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Faith of a Mustard Seed

by Barbara Woods-Washington

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

The ‘Thesis’ statement of Romans, part 1; the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th occurrences of ‘pistis/faith’ in this letter/book. “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law,…” Romas 3:21.

The Zimmerman Trial verdict effected the very heart of America in so many ways. But Ferguson, MO? As one who has followed and believe in the Occupy Wall Street movement, I see where the outrage and protest which happened there are an extension of this never ending movement. While those of African descent joined the marches with a “Race” theme at heart, this movement has the most deepest and ultimate concern for “Justice”.

It is no small thing that the course which has been set in this column reaches into the most present context of the national life. What a time to realize that Paul’s most major concern in his theology is: RIGHTEOUSNESS!!! But, the greatest revelation for life in this is: to come to terms with RIGHTEOUSNESS AND JUSTICE being ONE AND THE SAME!!!!

Perhaps because the historical Christian Church has taken a single use of ‘slaves obey your master’ and built an entire empire upon the institution of slavery; giving faith sanction to all of it’s human related life atrocities. Or perhaps because the Church has taken a single use of ‘women be silent in the Church’ and built a one- gender- sided faith sanctioned…

Not less than 66 times in the Letter To The Romans, Pauls greatest work, he uses the word ‘dikaiosune’. Half of this number you see as ‘righteousness’ and half of this number you see as ‘justice’. Neither is it small that Jesus says in the ‘Parable of the Unjust (Unrighteous) Judge’: “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

This “race” thing? As those who are not of African descent define it does hit home. What follows is the direction that I have envisioned for the black community of Nashville and stand ready to work at this with any and all others who see it too.

Bishop Sedgwick Daniels grew the Holy Redeemer Institutional COGIC into a multimillion dollar religious, educational and social service complex in the abandoned industrial heart of the ghetto in Milwaukee.

They have five schools that have up to 1,000 students enrolled, a credit union, a medical clinic, a clothing and food bank, and an orphanage. (When was the last time you heard anyone in the black community speak the word ‘orphanage’?) There are mentoring and counseling programs, senior citizen housing, a free complete Bally-like gym. Current expansion includes the gutting of a huge building to fill with stores and lofts in what was a dilapidated area.

His sister, Hattie Daniels-Rush, runs the schools. From 2005-10 under the Bush administration, she was a commissioner, the Commission on Presidential Scholars. She served as a White House faith-based initiatives specialist under President Obama.

The Bishop̓s brother, John Daniels Jr., is the chairman of Quarles & Brady LLP law firm. A platinum top real estate lawyer. He, along with their sister Valerie, owns and runs the nation̓s largest minority-owned food franchise company, with 66 Pizza Hut restaurants and 36 Burger King stores, with 3,500 employees.

Jamie Foster Brown, publisher of ‘Sister2Sister’ magazine says this: “I̓ve never known any church in the U.S. with so much. It was one of the brightest days of my life, and I̓ve had a good life. Holy Redeemer is not a megachurch. There are only about 2,600 members in the church. But Bishop Daniels has done more for our people than many megachurches.”

Follow me on Twitter: @therevsquilts
Email: mustardseedfaith@bellsouth.net

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