Bishop in dreadlocks – Hallelujah!

Click Bishop in dreadlocks – Hallelujah!.

“In the Company of Hysterical Women”  sent this today – the appointment of a bishop with dreadlocks in New Zealand.  Read the story and watch the video interview with the pastor whose ministry has stood with the homeless and marginalized people.

Indeed. Hallelujah! It’s a good day.

Gordon

12 thoughts on “Bishop in dreadlocks – Hallelujah!

  1. Sadly, I had some emotional responses that weren’t positive to this article, of which I will spare you. I will say that there are many who will likely view the perspective shared as not helping in narrowing the gap between those who think they know and those who don’t.

    To clarify, a bishop in dreadlocks is not what felt negative about the article.

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    • HI, Oakritchie. Please feel free to say more here. That’s what the blog is about. No need to hold back. Thank you for your gentle dissent. Love to hear more about what struck you. Say more, please about the “those who think they know and those who don’t”. Thanks for considering. Gordon

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      • Hey Gordon,
        Thanks for the space to share…

        The “those who think they know” comment was just a check on our posture towards those who we intentionally or unintentionally perceive as “others”. I personally believe that God is an unknowable Essence, though we have Writings and Sacred Texts to guide us to get to know Him and better serve Him through each other. Now, a great deal of my Christian brethren are with me this far at least when we talk about it, so I’ll stop there. My point in saying even that much is that even with all the His Holiness Christ gave us, there is an infinite amount of “knowing” to do. Thus, when fellow believers of all kinds assume the posture of knowledge and attainment, which unfortunately manifests itself in subtle or overt forms of paternalism, then that assumes an ignorance on the part of those who are yet to fully benefit from that knowledge. From the post:

        “Justin, who is 44, has been at the cutting edge of mission and ministry in Wellington for 25 years.
        He was a co-founder and leader of Urban Vision, which runs houses in Wellington’s grittiest neighborhoods, in which young Christians live alongside folk from the margins.
        Justin and his wife Jenny also pioneered Ngatiawa, a contemporary monastery which provides a welcome to those who are struggling, those seeking prayerful retreat, and those seeking a missional lifestyle.”

        So, “folks from the margins”, “grittiest neighborhoods” and “those who are struggling”…so as a religious person, a former atheist and someone who grew up in some of the grittiest neighborhoods, I invite folks to unpack some assumptions that we have about “us” and “them” dichotomies. This is something that is still in the codes and language that my religious community is trying to be more conscious of, as I am quite sure others are becoming more and more aware of. Someone, like myself, can walk off the street and see anything that we say here and decide whether or not what is being said is attractive. So what if that person comes and reads “folks from the margins” and says, “They’re talking about me. What did they mean by that?” The potential for hurt, I hope, can be obvious.

        All I’m saying is that I hope that people of faith can adopt postures that are truly inclusive without being relativistic and sacrificing principle to include everyone wholesale. A razors edge, that…but we’re already on the EDGE, no?

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      • TWO bishops with dreadlocks would make the world a better place. I have been pondering your earlier comment and will write when I sort through my thoughts. For now, thank you.

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      • To Oakritchie, in regards to your comments below. I think you are spot on. That quote is taken from our archibishop introducing our bishop-elect. I confess that I did not reflect much on it at the time. But I would still include it, even now, as a quote, because it shows the view from within. This is our starting point in our journey. This is the shocking news given to the staid Anglican (some more English than the English) parishes of Wellington!
        Your thoughts bring us to where I truly hope we are heading.
        I have sat on the inside and the outside of the church and my parents both worked at the margins of the church. I consider myself a liminal person – one who lives at the threshold, a boundary crosser.
        At the moment the people our bishop-elect works with would find an uncomfortable welcome in most of our parishes. We would try to be nice but I don’t know we would really succeed in making his flock part of ours. And we certainly wouldn’t take active steps to bring them in.
        How we change that? Well God only knows and I am eager to be part of its unfolding.

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  2. Hallelujah indeed! New Zealand is also notable for its support of restorative justice practices in law, I believe. And I certainly do appreciate and endorse the following from the article: “While we celebrate in Wellington, we pray for our sisters in the American catholic church who are persecuted by their own brothers for living the Word of God. May they hold true to their faith and be guided through this difficult time.”
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      • sorry to say our prisons are full and over crowded and we are building more. Unfortunately our current government has been captured by the punitive justice lobby. There is still good work going on at a community level on restorative justice.

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      • I’m so sorry to hear the turn things have taken. Is there a private prison industry in New Zealand, as there is here? Those who get large contracts to build new prisons and to maintain them privately at public expense have a lot to lose when restorative approaches are successful.

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