Question for Reflection: In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, if you were to give thanks to someone for teaching you about the importance of reconciliation and transformation, who would that be and why?
As we continue to dive deeper into the work of the New Baptist Covenant, I find myself giving thanks daily for my late grandfather, Rev. Robert U. Ferguson. His work as a pastor in Mobile, Alabama during the Civil Rights movement inspires me in our work of reconciliation and transformation, and when I am feeling inadequate in the call of ministry, I find myself leaning on his strong legacy.
– Rev. Katie Murray, Wilshire Baptist Church, Dallas
I would give thanks to Dr. Lawrence Carter, the Dean of the Chapel at Morehouse College. He taught me about reconciliation through formally introducing me to the body of literature and personalities that have given themselves to this life, including Dr. King and Desmond Tutu. I remember one of my first days listening to Dean Carter. He told us about how Nelson Mandela’s first stop in the U.S. was at Morehouse where he thanked African Americans and other Americans for being in solidarity with black South Africans. Mandela also went on to say that he was inspired by African Americans to call for reconciliation in his home country. I’m thankful for Dean Carter and for the opportunity to learn about reconciliation and peace from a man who has dedicated his life to it.
– Rev. Elijah Zeyhoue, Calvary Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.
I am most thankful for my friends whose skin tone, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation do not match my own, because it is only through those honest relationships that God continues to teach me about reconciliation. Sure, there are scholars, professors and faith leaders who have shaped my intellectual understanding–but my heart is shaped through relationships. The ability to hear painful truths without qualifications, be vulnerable enough to allow myself to be changed, and have the courage to do the hard work toward lasting social change and has only come in through deep relationships of mutuality and love, for which I am forever grateful.