Liberation, community, bitterness, deficit, grim statistics having faces and names instead of numbers; this full litany shows itself in communities of faith. Pastorally, this litany plays out in several ways. The personhood of all those in our church communities show the wounds this world gives us. Our prayer, our sermons, our presence in the moment and our leadership all are shaped by the wounds in our individual and communal personhood.
[...] The relationship and love present allows stronger and stronger words to be spoken since the groundwork of community and accountability frame the discussion not of shame but self-judgment as a growing edge of transformation. Here, God's voice not only speaks in the course of discussion, but the whole community has ears to hear the message. Orality becomes aurality where my homiletics have the communal hermeneutic guiding the message to bring continual communal and internal transformation. This transformation, which brings us to one another, also brings us back to the presence of the One who heals our fundamental woundedness and repairs our estrangement with the strength of Divine [...]
[...] This division, this estrangement is the initial situation for the pastor since s/he comes to the congregation without forming bonds of relationship and begins pastoring before those bonds can be established. Coming to the congregation with a sense of self-effacing humor and humility helps bridge the gaps caused by educational and intellectual differences while also speaking to the hearts of those present. It is a form of respect to those present to not present one's self as fundamentally other since the practice of religion does not require a seminary education. [...]
[...] She has fought for her full self- actualization, and the cost is the bloody hands but the prize is being able to take her share instead of begging for her portion. The sickness resides not only in dehumanized black personalities that show as the most visible casualties of the system, but in all the residents of the system. The fragmentation of the Christian message of unity in Christ cost the White Church a sense of integrity which strips the faith of its members who will not commit themselves to a disingenuous community. [...]
[...] This is where the function of homiletics enters into the system as an initial step to address the problem and perform corporate pastoral care for communities of faith. Naming has a history of power within the Christian tradition with the emphasis on the logos, or Word of God. In naming, preachers breathe the Word into their sick and wounded congregations. However, this method of naming is not easy or without cost. Naming our sin, both our current sin and the historical sin that serves as the context for the construction of the world in which we live threatens folks in the pews. [...]
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