Tag Archives: hospitality

An Empty Chair at the Debate: Nov Synchroblog – Seeing through the eyes of the Marginalized

This week I got a small taste of what it must be like to be a politician.  Councilman Samuels is under pressure from his constituents to renovate the oldest park in Richmond which happens to be in the middle of the city.  The park is frequented by VCU students and area residents but is best known for the homeless individuals who hang out there.   In my post “Listening to the Homeless in Monroe Park”, I shared the insights of many who call the park home.

Thursday, I addressed a crowd gathered to discuss the issue of the parks closing. My intent was to share the insights of the homeless; to look at the issue through their eyes.  However, it was obvious that many people in the room came with their own agenda.

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Filed under missional church, Stories from the Street, Unity Works Reading, Urban Ministry

Dr. Beth Newman – Her Influence and Endorsement

My first semester in seminary, I took Christian Ethics with Dr. Beth Newman.  The first book we were to read was Christine Pohl’s book Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition.  I was very disappointed in this assignment.  I wanted something theologically challenging, not a book about tea parties and inviting your neighbors over for dinner.

We had just left a male dominated “seeker targeted” evangelical church where the women were told their role in doing outreach was to bake cookies for their neighbors.  They tried to recruit me as the “Chief cookie maker.”  That was the first and last “missions committee” meeting I ever attended.  I am far from a domestic engineer.  The truth is that I can count on my fingers the number of times I have baked cookies or cooked for anyone other than my own family.  So I very reluctantly began reading this book expecting to find the same superficial understanding of outreach offered by my former church.

To my surprise, the book had nothing to do with “hospitality” as I had defined it and contained some of the most challenging theological insights I had ever read.  This book opened my eyes to the power of Christian Hospitality that I had never fully understood and defined the practice in a radical counter cultural way.  The theme of Christian hospitality as defined by Pohl runs throughout my book From the Sanctuary to the Streets. Below are some of the insights from Pohl’s book that shaped my journey.

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Filed under Book Related, Theology, Urban Ministry