Projects/Initiatives

I have been part of creating and starting a number of initiatives to renew Christian life and mission and to address social division in the U.S., East Africa, and Northeast Asia. Most are continuing, and I recommend you see what might be helpful to you.

Renewing Faith-Based Organizations

This is the focus of my current research. To see the challenges and issues I am engaging see my 2014 Duke Doctor of Ministry thesis “Toward a Framework for a Practical Theology of Institutions for Faith-Based Organizations.”

Reconciliation Institutes

gli 2012

  • Duke Summer Institute for Reconciliation (started 2009) draws on a world-class faculty of scholars and practitioners and a unique “Word Made Flesh” methodology.
  • The African Great Lakes Initiative (started 2006) hosts an annual regional leadership institute featuring some of the most dynamic leaders from East Africa. Strategic partners include Duke Divinity School, African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM), Mennonite Central Committee, and World Vision. This video communicates the vision.
  • The Northeast Asia Reconciliation Initiative (started 2012) hosts an annual Christian Forum for Reconciliation in the region, gathering leaders from China mainland, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and U.S. Strategic partners include Duke Divinity School, the Mennonite Central Committee, and leaders from key institutions in the region.
  • A unique Word Made Flesh methodology undergirds all of these institutes – at once theological, contextual, practical, and relational. The methodology is described here in brief, here in magazine article length, and in depth in my book chapter “Word Made Flesh”: Toward a Pedagogy of a New We in Conflict Transformation & Religion: Essays on Faith, Power, and Relationship (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

InterVarsity Press Resources for Reconciliation Book Series

RFRThe six books in the series pair leading theologians with on-the-ground practitioners to produce fresh literature to energize and sustain Christian life and mission in a broken and divided world. These brief books work in the intersection between theology and practice to help professionals, leaders and everyday Christians live as ambassadors of reconciliation. In addition to my book with Emmanuel Katongole, authors include Stanley Hauerwas, Jean Vanier, Christine Pohl, Norman Wirzba, Greg Jones, Celestin Musekura, and Sam Wells.

 

 

Peace on the Korea Peninsula

dprk 2Since 2014, together with many colleagues, I have worked to express Mennonite Central Committee’s vision to serve as a presence for reconciliation working across the divides between North Korea, South Korea, and the U.S.

Lausanne Reconciliation Project

cover ramgFrom 2004 to 2010 I served as Convener of this collaborative effort between 47 Christian leaders from 27 countries to shape a common vision, mission, and biblical understanding for Christian witness in a world of destructive conflicts.

Pilgrimages of Pain & Hope

pilgrimageCentral to my work and understanding of mission, pilgrimage is a powerful pedagogy of change because some things can only be learned by journeying with companions to relocate our bodies and our bibles across divides to strange ground. Grounded in the conviction that God is already at work planting seeds of hope in places of deep pain and lament, pilgrimage interrupts “donor-recipient” paradigms of mission. Lenten pilgrimages of our Durham, NC church into our own city led to understanding congregational outreach not as “benevolence” but as “deep common journey.” Pilgrimages with Duke Divinity students to Baltimore and Richmond transformed their vision of pastoral ministry. And pilgrimages with Chinese, Japanese, and Korean leaders have led to breakthroughs of trust and repentance.