people still don't know what to do with me. Right. Cause I like let's go to scripture. Let's look at Ephesians. Yep. Let's look at Ephesians too, where it says that Jesus named nity in the world and broke it down. So don't pretend like we are good. Right. You just knew that there was beef. Speaker 0 00:59:18 Yep. Yep, yep. Yep. So, uh, we are black and reformed and maybe some are just deformed. Speaker 2 00:59:25 Come on now. That's it. Speaker 0 00:59:29 There we go. Well, look, I am, uh, again, thankful that you, uh, took the time to, um, have this conversation, uh, on our podcast of black Churchill speak. So I hope that you enjoyed, uh, you know, our time together and able to, you know, share, you know, what was on your heart from, you know, questions that we asked. And so, yeah, just any final closing words, any resources, anything that we should be reading, uh, that you think are, uh, important right now? Speaker 2 00:59:57 Um, this was so much fun. I really enjoy. I love how people it's just such a different energy Uhhuh. Cool. Um, I would say that I think everybody needs the women's Leary by will Gaffney and there are two parts, Speaker 0 01:00:11 Two parts. So will, uh, cuz we'll put this in our, um, in our podcast note with a link to it and so will Gaffney. Speaker 2 01:00:18 Yep. What's a, women's Leary, a women's lecture Mary for the whole church. Speaker 0 01:00:23 Okay. All right. Will Gaffney a women's lectionary for the whole church. You guys heard that, um, we'll have it in the podcast notes so you to buy it. I'm gonna get my copy today so I can be, uh, resourced for my sermon Speaker 2 01:00:34 Preparations. There you go. And the other book that has just been really, you know, those books that break your brain, like, oh, I gotta put it down and just wait a minute. Um, in fleshing freedom by M Sean Copeland, Speaker 0 01:00:51 Fleshing freedom Speaker 2 01:00:52 In fleshing freedom. And it is centering the work of salvation in a black woman's body. Ooh. And there were parts. I was like, oh, Speaker 0 01:01:01 Okay. Speaker 2 01:01:03 That it was so, and she just, you know, the way that, um, you know, um, James cone talked about, you know, the cross and the lynching tree, she then says, okay, the broken black woman's body on the side of the road, maybe that's Jesus. And what do we need to do? So those are books that have just, I was just like, okay, thank you. Thank you. I'm just gonna hold onto it. Speaker 0 01:01:26 That. And that's uh, in fleshing freedom, uh, by who? Speaker 2 01:01:30 M Sean Copeland. Speaker 0 01:01:32 M Sean Copeland. All right. We'll put those two in the notes. Speaker 2 01:01:35 Those are good ones. This was great. Speaker 0 01:01:37 Yes. Thank you so much. Speaker 2 01:01:38 Appreciate you. Speaker 0 01:01:43 We wanna thank our guests for rocking with us today. Now don't forget to subscribe to our podcast. I said our, because this podcast is not a one person show. There are some folks in the background who make this happen each month for our listeners. I wanna give a shout out to our sound engineer, Gar tyer logoing graphics by warrior design, our executive producer, Annise Ratcliffe, and our assistant duckin manager, Lorraine Parker. I'm your host, Reverend Peter Watts with the AAB C. And this is the black church still speaks.

Other Episodes

Episode

May 23, 2022 00:55:08
Episode Cover

The Black Church Still Speaks on Mental Health

Listen

Episode

June 27, 2022 00:44:59
Episode Cover

The Black Church Still Speaks on the Future of the AABC

In this episode, Rev. Watts discusses with the General Secretary of The RCA about the AABC and its future. They talk about the importance...

Listen

Episode 4

July 27, 2021 01:00:01
Episode Cover

The Black Church Still Speaks on Discipleship

In this episode, Pete Watts talks with Natasha Sistrunk-Robinson about discipleship and mentorship in the Black Church. She is focused on the next generation...

Listen