Lutheran Volunteer Corps, one of my mentors asked me why I had chosen a faith-based organization focusing on social justice, rather than a secular organization. This question caught me completely off guard—I had never considered that my passion for social justice could come from anything but my faith. So many of the Scripture passages that speak to me most deeply are those that call for an end to oppression and injustice, that call for us to care for those who are in need, for those who are rejected and for those who are forgotten. From Jesus to Martin Luther King, Jr. my models of social justice are strongly tied to faith.

"> Social Justice as an Extension of Faith | Forum for Theological Exploration Introducing the Leaders for Tomorrow’s Institutions | Forum for Theological Exploration A Lesson on Leadership | Forum for Theological Exploration When in Doubt, Do ... | Forum for Theological Exploration “We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations …” | Forum for Theological Exploration What is our next most faithful step? | Forum for Theological Exploration What is Changing? | Forum for Theological Exploration Survival in the Lily Fields: FTE Doctoral Fellowships | Forum for Theological Exploration Faith & Politics: Conversations Leading to Action | Forum for Theological Exploration second installment of my thoughts on diversity in the classroom. It doesn’t take the events of last week to make it difficult for me to write on the topic because even on ordinary days (if those actually exist) whatever I feel led to say smacks of being trite.

"> Classroom Violence | Forum for Theological Exploration The Pulse of Justice – The Passion of Jesus | Forum for Theological Exploration Leading Differently When Different is Dangerous | Forum for Theological Exploration Where Were You on Bloody Sunday? | Forum for Theological Exploration Our Students Will Lead Us | Forum for Theological Exploration Pentecost: A Time for Change | Forum for Theological Exploration Can the Church Help End Violence & Injustice in Our Communities? Seven Themes We Heard in Chicago. | Forum for Theological Exploration “Go, set the world on fire!” But don’t burn it down. | Forum for Theological Exploration Shake, Rattle, and Roll: Culture, Queerness, and Faith | Forum for Theological Exploration Behind the Doctorate | Forum for Theological Exploration Refreshed Through Discernement | Forum for Theological Exploration Creating Space for Imagination | Forum for Theological Exploration Leading Differently by Listening to Whispers, Shouts and Echoes | Forum for Theological Exploration God, thank you for making me BLACK! Black History Month Musings | Forum for Theological Exploration Same Ole Gospel | Forum for Theological Exploration terrorist shooting in San Bernadino, CA.

"> Leading with Love in the Wake of Islamophobia | Forum for Theological Exploration Set the Prisoners Free | Forum for Theological Exploration Sacred Work | Forum for Theological Exploration It Takes a Village | Forum for Theological Exploration What’s Your New Year’s Resolution? | Forum for Theological Exploration The Hope of Now | Forum for Theological Exploration Trusting Brown Hands | Forum for Theological Exploration God Beyond Borders | Forum for Theological Exploration More Questions Than Answers | Forum for Theological Exploration Reflections on three years with CMTEV | Forum for Theological Exploration A call to ‘Opt-in’ | Forum for Theological Exploration Theological Education, Diversity, and a Transformative Future | Forum for Theological Exploration Benefits of a Vocational Friendship | Forum for Theological Exploration FTE’s Ministry Exploration and Mentoring Grant; The grant was such a tremendous blessing as it enabled me to develop relationships with women that have utilized their experience and/or understanding of grief in their respective ministries.

"> Affirmations of Calling | Forum for Theological Exploration Ferguson & Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community, Dr. Leah Gunning Francis discusses the significance of her work for faith communities and emerging Christian leaders.

"> Seven Questions with Leah Gunning Francis, Author of “Ferguson & Faith” | Forum for Theological Exploration A Reflection on My Ministry Exploration and Mentoring Grant Experience | Forum for Theological Exploration The Sublime Power of Belief | Forum for Theological Exploration Theological Education After Ferguson and Long Island and Baltimore and Charleston and…. | Forum for Theological Exploration The Ministry of Surrender | Forum for Theological Exploration The Stillness | Forum for Theological Exploration Racism: The Most Sinful of Legacies | Forum for Theological Exploration What Is Thy Name | Forum for Theological Exploration Active Faith is Urgent | Forum for Theological Exploration The Birth of Goodness | Forum for Theological Exploration Re-Arranged by the Spirit | Forum for Theological Exploration Vocation in Between the Aftermath of Violence and a Hoped-for Future | Forum for Theological Exploration To Follow a Call | Forum for Theological Exploration Where Two or Three Are Gathered | Forum for Theological Exploration Tooth Fairy | Forum for Theological Exploration Marking Vocational Transitions Faithfully | Forum for Theological Exploration Mission Year to attend FTE’s Discernment Retreat in Lake Arrowhead, California.

