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Made to Flourish: An Introduction to Millennial Womanism

“How do we decide what to study or what jobs to pursue, or what topics to write about? The answer is simple: do the work your soul must have” — Katie Cannon

The author

There are works that are assigned to each of us. Some works come in seasons, while other works last a lifetime. The late Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon’s work was the one her soul had to have. As a result, thousands of lives have been changed academically, pastorally, and theologically through the foundation of womanist theology: a theology of liberation that places the lives of black women at the center. Womanist theology and womanist ethics have challenged weekday lecterns and Sunday pulpits as it has built new tables with enough seats for all. Today, through the work of Min. Liz S. Alexander and Rev. Melanie Jones, millennial womanism has been created.

Millennial womanism seeks to build upon the foundation of womanist foremothers: Cannon, Townes, Williams, and Grant to name a few. Womanism in itself was created by Alice Walker as a way to include the voices of black women when feminism was not sufficient or accessible to black women. Black Millennial women have a space both in the academy and in the pulpit and we seek to help black women understand that we have space to flourish, that social media and digital platforms are for womanist work and witness, and that our works are expanded through collaboration and sisterhood, as well as making space for the divine and advocating prophetic social justice ministry.

Millennial womanism grants me the space to further my practice as a pastor to youth in urban contexts, while spreading the gospel through digital platforms such as podcasting. As a pastor, my daily work is grounded in the prophetic and redemptive gospel of liberation and healing that addresses urban trauma among the lost, the least, and the left out, with an afro-centric hermeneutic. I sit among those who are considered to be “the other” and the voiceless in our communities. Read more

Lena Dunham

Lenny Letter, for a Bigger World

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham

In my world as a solo minister, the line between work and play, home and church, is blurry and indistinct. Every book I pick up has the potential to become part of my adult education lesson. Bedtime stories with my sons often translate into children’s messages. Baking cookies is both relaxing and a great way to liven up a stewardship meeting. No matter what movie I’m watching or magazine I’m perusing, the search for sermon fodder is always lurking there in the back of my mind. I love that all of my interests speak with one another, and are in dialogue with my calling.

So, it should come as no surprise that the books I’m reading, my podcast list, the magazines on my coffee table (when they’re actually stacked there and not knocked to the floor by my kids), and my Netflix queue are each full of an array of genres and stories. I’ll take in almost anything written, spoken, or acted, so long as it’s done with integrity and an eye toward the human experience.

My new favorite read is a weekly newsletter called The Lenny Letter. Read more