We are living in the most controversial and divided of times. The Covid-19 pandemic, heightened tensions between races, and the presidential election campaigns are all combining to bring tension and division in our churches and culture. And when our churches cannot meet together for worship or fellowship events, we are left to the devices of social media that make it far too easy to use harsh language, name calling, and social shaming.
In this first of a two-part episode we have a conversation with James Calvin Davis, religion professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, Presbyterian minister, and the author of a book for just such a time as this: Forbearance: A Theological Ethic for a Disagreeable Church (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2017). Joining the conversation are the Revs. Leeann Scarbrough, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Talladega, Alabama and Susan Takis, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Wildwood, Florida which serves the vast retirement community called The Villages. This community has made national news recently with controversial social activism on both sides of the political spectrum.
Dr. Davis talks about the meaning of forbearance and the six practices that can lead us back to unity even in our disagreement. James is also the author of “In Defense of Civility: How Religion Can Unite America on Seven Moral Issues That Divide Us" (Westminster John Knox Press, 2010). Both books are available on Amazon.com.
We are confident you will find this conversation helpful as you seek to bring unity to your congregation.