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Kathryn Mae Post, a 2018 Calvin University alum, religion journalist, and Yale Divinity School student, joins us to talk about reconstructing and deconstructing faith, about theology and practice, and about young Christians’ hopes and fears for the church’s future. In this time of crisis convergence, it’s vital to listen to the insights of wise young people like Kathryn.

For more background

While at Calvin Kathryn was a research assistant for Kristin Kobes Du Mez’s recent book Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation.

Read Kathryn’s recent stories for Religion News Service here.

Transcript

Debra Rienstra: Refugia, a podcast about renewal. Refugia are places of shelter where life endures in times of crisis. From out of these small sanctuaries life re-emerges and the world is renewed. We’re exploring what it means for people of faith to be people of refugia. How can we create safe places of flourishing, micro-countercultures where we gain strength and spiritual capacity to face the challenges ahead? I’m Debra Rienstra, professor of English at Calvin University. And this is Refugia.

Kathryn Mae Post: So if I ever feel doubtful that anti-racism should be part of the gospel, I come to this passage and I’m reminded that Jesus came for this. Like, this is why Jesus came, is to proclaim release to the captives and let the oppressed go free. That is Jesus’s ministry. And so if we want to be like Jesus, if we desire to be Christ-like, that’s what we do.

Debra Rienstra: Hi, everyone. This episode is the second of two in which I talk with a young person on the threshold of adulting—making that difficult shift from student to professional. This is always a tender point in life, but it’s especially challenging in a world plagued by multiple converging crises. Negotiating faith in the midst of these crises is a particular challenge for young people right now. In this episode, Kathryn Mae Post describes her experience deconstructing and reconstructing her faith, trying to make sense of the hypocrisy and failures of the church, while still holding onto her connection to God.

Kathryn is a Calvin University alum, now beginning a career in religion journalism. She’s still in graduate school, but she has already done excellent reporting for the Religion News Service. I’m so glad she was willing to share her perspective and her hopes for the future with us. As always, thanks for listening.

My guest today is Kathryn Mae Post, a 2018 graduate of Calvin University who is now working toward a career in religion journalism. So, to supplement her top-notch undergraduate education, she is now working on a master’s degree in religion at Yale Divinity School. I helped Kathryn do her honors thesis on the topic of Hamlet’s madness. So she’s here today as an authority on living through crazy times. Welcome, Kathryn.

Kathryn Mae Post: Thank you so much. It’s great to be here.

Debra Rienstra: I’m so glad you’re here. Seriously, I’m really glad to be talking with you today because I think it’s absolutely crucial to listen to wise young people. I think we can all benefit from your perspective on this historical and very weird moment.

So, how have you been doing during the last few months of quarantine? Have you found some refugia for yourself?

Kathryn Mae Post: Hmm. Well, I’ll say that when the pandemic first hit in March, I was not doing super well. I was up in New Haven in an apartment living pretty isolated, by myself. And so the depression hit pretty hard, and getting out of bed was really difficult. And also focusing on schoolwork was especially challenging, because it just felt really irrelevant to what was happening in the world around me.

But recently I’ve been doing much better. And I think part of that is because I have been able to be actively involved in some anti-racist initiatives and work. And I think that’s given me some meaning and some purpose. And in a weird and unexpected way, those anti-racist projects have been my refugia. Even though they’ve been really challenging and emotionally draining, they’ve also given me a place to land and a community and a cohort to call my own.

Debra Rienstra: Yeah. Wonderful. You know, we’ve heard that before on this podcast, that activism is itself a refugium. And it’s partly because, as you say, you’re with this cohort, and it’s partly just because you’re doing something.

So, say a little more about how you felt your actual schoolwork felt irrelevant. I mean, you’re studying religion, how can that not be relevant?

Kathryn Mae Post: Right. That’s a really good question, because theoretically it should have been really relevant. I was in an amazing theology class that was all about liberation theology and was taught by one of the top liberation theologians out there. But I think it was less the content of what I was reading and more just like the output.

Like, I didn’t feel like writing essays. I felt like writing news articles. I didn’t feel like writing assignments, I felt like writing things that folks would read more publicly that was actually going to make substantial change. So now, in these projects, rather than writing things that are just for my professors’ consumption, the things that I’m working on writing are for more broader consumption and ideally—and hopefully will make a much broader impact.

Debra Rienstra: Yeah. Fair enough. I do remember those days in graduate school, when you felt like you’re living on another planet. I mean, I enjoyed the esoterica, but I, like you, had this sense of “but what am I doing right now that makes any sort of difference?”

