Doctoral Work: Boundary Leaders

The goals of this curriculum will be for students to gain a deep and practical understanding of boundary leadership, to understand what boundary leadership does for community formation, and how students/leaders can become/create other boundary leaders…

For my Doctor of Ministry Final Project I am filming a series of interviews with a remarkable set of leaders in and around Emory University: Rev. Lyn Pace (Oxford College Chaplain), Carlton Mackey (Emory Center for Ethics and Artist), Dr. Elizabeth Corrie (Candler School of Theology), Danielle M. Bruce Steele (Emory Office of LGBTQ and the Center for Women), Rashika Verma (Emory undergraduate student), Ruth Ubaldo (Candler Theology Student), Kevin McIntosh (Emory Housing and Residence Life) and Dr. Bobbi Patterson (Emory Graduate Dept of Religion and Professor of Pedagogy).

This project is born out of my research on Emory undergraduates and from our course work around Asset Based Community Development and Alternative Leadership models–like “Boundary Leadership.” Boundary Leadership is necessary in order to build vibrant, thriving communities of inclusion, wholeness, and mutual prosperity, which, for Christians, is exemplary of the in-breaking Kin-dom of God made manifest through our loving actions.

My structural and social analysis research into the difficult and challenging issues in the Emory University community have further impressed upon me the importance of remarkable and adaptive people in leadership positions both in institutional and community settings. Author and researcher Gary Gunderson calls this “Boundary Leadership,” which “is the practice of leadership in the boundary zone, the space in between settled zones of authority, where relationships are more fluid, dynamic, and itinerant.*”

In order to learn more about how Boundary Leaders function in different spaces and areas of community life, practice self-care, act with intentionality, and help create other Boundary Leaders, I have conducted video interviews with both known and emerging boundary leaders in the Emory University community. This information and research will be compiled into a three to six week video small group curriculum for collegiate ministry.

The goals of this curriculum will be for students to gain a deep and practical understanding of boundary leadership, to understand what boundary leadership does for community formation, and how students/leaders can become/create other boundary leaders.

Below is the first edit of my interview with Chaplain Rev. Lyn Pace of Oxford College of Emory University, which serves as an introduction to Boundary Leadership.

*Gunderson, Gary; Cochrane, Jim (2012-02-15). Religion and the Health of the Public (pp. 119-120). Palgrave Macmillan Monographs. Kindle Edition.

filming setup at Lyn Pace's office

Fall Break Mission

group of Emory students on Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, ALI am so thankful for the time and the students on Emory Wesley Fellowship’s Fall Break Mission opportunity for service and Civil Rights learning with Alabama Rural Ministry (including getting to reconnect with friends in ministry Joe Davis & Lisa A. Pierce).

I am thankful for the gift of time to reflect on my own privilege and spirituality, to more deeply understand the African American experience in America and in Church, and for time to be renewed by God’s grace and God’s call on our lives to work with and on behalf of marginalized, oppressed, and excluded people in our communities. Black Lives, Bodies, and Experiences Matter. This weekend, I felt especially aware of the power and work (both then and now) of Women in the Civil Rights Movement and how figures in the Church were (and were not) involved in the fight for justice, equality, and reconciliation.

It was also a meaningful weekend to use my camera to capture some good images which catch only a glimpse of the talented, selfless, and remarkable students and people we met on the trip!

Thank you Mary, Millie, Andrew, Najla, Julianna, Shaina, Ed, Alexis, Miles, Peter, Joshua, & Katherine for being your selves and for your willingness to engage in meaningful work, challenging topics, new areas of spirituality, and deeper expressions of God’s Love with the world throughout this weekend. Big thanks to our Emory Wesley Fellowship Mission Planning Team Shaina, Mary, Alexis, and Miles!! And, this trip couldn’t be possible without the support of local churches (thank you Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church for the Bus!!), our district, and the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.

#EmoryProud #AltFallBreak #CivilRights #Tuskegee #Alabama #emory #umc

Prayerful Wandering/Wondering

paying attention reflection of chapelPrayerful Wandering/Wondering

Each week on my walking to and from meetings on campus I try to implement (what I call) an intentional practice of “prayerful wandering/wondering”–on the way back to my office from one place on campus or another, I intentionally look up and pay attention and walk in the direction I feel God’s Spirit leading me. Often, I find myself surprised to see people I haven’t seen in a while, notice people’s emotions and have a sense of their feelings (even if I do not speak with them I might say a quiet prayer for them), and find a way to build in a more Spirit-led practice of awareness into my life. JRR Tolkien reminds us that “not all who wander are lost” and this Holy Wandering and Holy Wondering can be life-giving, empathy-increasing actions that allow us to see the gifts and potentials of our people and communities.

This practice helps me in my work as a campus minister (and in my doctor of ministry research/project) as it helps me to better understand people and their experiences in life as well as giving me a deeper appreciation of the community and spaces around me. Also, I frequently end up wandering a whole lot further than if I would have just walked straight back to my office!
I hope to continue this practice implementing and other practices which help us to see, understand, and respond with God’s loving action.

Freshly Wesley promo

We had a great time making this single-take, steady-cam styled Freshly Wesley promo! AND I even recorded a quick instrumental version of “Come Thou Fount” to go with it! // Freshly Wesley meets Wednesdays for Free Dinner at 6pm and 7pm for Freshly and is a Freshman hangout to meet new people, talk about Jesus, and enjoy fellowship with other students. Emory Wesley
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Power, Fear, & Love

“Power, Fear, & Love”  // The sermon I preached on Sunday October 18, 2015 at University Worship at Emory University on following Jesus, servanthood, Amelia Boynton Robinson, Civil Rights, Selma Alabama, and Mark 10:35-45.

University Worship in Cannon Chapel, Emory University, Atlanta, GA Emory Office of Spiritual and Religious Life.

“The Greatest Must be Servant of All”

“There’s something about kids and how they can make us stop in our tracks…a child changes our perceptions of a scenario or situation….”

This was a difficult sermon/homily to write in light of the ongoing crises in our world and how they disproportionately affect vulnerable people groups and children. This is my Homily/Sermon from this past Weds Night Worship on Mark 9:30-37 at Emory Wesley Fellowship, the United Methodist Campus Ministry at Emory University in Atlanta, GA on 2015.09.16.