Over the last few weeks I have been embracing intentional moments of self-examination. I think I have been able to pinpoint when my faith began to shift and my understanding of what it means to embody my confession that Jesus is Lord. I think it was when I realized that:
1. I was no longer the prodigal son, but the son who complained.
2. I was no longer the one leper that returned to Jesus but one of the nine that never came.
3. I was no longer one of the ‘least of these’ but one in danger of becoming a goat (and *not* G.O.A.T.).
4. I wasn’t one of the folks on the margins as a religious outsider but one in the center of power as a religious insider, and at times a citizen of Rome.
5. I also wasn’t the one living on the edges of town who received the invitation to the party, but one of the folks who was too busy to come.
6. I was no longer the one lost sheep but one of the 99.
7. I was no longer the woman Jesus met at the well but one of the village people she was avoiding.
8. I was also no longer the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with tears, but more like Simon the Pharisee.
9. I could no longer read the Scriptures as one of the victims of religious or socio-political oppression, but rather as one who has been privileged with position and a certain amount of socio-political and religious power as a white male living in these United States.
10. I was loved by Jesus all along, and still loved by Jesus just as I am and not as I should be.
11. I am in desperate need of God’s grace, a renewed mind and a transformed way of loving myself, my family, my neighbors and my enemies.
It seems to me that if the Church is going to be a prophetic presence in society then we must allow God’s Spirit to be a prophetic presence among us. It begins with me.
Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience.
Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas.
Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
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