So, tell us about these anti-racism projects you’re working on.

Kathryn Mae Post: Sure. So, the biggest one is I’m working with a group of alums from my high school. So, I attended a small Christian high school in New Jersey. And that school was really impactful for me, and I thrived while I was there. I absolutely loved it. But what I didn’t realize when I was there was that folks who did not have my same identity or background were not also thriving. And they were specifically not thriving because of their race or because of their ethnic or cultural background. So now, six years down the line, I’m much more aware and I have languages and frameworks that I can use to understand what happened when I was there. And I have six cousins whom I’m very close to who are still in that school system.

Debra Rienstra: Oh my goodness, six? Wow.

Kathryn Mae Post: So, we’re all very close, but I care really, really deeply about the kind of education they’re getting. And I also care about the Black and indigenous people of color students who are still there and who may be experiencing racism in all its various forms at the hand of a Christian institution.

So I’ve been mobilizing with some other alumni who care also about anti-racism to prompt conversation, to uplift the voices of Black alums and Black current students, to meet with administrators and hear what they’re doing and challenge them to do more, all that sort of thing. And that’s been really rewarding so far.

Debra Rienstra: And it’s been received well?

Kathryn Mae Post: It depends on who you ask. I think the success right now lies in that we’ve created two platforms which have successfully uplifted voices that until now have not been listened to. And I think by creating public platforms we’ve been able to demonstrate that there really is systemic racism happening at the school, right? Like, it gives evidence, it provides tangible evidence for what’s going on. Because I think part of the problem is, as white folks, and especially, in my experience, white Dutch CRC folks, we have the privilege of looking away from the racism in our lives or the privilege of not even recognizing that it’s a thing. And so one of the first steps that has to happen is recognizing that it is a thing. It is a very prevalent thing; it shows up in so many different ways and we can’t do anything about it until we’re made aware of it.

So, essentially what’s happening is there’s a group of like 20 or so alums from my school who have created an Instagram account and a Facebook account. And those accounts feature the voices of Black and indigenous people of color, folks who either are alumni or current students. We’re also actively working on an open letter to administration, which outlines the ways that the school’s actions have been insufficient and establishes a theological framework for why anti-racism is integral to Reformed theology and has a list of demands.

Debra Rienstra: Yeah. Oh, what are the demands?

Kathryn Mae Post: Oh, so many. A lot of them are—we’re trying to be as specific as possible, but—

Debra Rienstra: Yeah. Measurable, they have to be measurable.

Kathryn Mae Post: So we’ve got stuff about curriculum, like we even go in specific classes, like “Here in this, like, cultural literacy class, this is what needs to change. Here in this current events topics class, this is how you should frame this issue.”

Debra Rienstra: Yeah. So that’s the work. That’s the first work. Yeah.

So tell us about your interest in religion journalism. Why that field?

Kathryn Mae Post: Yes, well…

Debra Rienstra: Not what you majored in at Calvin, but that’s okay. That’s good, actually. So what did you major in at Calvin?

Kathryn Mae Post: So, I was an English writing major, and I was also a political science major.

Debra Rienstra: I was trying to remember your second major.

Kathryn Mae Post: Yes. So the reason I landed in religion journalism is because it’s the intersection of all of my interests and passions. I absolutely love the written word, and I also really care about religion. I’m a very spiritual and religious person; I care really a lot about how religion impacts the world, culture. I also care a ton about social justice. And so religion journalism is a way for me to sit at that intersection of the written word and social justice and religion and ask really tough questions. I also really love religion journalism because I get to listen to stories. And, like, that’s what I get to do all day, is call up really interesting people and ask them questions and let them tell their story and give them a platform, which is really fun and exciting. And it lets me grow as an individual, and hopefully the goal is to listen to folks and learn from folks and uplift the voices of folks whose experiences and perspectives are far different from mine. So I really enjoy doing that.

Debra Rienstra: Yeah. So let’s talk about your faith a little bit and your “faith journey,” as we love to say in certain circles. So, I know a little bit about this because while you were getting ready to write your English honors thesis with me you were also working as a research assistant for my illustrious colleague, Kristin Du Mez. Kristin’s book Jesus and John Wayne is now out, and it’s doing really well. So congrats for being part of a really exciting project.

I know, though, from our meetings that summer on the Hamlet thesis, working on Kristin’s book with her was really tough going. So would you be willing to describe what that summer was like for you and what it meant for your own faith?

