Jesus, the Kingdom, and Giving up Control

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” declares John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton. On the surface, it does not seem a truer statement has ever been spoken. A look through the pages of history reveals example after example of power enticing, infecting, and corrupting: from Genghis Khan, to Stalin, to Idi Amin. It is true of the secular as well as religious, of military as well as civil leaders. Yet, there is one figure that stands drastically apart from this pattern: Jesus the…

Unity

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
Being One? Is this possible? “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” 1 Cor 12:13 “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Gen 2:24 “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Deut 6:4 One. In the…

The Lost Heritage of African American Missionaries

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
Did you know that the first person to leave the U.S. and plant a church in another country was Black? Even though the Southern Baptist Convention has failed to recognize George Liele as the first overseas missionary from the U.S. because he was not “sent out” like Adoniram Judson who went to Burma thirty years later, many acknowledge him as such. Liele is just one of the many forgotten names of African American missionaries. In campus missions, we often talk…

How to Fight

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
The Easiest Way to Lose a Battle is not to engage, to abstain, to sit out. I feel like that is what the majority of believers do when faced with the racial and ethnic segregation in the church. Today, I want to talk to those of you who are engaged and ask you this? Are you praying? Yes, praying. It’s so simple. Yet so overlooked. I don’t know about you, but it seems that I believe in prayer much more…

#MLK and @YOU

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
Martin Luther King day is a national holiday, but is it a holiday for the nation? Does it affect every single one of us? Or is it just for African Americans? Should I, a Colombian born, naturalized American citizen of Cuban parents, care about MLK Day? I mean, after all, the civil rights movement did not affect or involve my family or me. Yet, I am planning on honoring the day in several ways. Not because of my ethnic heritage…

Music and the Multi-Ethnic Congregation

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
There seems to be no more divisive issue, at least in the initial stages of diversity development, than music style in your congregational worship service. How do you meet the needs of everyone you are trying to reach and create the kind of cultural experience that is appropriate to all? Well, first let me say that you need to be asking the above question. If you have not, then your goal may not be diversity but a diverse group of…

Hospitality and Diversity: Can't Have One Without the Other

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
Dictionary.com defines hospitality as “the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.” Our God is most gracious and hospitable. He created a world that would meet not just our physical and spiritual needs, but provide us with enjoyment for all of our all our senses. Since he made us all unique and special, he has provided sufficient diversity in the world to satisfy every taste. Wow, this is a good place…

Diversity Whys- Biblical Pattern

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya…

Diversity Whys #1- Humanity is Sacred

Posted by Belkis Lehmann in Diversity
“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.'” -Genesis 1:26-27 “From one man he made all the nations…” -Acts 17:26 “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” -Revelation 7:9…

Oh God, What Can We Do?

Posted by Shirdora Thompson in Diversity
What do Yolanda Adams (Gospel Artist), Michael Strahan (NFL), Barbara Jordan (U.S. congressional representative), Mickey Leland (Activist and Congressman), and Belvin Perry (former Chief Judge) all have in common? These, amongst many other notable artist, physicians, judges, politician, U.S. and state representatives, activists, lawyers, and NFL players and coaches, all graduated from Texas Southern University. TSU is a university birthed from a small private junior college that has become one of the most comprehensive and largest historically black universities in…

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