Agapist Fellowship: A Learning Community for Minority Pastors

Gathering #1:    May 24-25th 9am-4pm

Agapism is the belief in selfless, charitable, brotherly, spiritual love. Perhaps no American tradition has embodied a Jesus shaped agapist ethic as richly as the African American church did throughout slavery, Jim Crow, and the civil rights era. Deep theological tools have developed from the labor of oppressed and marginalized Christians who were seeking to be faithful and active to the call of Jesus on their life to love their neighbors, including most especially the marginalized, as well as their enemies.

These Biblical truths empowered men and women to bear great witness to Jesus in the midst of hostility and violence. In a time where there continues to be increased polarization, division, and hostility there is much to be learned from the agapist tradition. Each of us are serving in a context where we are leading multi-ethnic congregations and ministries, but also are key bridge builders with the wider evangelical church. Many of us have been formed by white evangelical institutions, churches, and received many blessings from these brothers and sisters and as a result have developed trust, respect, and the ability to translate and communicate within white evangelical spaces.

The goal of the Agapist Fellowship is to take key minority leaders from our network of churches and provide a space to learn together, grow together, and actively invest in sharpening our own theological tools to continue to be faithful as ministers of the gospel. We want to grow in our “agape” love and allow the voices of great theologians to help us have deeper understanding and insight into all the Biblical Story has to teach us on envisioning and strengthening the “beloved community.”

**This event has required reading leading up and is structured like a 1 credit Master's level seminary class. Please reach out for the material if you have not received it already.

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