Kathryn Mae Post: Sure. Yeah. That summer was so emotionally and spiritually exhausting. So, a part of what I did was I just read dozens of books that were filled with really toxic theology. And I just had to sit with it and wade through it and analyze it. And I also read so many accounts of sexual abuse in the church, and that was really hard.

Debra Rienstra: So you were behind her final chapter.

Kathryn Mae Post: Right.

Debra Rienstra: You were doing some of the research behind that? Yeah.

Kathryn Mae Post: Yes. Yep, so I think the biggest way that challenged my faith was sitting with the question of “How can these folks be worshiping the same God that I worship? How can these folks be sitting and reading the same Bible that I also read and come to these vastly different conclusions about who God is or what it means to be a Christian in the world?”

So I really didn’t know what to do with that. And so I think that summer sort of launched my first round of spiritual deconstruction, where I sort of threw out what I had in terms of my hermeneutical handbook and started from scratch. And so I don’t know that I did a lot of rebuilding that summer, you know; it was mostly deconstruction and not a lot of reconstruction. But I did—I questioned so much, even down to my own Christian identity, and in particular I questioned a lot about women and the role of women in scripture and the role of women in the church today and what I felt that should look like.

So I think even though I didn’t end up reconstructing everything, that summer helped me become more comfortable with doubt and helped me become more comfortable with questioning. And it helped me develop the skill of actively interrogating my assumptions and my foundations in terms of my faith.

Debra Rienstra: Which is what we love to hear for our undergraduates, right? That kind of really careful re-analysis goes on.

I’m curious how and where you did that, because one of the ways I’ve been thinking about refugia is that they are places where that painful deconstruction happens. There’s not really a biological equivalent of that, quite. Refugia come about because there’s a response to disturbance or crisis, biologically speaking. I don’t know that the little ferns and the moles are, you know, in the refugia thinking, “I need to deconstruct some things here,” but it seems to me that that is a characteristic of cultural and spiritual refugia, that they are places where we go when that deconstruction is happening.

And so I’m wondering if you have experiences like that.

Kathryn Mae Post: I think the biggest way that occurred during that period of deconstruction in my life was through my closest friends and housemates. So, I think you also know my very close friend, Rae Gernant, who is also an English major, and we were housemates and roommates, and Rae is an incredible listener. She also knows me better than I know myself.

And she was just a really safe place to come to with these questions and with these hurts and with these doubts. And so I’m so glad that I was living with her that summer. I think it would have been much different if I were in a different living situation, but she was my refugia in that context; she was the community that I didn’t realize I already had, the shelter that I didn’t realize I needed until I was already like, “Oh, no, where’s my faith? Like, what happened to it? What does it look like? I don’t know what I believe anymore.”

Debra Rienstra: Yeah. Yeah. So what started putting things together again in a new way? How did that whole process continue after that summer?

Kathryn Mae Post: Well, I think once the school year picked up again and I was able to sort of set aside that really tough project, and I wasn’t sitting in it as consistently as I had before, I started picking up some of the habits and the tools that I had built up before I hit that period of deconstruction. So I started worship leading again, which has always been a huge component of my faith and has always been a huge way that I connect with God.

I also started actively participating in Christian community again as a student at Calvin. I started praying more regularly, once I felt like I had someone to pray to again, and read scripture regularly. And all those habits that I had built up beforehand helped me feel like I had something to cling to, like I had some kind of framework to hang my new, fragile religious beliefs on. So that was really helpful.

But then I graduated from Calvin and I went to a progressive nonprofit in DC, and I deconstructed everything all over again. But since then I’ve been able to reconstruct quite a bit, and so that’s been fun. My reconstructed faith is a hybrid and messy and odd combination of liberation theology and Reformed theology. So that’s been fun—to sit in that tension and ask a lot of hard questions about “Can these two things be held together? If so, what does that look like?”

Debra Rienstra: Yeah. Fascinating. So I think your story is not uncommon right now; there’s almost a kind of pandemic of this deconstruction/reconstruction thing going on, to the point where those words are almost buzzwords, which is okay. They’re still useful. Certainly among young people, but not necessarily. I have friends my age who have been through huge journeys of deconstruction/reconstruction lately.

So I wonder what you see among your peers. Are you typical? Are you seeing this kind of process go on? Are you seeing the faith loss that a lot of the, you know, grownups are afraid of? What is your perspective among your peers?

Kathryn Mae Post: Yeah, absolutely. And I’m not sure if that’s just the circles that I’m in, right? A lot of my close friends are either Calvin alums or folks who are in the Christian nonprofit world or are at Yale Divinity. So they tend to be Christians who maybe grew up a little more politically and or theologically conservative and have since then become more politically progressive and then have wrestled with how their theology makes sense of that.

