I’m excited to tell you about an upcoming series of Sunday mornings that will take place throughout the year. On the third Sunday of most months, we will be exploring Biblical stories through a different lens. What do I mean by this?
Much of what most of us are taught or absorb about faith and what to understand about the Bible was constructed by white men a long time ago. Listening to people of other identities and social locations can illuminate more of who God is, what God has done and is doing.
In this series we will hear the voices of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous people, and other people of color), Queer folx and other voices from the margins. The hope is that we open up our theological imagination to broader understandings of these ancient texts, who God is, what God is up to, and who God is for.
What will happen:
On the third Sunday, instead of a sermon, I’ll introduce a BIPOC and/or Queer Christian faith leader. They will tell us a biblical story biblical story/passage that has meaning for them from their social location/identities. We’ll shorten up a couple other parts of the service to give time to this important listening time.
We begin September 20th, with my seminary advisor, Rev. Dr. Steed Davidson. Dr. Davidson teaches Hebrew Bible at McCormick Seminary in Chicago. He has expertise in Postcolonial biblical studies, and is a native of Trinidad and Tobago.
In October we’ll meet Deacon David Rojas Martinez, who serves at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on Lake street as the Community Engagement and Education Coordinator. I first met David as he was applying to seminary, and I find him to be one of the most beautiful and thoughtful writers I know. If you volunteered at Holy Trinity during the summer, you saw David in the first months in his new call. He is originally from Cuernavaca, but has spent large parts of his life in Indiana and Minnesota.
On November 15th, we’ll hear from Lori Gordon. Lori and I first met working at a Bible camp in Northern Minnesota, where she served for several years as a naturalist. Currently she serves as a youth and family director in Cook, MN, but she’s also in seminary and will be doing her pastoral internship next year. She is passionate about “reclaiming” the Old Testament texts that have been used to divide and marginalize.
On December 13th, we talk with Rev. Tuhina Verma Rasche. Tuhina has a complicated relationship with Jesus. She lives a hyphenated life as a second-generation Indian-American woman raised in a devout Hindu household and often finds herself in liminal spaces. She is ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and is called to work for the representation of God’s full diversity in the church. Her work focuses on dismantling white supremacy and conversations on the complexity of identities. She loves stories and believes sharing narratives are integral to building relationships.
In January, we’ll hear wisdom from Rev. Kelly Chatman, who has been a pastoral leader in the Lutheran Church for decades. He has served the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA in a variety of capacities, and was, until recently, pastor at Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, North Minneapolis and director of the Redeemer Center for Life. After retiring from Redeemer, he has started the Center for Leadership and Neighborhood Engagement, a training institute to support the work of congregations at deepening their connections to the neighborhood in which they reside.
In February, we’ll learn from Rev. Mytch Pierre-Noel Dorvilier. Mytch is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She is currently serving as Pastor in Fresno, CA. With a passion for serving the last, the lost and the least, Dorvilier is a committed community member with a special interest in refugee resettlement, multicultural settings, interreligious dialogue and addressing issues of racial injustice. She is also a dancer and always eager to share her Haitian culture with others.
In March, we meet Verlon Brown, a pastor in Seattle who I met at various times over the last 25 years, mostly at Holden Village. Verlon is a pastor at Central Lutheran in Seattle on Capital Hill and also works with folks living on the streets of Seattle who are homeless and addicted. He likes to give me advise about men, and he also told me to never become a pastor (not because of who I am, but just because being a pastor didn’t seem like a good idea to him). Clearly I didn’t take his advice about men or vocation, but he has lots to say, and he is usually pretty humorous in giving his wisdom. He also plays harmonica in a blue-grass band, and he’s a long-time friend of JD Nelson, guitar player in Revealed!
On April 18th we learn from Rev. Dr. Megan Rohrer I met Megan when we were both working out in the San Francisco Bay Area. Megan is the first openly transgender pastor ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and you might recognize them from their appearance last season in “Queer Eye.” A few of our band members who flew out to San Francisco to perform at a wedding a decade or so ago may also remember Megan as the pastor who officiated the wedding.
Stay tuned, and check out more information on the calendar page.