Grateful to have had the opportunity to keynote the fall theological conference with the SWPA Lutheran Synod at Antiochian Village Conference and Retreat Center. We had a good time together as we went “Beyond Diagnosis: Understanding and Implementing Adaptive Leadership.” Utilizing the work of my dissertation on Adaptive Leadership in Crisis we explored how to diagnose the system but then also move towards creating experiments and evaluation methods to move towards learning leadership in our communities.
The people of SW Penn were amazingly hospitable and receptive to our learning together. It was a joy to also seem them in action being collegial and enjoying each others company. We had two beautiful days of weather.
Worship was also a highlight. They honored me by asking me to preach for our closing Eucharist. The text is the coming text for Sunday, the unjust Judge (Luke 18). In it the continual pleading of the complainant moves the judge to grant justice. Jesus reminds us that if even an unjust judge could be so moved, how much more would a loving God listen and grant justice.
I could not help but reference the reality of the many crying for justice in our communities. We were worshipping in a retreat center run by Syrian Orthodox Christians. Syria which has been ravaged by war and is a nation with more refugees than citizens. The people of Pittsburgh who stood “Stronger Than Hate” after the hate filled Squirrel Hill Synagogue murders.
And for us in DFW the killing of Atatiana Jefferson in her home by a police officer just a week after the Botham Jean murder trial concluded brought fresh cries for justice and accountability from our governmental officials. We have a responsibility to our neighbors and our leaders are given their role to serve the people. We have a right to demand action from them, pleading for justice, just as the poor widow pleaded with the unjust judge. You can read my statement on this here https://mailchi.mp/…/atatiana-jefferson-and-responsibility-….
I ended my sermon with a reminder of Paul’s words to Timothy encouraging him to be steadfast and patient in the persistent work of leadership. Reminded always that some among us, particularly those historically marginalized by race, class, gender, sexuality, national origin, etc…, have had to be far more patient than myself.
“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.” (2 Tim 4:1-2) #NTNL #SWPA #StrongerThanHate #InMissionTogether