America, You Must Be Born Again

What can we celebrate this so-called Independence Day? Frederick Douglass still speaks to remind us that those who fight for and alongside the oppressed of America had little to celebrate in the first place. I agree. I choose to recall, to serve Truth and the Author of the same. 

I will celebrate the survival of my people and all who ennoble themselves by clinging to peace over power.

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Venneikia Williams
Resurrection Season: Life Anew!

In all of the Gospels, God’s good news comes first to those who are the furthest removed from the powers of the day. The Spirit of God embraces a young woman preparing for arranged marriage, the risen Christ and angels speak and prove the resurrection to women. Mary mother of Jesus gave birth to the last and perfect sacrifice. Mary Magdalene’s words gave birth to the message that generations have carried since. The women who tarried and mourned, dared to follow Jesus and draw near to him in defiance of social structure, theirs is the great witness to humanity: “I have seen the Lord”.

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FaithforJustice
Resurrection Sunday, Lenten Season 2019

Believe that Jesus killed the crazy in your history and in your heart, and speak plainly, proudly about the chains that have been broken. Sing sweetly, sincerely, about the pains you are working to see healed. This life of death - of uncertainty, stress and desire - IS worth living. Because he is risen, indeed.

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FaithforJustice
Good Friday, Lenten Season 2019

Jesus’s work demands dignity for community, by showing that no person can save themselves. Good news for God’s people on this Good Friday: you cannot save yourself. You need not try to. May your patterns of prayer bring you closer to the communion of Christ’s finished work on the cross.

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FaithforJustice
Palm Sunday, Lenten Season 2019

In Jesus, perfection and divinity are acquainted with lament and trepidation. He boldly declares that His death will have purpose. He humbly reveals the troubling of His soul. Were we there, were we to witness with our own eyes, we would see - as the old folks say -  that it caused Him to tremble. But He was determined to save the flock of His people, the jewels of His crown (Zech 9.16). Jesus was not yearning to suffer. He was yearning to end our suffering at any cost.





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Venneikia Williams
Lisa Sharon Harper feature: "Evangelicals of Color Fight Back Against the Religious Right"

On a recent Sunday before dawn, Lisa Sharon Harper, a prominent evangelical activist, boarded a train from Washington, D.C., to New York City. Harper is forty-nine, and African-American, with a serene and self-assured manner. Although she had moved to D.C. seven and a half years ago, to work as the director of mobilizing for a Christian social-justice organization called Sojourners, she still considered New York her home. She missed its edgy energy, and was worn down by the political battles in Washington, which pitted her more and more aggressively against her fellow-evangelicals. On this frigid morning, she was on her way to Metro Hope, her old church in East Harlem. She couldn’t find anything like it in Washington, D.C. “It’s the South,” she told me. Black and Latinx-run evangelical churches committed to justice were scarce, she noted. Metro Hope is led by her friend José Humphreys, an erudite forty-five-year-old Afro-Latino preacher who grew up in the projects on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

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Venneikia Williams
Ash Wednesday, Lenten Season 2019

Repentance is not only a call "to get right with God". It is a call to get right with our neighbors, especially the oppressed. For, how can love the God we cannot see while aiding & abetting or being apathetic about the oppression of image-of-God bearing neighbors that we CAN see? 

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FaithforJustice
God with Us and Them

The future is foretold by the firstborn of the forgotten. God’s light shines on the places we have longed to see uncovered. It also shines on the places we ignored. The Light of the world shows us the places where Emmanuel lives that we might fear to dwell.

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Venneikia Williams
Racism, Therapy, and People of Color

In our de facto racist America, the therapy room becomes yet another space in which white supremacy, the racist ideology of the superiority and assumed domination of people defined and perceived as white, is unaccountably upheld. How could you go about laying hold of the good gifts of therapy without turning a blind eye to the pernicious racism embedded in therapy itself?

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Venneikia Williams
Advent 2018, Week 4: Incarnation (Love)

I am convinced that our freedom is closely linked to our ability to not only love but to dream. The work of the activist and organizer reaches far beyond planning the next demonstration or making demands of our elected officials. At its core our work is centered on inviting folks to use their imagination to work towards a world that we cannot yet see. This work requires us to envision solutions to centuries-old problems. We must help enough people to share in our vision that the power we wield tears down old systems and resurrects new and more equitable ones. It requires us to choose to show up for our neighbor every day. This is not always because we want to but because we have a deep understanding of the fact that the dream of our liberation is linked to one another and that I’m not free until you are.

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Venneikia Williams
Advent 2018, Week 3: Celebration (Joy)

So, why do we choose to hold fast to joy? Because today’s trials are not worthy to be compared to what’s coming. Because we know the Son of God shall return again. Because we know that we will one day be set free from the corruption of this world. Because we know that our joy is powerful. It signals that we are actively laughing and resisting the urge to submit to the chaos around us. It signals that we came into this battle counting the cost and we have decided to yet be joyful because we know Who to look to for it. 



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Venneikia Williams
Advent 2018, Week 2: Proclamation (Peace)

 “I am convinced that Mary, like us was human and had doubts when considering the political state of the land in which she lived. However, I do believe that Mary deep down held steadfast to the prophetic words that had been spoken for years to come over the earth; the Messiah. Those words created peace within her soul.”

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Women, Justice, AdventRuthie Vincill
Tribute for James Cone

James Cone, however, made it possible for me to be both unequivocally black and Christian, unequivocally black and an academic. More than that, Cone demanded that my blackness inform my spiritual and vocational life in order for me to live in my full God-given humanity as a beloved child of God. This is a message that everyone in this country needs to hear, but especially young black folk...

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#JamesConeWasRight

“If the Church is to remain faithful to its Lord, it must make a decisive break with the structure of this society by launching a vehement attack on the evils of racism in all forms. [Read more…] It must become prophetic, demanding a radical change in the interlocking structures of this society. Of course the Church must realize, in view of the Christian doctrine of man, that this is a dangerous task. But obedience to Christ is always costly. The time has come for the Church to challenge the power structure with the power of the gospel, knowing that nothing less than immediate and total emancipation of all people is consistent with the message and style of Jesus Christ. The Church cannot afford to deplore the means that oppressed people use the chains of slavery because such language not only clouds the issue but also gives comfort and assistance to the oppressor.” Black Theology and Black Power

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