I am sure this is what Syd felt like in Brown Sugar. I am sure that my hip hop appreciation reached a peak last night. And I am sure that my soul was encouraged. Watching DMX and Snoop talk purely and jam out authentically did something to my soul. I know y'all like-what? How, sis? But, from the prayer to the genuine gem drops and laughter throughout, I was touched.
Touched mostly because the music that DMX and Snoop have gifted the culture is a true reflection of God's grace. For me, it reminded me of a two things.
Here we are. Here I am- once again facing a job rejection. WOOOSSAHHHHHH Lauren. After graduating from my graduate program in May, I can no longer keep count of the number of jobs I've applied to. Applying amid COVID has been a nightmare, one that all of us in the job market can say collectively-have never experienced. I'm here to encourage you as I write to help myself, too-keep your head up!
The POPUP service that has everyone talking!
I was excited to have a worship experience that was innovative, as this is what I strive to do with LoveWell Ministries and I was interested in seeing for myself the work of this ministry model. Majority of the service was led by an unnamed worship leader who directed the choir through a series of gospel songs, remixed into gospel Kanye West and R&B songs with testimonies offered by 4 men local to DC (all born and raised) who had previously been incarcerated. One had been release 4.5 days prior to homecoming Saturday. It was truly an authentic and community based vibe, and one thing I realized while there is that there is justice work being done to change lives. I cannot take away from Kim Kardashian West nor Kanye.
The service started with one of my favorite hymns, Hallejujah Salvation and Glory and that set the tone for the morning, for me it ushered in the spirit. I will say that the use of Chaka Khan's " Sweet Thing" as a worship song threw me a bit, even though the words were changed from Sweet Thing to Savior it just didn't do it for me. I left right as Kanye West got on the mic because I knew Kanye was going to Kanye, but what I heard as I was walking away in the distant was a Kanye that seems to be working on healing and forming a stronger relationship with God. As a black woman who lives at the intersection of my faith and culture everyday, I wholeheartedly believe that as a black man apart of the black community, Kanye West needs to be held accountable for his actions and comments that affect us, that dismisses the trauma of oppression, and that let harmful misogyny and patriarchy live in this country. The same for our ministers of the Gospel, our mommas, daddies, aunties and the rest of em too who are complicit. And so my question is this, what spaces are we allowing theses things to happen in if we choose to live in a cancelled society. While I don’t find my place in canceling any human being and won’t cancel the man or creativeness of Kanye, the mindset has to be challenged and my hope is that we as a community can create spaces to do such without diminishing the journey that Kanye is on, for we all meet people at the well with differences.
Y'all be blessed
The Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale, along with 4 other co-conveners, gathered in Atlanta Ga, in September for a timely discussion at the 2018 Women in Ministry Conference. The theme for this year's conference was, “ Digging Hard Ground :Unearthing and Overcoming Embedded Sexism in Church and Culture." The women who stood to teach and preach included: Dr. Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, The Rev. Dr. Renita Weems, The Rev. Dr. Elaine Flake, The Rev. Dr. Gina Stewart, Rev. Raquel Gill, Pastor Lesley McClendon, Min. Stacy Dandridge, and The Rev. Dr. Ebony Marshall Turman. Each one stood to uncover what sexism looks like, acts like, and feels like in the life of ministry. Neglect, belittlement, injustice, and toxic theology was a common theme in the stories that were told, yet the bold and courageous women gathered to proclaim that the tools to unearth sexism so many women experience in our churches and in our culture lie in the our capacity to hold men and the women who are complicit accountable everytime. The conference covered policies, procedures, preaching, and praxis of resistance.
At the intersection of faith and culture, I write what MY soul must consider, what MY mind needs to process, and what MY body must release!
The thoughts of LEB