“I’ve given them the glory that you gave me so that they can be one just as we are one. 23 I’m in them and you are in me so that they will be made perfectly one. Then the world will know that you sent me and that you have loved them just as you loved me.” ~ Jesus, John 17:22-23
“Therefore, as a prisoner for the Lord, I encourage you to live as people worthy of the call you received from God. 2 Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love,3 and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together.” ~ Paul, Ephesians 4:1-3
A faith community that takes hospitality (philoxenia) seriously is never comfortable. They are committed to doing the hard work of drawing close to “the other,” despite fear and vulnerability. They resist the urge to side-step the disruption of transformation with desperate calls for unity. Instead, they step forward into the fray of injustice and suffering. They join marginalized neighbors in their struggle for dignity, worth, and empowerment. They believe that unity is the *outcome* of solidarity with those pressed down by injustice, not conformity to a cultural Christianity committed to the comfort of “not causing division.” Unity is the *outcome* of Christ-like, cross-shaped, resurrection-believing love.
Jesus’ prayer for unity will be difficult to answer if Jesus’ people are unwilling to take philoxenia seriously.
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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