We must learn to wrestle like Jacob at Jabbock with our intersectional sins, known as race, class, and gender, that keep us from seeing the humanity of the individuals for whom we took a constitutional oath to call colleague. If the church is become the loving community God created it to be, we must allow ourselves to embrace the beautiful, yet never ending, struggle of becoming our better selves.
While the acknowledgement of the larger church by way of the resolution is necessary and in many ways hopeful, we must acknowledge that it is a particular privilege to lament, assess, and consider while the most vulnerable congregations struggle. Black churches have been sharing for many years the disparity and being treated less-than-equally.
It still holds true that no resolution from General Assembly will immediately reverse nor empower black congregations to alter bad actions that have caused the black Presbyterian presence and voice around Presbyterian tables to be minimized. Neither this resolution nor the criticism of the resolution will transfigure a system that allows black congregation shrinking numbers.
https://next.myworshiptimes31.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2018/10/featured-coastal-commissioners.jpg200398Linda Kurtz/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLinda Kurtz2018-10-11 06:05:012018-10-10 15:13:47Plenty Good Room at the Table
Our denomination is still predominately White; therefore, at best we can make sure that Black people are represented on all committees. However that will not resolve the racist, sexist, or even patriarchy that is foundational to the way we have done and still do things. Further, “raising awareness” about the decline of Black congregations does nothing to address the systemic causes related to the reduction of Black congregations.
https://next.myworshiptimes31.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2018/10/featured-flo-preaching.jpg200398Linda Kurtz/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLinda Kurtz2018-10-10 06:03:342018-10-10 07:56:12The Church that is Becoming
It has been my experience that resolutions occurring at the national level of the church do not trickle down and do not have tangible impact at the local level. Despite the resolution’s merit in naming the diminution of black Presbyterian congregations as a significant problem, it does virtually nothing to stem the tide.
It’s odd to me that Appalachia, and West Virginia specifically, has such a tug on my life. My parents moved there when I was in college, but when people ask me where I’m from I say — without hesitation — West Virginia. (I even sing the WVU fight song to my kids every night at bedtime.) I love that place so much that I get emotional just thinking about it.
https://next.myworshiptimes31.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2018/06/featured-wv-fall-college.jpg200398Linda Kurtz/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2016/01/NEXT-Logo-FINAL-Horizontal_lato-1030x229.pngLinda Kurtz2018-06-06 07:26:062018-06-04 09:28:30Ties That Can't Be Severed
For the second time in ministry, I’ve heard the call to serve a congregation in West Virgina. The first time it was an accident – I was called to a church that happened to be in West Virginia. I moved there single. Newly ordained. Ready to light the world on fire. This time, my husband and I prayed that West Virginia might reveal a church to which I would be called. We moved here by choice, with intention, and hope to stay a while.