But yeah, I can name probably a dozen very close friends who either have gone through a deconstructing/reconstructing process or are still sitting in that really tough place of deconstruction and don’t know how to rebuild. They feel like they don’t have the tools to rebuild their faith. They’re stuck in a feeling of just emptiness and floating and not feeling anchored at all, which—I’ve been there, so I can empathize with them, but it’s hard to know how to come alongside folks and give them tools to rebuild their faith, because I think to some extent it has to sort of be an individual choice to want to rebuild it. And then you also have to sort of decide for yourself what those initial steps are going to look like. So that’s been really tricky. But yeah, I absolutely think that’s a pattern that I have seen.

Debra Rienstra: Yeah.

So in biology we talk about ex situ refugia, which means you can’t persist in survival where you are, so you kind of pack up and go somewhere. You find your refugium somewhere else. And so, when we talk about, you know, faith journey, that can be exactly what happens, that you pick up and leave things behind and there’s grief involved in that, there’s huge pain.

And then you move somewhere, maybe if not physically—sometimes physically, but maybe if not physically, you move to some other place that is a healthier ecology for you to survive in. So it sounds like you’re seeing exactly that happening among young people with their faith.

What would you say are the two or three hardest tension points in that process? Things that are really difficult to reconcile for people?

Kathryn Mae Post: Okay. Yeah, I mean there’s so many. I think authority of scripture is a really tough one for folks, especially folks who are raised in a tradition like I was, that values scripture so much, and I still value scripture and I love scripture. But I think when we don’t engage with the really crappy and difficult and sometimes problematic parts of scripture until we get to our twenties, we feel betrayed by the church.

Debra Rienstra: “You never told me about this!”

Kathryn Mae Post: Yeah, exactly. So, like, for example, one terrible part of the Old Testament, where there’s this unnamed woman who’s a prostitute and she’s, like, cut in half or cut into pieces and sent, like, in many different places, and she’s, like, gang-raped and it’s awful. And you see this pattern throughout scripture, where women are just not treated well. You also see parts of scripture where scripture is like radically and beautifully liberating in terms of how it upholds women and centers women. And I think that’s important to acknowledge.

Like, the entire genealogy in Matthew, where it names like four women in a genealogy that would not otherwise center these women. I think that’s beautiful and powerful, but also there are all these instances of unnamed women being abused, and they don’t even get a name and they don’t say anything. And I think we need to be able to point to that and say, “That’s not okay” like that. That isn’t good. And when you’ve been trained to see scripture as this thing where you can’t question and you can’t criticize and you can’t say there’s anything wrong about [it], then your faith just kind of breaks, ‘cause you’re like, “I can’t hold these two things together.” So I think that is a big one for folks.

Debra Rienstra: Yeah. This idea that scripture is in every way normative and normativizing—that has to be questioned. And you know, I think as a person whose expertise, so to speak— whose expertise is in literature, I find that comes more easily and naturally to me, but that’s been something I’ve learned over decades, you know, in graduate school. So yeah, that hermeneutical question is really difficult, especially for people like you who have been—and me too,—who have been raised with the idea that the authority of scripture is absolutely unquestionable, and even if you’re not an inerrantist, any sense that you can say about some piece of scripture “Oh, well, you know, obviously we can ignore that”—that’s just blasphemous.

So now that you have a little more distance on the Jesus in John Wayne work—the book is out, it’s a little behind you and you’ve begun to adopt the perspective of a religion journalist—what do you see happening in American religion right now and in the decades ahead? We’re in this place of crisis convergence; what’s going to come out of this for American religions?

Kathryn Mae Post: This is an enormous question. I don’t feel completely able to answer, but I will do my best. One of the biggest trends I’m seeing among my peers, who at Yale Divinity are the future leaders of the church, is I’m seeing this huge push towards praxis. So by that I mean folks are not content with just sitting with theology that doesn’t move you to then do something. That is not an adequate enough religion to address what we’re experiencing right now in terms of crisis convergence. I think that’s a lot of what leads to disillusion, is when you’re told that the solution to this crisis convergence is purely theological. And instead what I see the future leaders of the church moving toward is saying, “No, like, theology is important and it gives us a framework, but from theology must come praxis.” And specifically we’re seeing that with anti-racism. I think we’re seeing a lot of pastors—I hope we’re seeing a lot of pastors and priests and religious leaders asking, “How does our theology inform what we do?” We’re seeing that with religious leaders who have taken part in protests, we’re seeing that in religious leaders who are figuring out how to feed protesters. So I don’t know exactly what that’s going to look like, but I think it’s going to be imaginative and it’s going to be messy, and it’s going to bring up a whole lot of questions about church and state and politics and church and how that all goes together. But I do see this movement towards a really action-oriented church, and that excites me.

