When the apostle Paul begged God to heal him from whatever it was in his life that caused him trouble–something he believed to be a weakness–he shares (in 2 Corinthians 12:9) God’s reply: “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” Paul went on to say, “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
It is in our weakness that God’s power is made evident. But admitting weakness requires vulnerability and vulnerability requires humility–two commitments society doesn’t value very much. For those who have confessed loyalty to the Christ of Christmas, we know the power of vulnerability. We know that God came to us by the way of weakness in the Christ-child. We know that humility is what makes liberation and transformation possible.
Vulnerability and humility make God’s power possible in our lives.
So I can accept that I am not the end-all be-all. I can recognize that I have far less control than I think. I can recognize that my way of life isn’t always God’s priority. I can realize that I, a White male born in the USA, was born on third base and for too long believed I hit a triple. I can realize that my defensiveness to that statement is a sign that I am grieving a sense of entitlement I have long enjoyed, and times are finally and justly changing. I can remember that humility is the doorway to liberation, for myself and others.
I can remember that God is at work and keeps his promises, because the Advent of the Christ happened just as God promised.
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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