Track: Public Square
Presenter: Dr. Kit Danley
I have an unusual conversion to Christianity (1973) which you can read more about on our web page: https://nmphx.com. But for this conference, I want to start with the importance of CCDA thinking that influenced the direction God impressed upon me at my conversion. I was a young college student, called to the poor by God to serve urban communities in the U.S. Here, I encountered the core convictions of this fledging movement. These set the pace for me. Much has happened since then and it is out of the past 40+ years that I am privileged to theologize, to memorialize wisdom and to come alongside. Our ministry was birthed (1982), called Neighborhood Ministries in Phoenix, Arizona. In the 70’s Phoenix was a young city, barely understanding its Latino identity, really its ethnic identity at all. Today it is the 5th largest city in the nation and has been the seat of anti-immigrant policies and persecutions profiled this way now to most of our country. In the 80’s, hardly anyone here in Arizona had heard of the missional framing of Christian Community Development, and we were cast all sorts of ways in bringing this model to our city out of the church. In the late 90’s, the church was unfamiliar with faith organizations standing against injustice and standing with the undocumented. Particularly, those from conservative formations. Today, our organization is known for its role as community organizers not just community developers. What I love to do, is talk about how people like us, believers like us, stay in the “game” so to speak. How we follow Jesus into hard places and do unusual things consistent with our discipleship, how we find our spiritual disciplines (our life from the Spirit) enabling us to live inside pain, how we pragmatically watch “love win”. For this Master Class I will be teaching, not just out of the decades of living, but out of a class I have been developing for ten years called Mystic Activists. Curtiss Paul DeYoung in In Living Faith: How Faith Inspires Social Justice gives a great description of this kind of person: “Some activists possess a certain quality that’s hard to put your finger on; you just know it when you see it. They are hopeful when the situation seems hopeless, they are gracious—even to those they struggle against—and their powerful convictions are reflected not just in their speech but in the way they live their lives … people driven by an activism that consumes them but is “yet deeply rooted in their faith and in the mystery of the divine. This inward-outward faith is lived intensely, through commitments to spiritual disciplines such as prayer, meditation, and fasting and an unwavering determination to work for justice.”
Just a little bit about me and this Masterclass. Another day, I will talk about my amazing husband Wayne, my grown kids and grandkids and my garden. Also, hundreds of books … hiking … Arizona … friends … you get it.
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