It was a gradual process that led the young Yvette Flunder to question the tenets of the United Church of Christ in which she was born and raised. She couldn't reconcile her emerging beliefs with her church's patriarchal orientation and its emphasis on preparing adherents for the next world rather than addressing the injustices and inadequacies of this one. She also realized she never again could call herself a member of a church that completely rejected same-gender-loving people such as herself.
Bishop Flunder here traces the path that led her to become a visionary religious leader with a mission of tending to the spiritual needs of marginalized people around the world, particularly those of African-American descent. She speaks of her vision of radical inclusion,which she believes requires an equally radical social ministry reaching to the furthest margins of society to serve all in need without prejudice or discrimination.
"The greatest mistake at the Christian church has ever made was to put a back cover on the book, to somehow suggest that we could make a manual out of the living word of God," she said.
Reverend Flunder is the founder and senior pastor of the City of Refugee United Church of Christ in Oakland, California. In 2003, she was appointed Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, a multi-denominational coalition of over 56 churches and faith-based organizations from all over the world. She’s also the author of Where the Edge Gathers: A Theology of Homiletic Radical Inclusion.
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