"> Our Becoming | Forum for Theological Exploration Falling Deeper Into My Calling | Forum for Theological Exploration Let the Streets Inspire You | Forum for Theological Exploration Whose Name is on the Invitation? | Forum for Theological Exploration The Feeble Art of Radical Hospitality | Forum for Theological Exploration Finding God in the Rabbit Trail | Forum for Theological Exploration What is Worship to Me | Forum for Theological Exploration A Resolution for Religion | Forum for Theological Exploration Sacred Cows at the Lord’s Table | Forum for Theological Exploration I am a Pile of Trash | Forum for Theological Exploration The Church Knows Something | Forum for Theological Exploration Critical Feeling | Forum for Theological Exploration “Do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:19 | Forum for Theological Exploration Buddy Crossed the Line | Forum for Theological Exploration Campus Ministries Shaping the Future | Forum for Theological Exploration Teaching Theology after Ferguson | Forum for Theological Exploration Imagination Next | Forum for Theological Exploration If it was a Snake ... | Forum for Theological Exploration The Power to Reshape Brokenness | Forum for Theological Exploration Campus Ministries that Stick | Forum for Theological Exploration How to Harness the Awkward Pause | Forum for Theological Exploration 2015 FTE Doctoral Fellowships. This is an appropriate moment to reflect briefly on why we do the work of supporting rising theological educators of color.

"> Why We Do This | Forum for Theological Exploration In Praise of Small Spaces | Forum for Theological Exploration Culture Shock | Forum for Theological Exploration Can We Keep Our Promises? | Forum for Theological Exploration An Opportunity to Re-Engage not Remake the Church | Forum for Theological Exploration Living Stream Church of the Brethren.

"> Innovative Ministries: Stepping outside my box | Forum for Theological Exploration Attentiveness and Practices in Christian Ministry | Forum for Theological Exploration Conducting My Beautiful, Cacophonous Clone Choir | Forum for Theological Exploration Can you Repack That? | Forum for Theological Exploration An Open Reflection to My Younger Self | Forum for Theological Exploration A Christian Take on Mindfulness | Forum for Theological Exploration The Building of Community in Unlikely Places | Forum for Theological Exploration Compensation for Being | Forum for Theological Exploration Transitioning-into-Ministry (TiM) Participants Gathering. The first year I thought it was a fluke. The second year I was looking for it. This year, I was expecting it. What was is “it”? The power of a room.

"> The Power of a Room | Forum for Theological Exploration Listen Closely | Forum for Theological Exploration Communication as an Art | Forum for Theological Exploration

A Risk I Am Willing To Take

By: Ashley Easter
January 18, 2018

Certainly, these risks were not calculated without prayer and outside wisdom, but they all meant risking losing something, a way of life, certain relationships, specific opportunities, or the favor of notables.

A short time ago if you had told me that I would be moving states for a church, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. I had been deeply wounded by a church in the past and finally found a safe place. Yet as unexpected as it was, that is exactly what my husband Will and I did!

It all started like this: I am a big fan of the author and speaker Sarah Bessey. Her book Jesus Feminist was the first that I read on Christian Feminism. When I learned that she was speaking just a few hours away in Raleigh, North Carolina I couldn’t resist going to hear her. She was amazing and my husband and I greatly enjoyed listening to her, but something else caught us off guard. We fell in love with the church she was speaking at!

We drove back home to Virginia, yet for some reason, we could not get this church out of our minds. We tried to resist the idea at first. After having such a good first experience we didn’t want to go back and risk being disappointed. It seemed safer to just keep the memory alive in our hearts, but something was drawing us back. Over the next year we made around 10-12 weekend trips just to be a part of this church community.

The only way I know how to explain it is like this, when I met my husband there were so many things that I loved about him but ultimately there was this unexplainable knowing that we were supposed to be together.

It felt like destiny. It felt like God.

And that’s the only way I know how to describe my relationship with this little Methodist church. Will and I just knew. We knew we were supposed to be there.

It didn’t make any sense. My husband had a successful business in Virginia and he could not take those clients with him. I had grown up in Virginia and had just found a safe church to begin healing in. On the other hand, it made all of the sense in the world. This was an opportunity to expand our thoughts, ideas, and experiences.

People have scoffed at some of the decisions, changes, and risks I’ve felt lead to make, or that Will and I as a couple have felt lead to make over the last few years.

And, it t seems I have become somewhat of a regular risk taker. Despite my desire for certainty, I’ve been drawn to decisions that have completely changed my life in big and small ways.

Certainly, these risks were not calculated without prayer and outside wisdom, but they all meant risking losing something, a way of life, certain relationships, specific opportunities, or the favor of notables.

But sometimes you have to be willing to risk everything to follow that still small voice. It isn’t easy but when you are tuned in with the Holy Spirit, it tends to work out better than you could have ever dreamed.

I don’t know how this move is going to turn out for us, but I believe in a God who speaks to us and sometimes asks us to do seemingly crazy things. Things that involve risk, hard work, trust, and the possibility of it not going according to plan. And I believe in a God who still moves mountains, makes miracles, orchestrates Divine encounters, and calls us to walk on water by faith.

When I have that gut feeling and that Holy Spirit knowing, experience tells me it is a risk worth taking.


Ashley Easter is a blogger, speaker, and abuse victim advocate. She promotes truth-seeking expeditions, advocates for gender equality, and educates the Church on abuse. She is the founder of The Courage Conference, an event that empowers survivors of abuse to continue to fight for their healing while also educating church leaders on prevention and proper response to abuse.

Blog: www.AshleyEaster.com Website: www.TheCourageConference.com Twitter: @ashleymeaster Facebook: /ashleymeaster

Tags: Inspired Leaders, Thinking Out Loud


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