Debra Rienstra: Yeah. And, you know, praxis leads to theology, too.

Kathryn Mae Post: Yes.

Debra Rienstra: So it’s kind of a cyclical phenomenon, a cyclical dynamic where you go and experience, maybe in solidarity with someone else, and then you think, you know, “My theology isn’t quite adequate for that experience.” And then the spiral continues.

That is really exciting. Do you think—about American evangelicalism in particular—do you see American evangelicalism changing? Can evangelicals leave behind the church of empire that is so blatantly exposed in Kristin’s book and instead become what we’ve been calling “people of refugia?” Is that possible? What’s going to happen to American evangelicalism?

Kathryn Mae Post: I think when we zoom in on evangelicalism in particular, that becomes a really tough question to answer. Honestly, after doing that summer of research, I really do think the evangelical church might just be too entrenched in empire. I am naturally a very hopeful person, but when it comes to the evangelical church specifically, there’s just so much that would need to be shedded off to get down to a salvageable core that I’m not sure there would be anything left. And that’s really scary and sad, but if there is a way forward, I think it has to be with a radical decentering of whiteness and a decentering of maleness. I think we absolutely have to be listening to the folks who are not part of the empire, who’ve been intentionally excluded from the empire, in order to learn how to escape the empire and to become the church as it was originally created to be, right? The church wasn’t created to be complicit with empire, it was created to be counter-cultural, counter to the empire. So if it’s going to come back to that, it has to listen to the voices that are from the outside of the empire.

Debra Rienstra: Yeah, the margins have to lead. I guess one of my guesses would be that we’re going to see continuing splintering of the overall evangelical landscape. And it’s the people who have been on the margins who will be leading those splinters—and I would call them refugia—

Kathryn Mae Post: Yeah.

Debra Rienstra: —into a future. And I think some of those splinters will work together again with mainline religion, which is probably what you’re seeing at Yale Div. Yeah.

Well, when you think about the future of the church, what do you think needs to be left behind? You’ve said a few things already. What do you wish for?

Kathryn Mae Post: So… let’s see. So, I long for a church that is as committed to effective praxis as it is to robust theology. I long for a church that rejects fear of being challenged or questioned or fear of imperfection. And I long for a church that walks with [and alongside] folks throughout the deconstruction process, but also throughout the reconstruction process. And I don’t know what that looks like, but I know it doesn’t look like force-feeding people answers. I know it looks like allowing folks to imagine and giving them space to imagine. Those are the things that I hope for in a future church.

Debra Rienstra: Yeah. Imagination. I’ve had other guests say that too. Imagination. And it’s interesting, creativity and imagination. What are we lacking now? That’s what we long for, right? Are we so rigid? Are we so entrenched? And maybe so. I mean, one of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot as I read in biology is the necessity of disturbance.

Biological systems, to some extent, require disturbance in order to renew and regrow. And maybe that’s just true in the church too. I think it’s kind of obvious when you think about it and you look at the history of the church that we need disturbance, but when we’re in it, it’s not as fun. (laughter)

You know, you’re at the beginning, in your youth, I hope of a long and beautiful life and a successful career. As you look ahead to the next 50 years, what are you afraid of and what are you longing for?

Kathryn Mae Post: I think I’m really afraid of the uncertainty and the volatility of the world that I may one day bring children into. It’s hard to know whether the world is really, truly getting more hostile, but, gosh, on social media it sure feels that way. It sure feels like there are just encampments that are so rigid and that we’re losing the skill of talking to one another, empathizing with one another, of talking across difference.

So that scares me. And I think also in terms of climate change and in terms of just like—I don’t know, like we’re living in the middle of a pandemic right now. And what if this is just the first of many, right? What if climate change, what if pandemics, what if food shortages make the earth uninhabitable? Like, you know, these are huge questions and fears and sometimes I wonder, is it worth being afraid of them because we can’t really do—what can we do about them? They seem so huge and inevitable, but those are sort of like big existential fears that I carry.

Debra Rienstra: I did not think about those things when I was 23.

Kathryn Mae Post: Really?

Debra Rienstra: Nope.

Kathryn Mae Post: Oh, okay.

Debra Rienstra: We did not think that the world was about to end. So this is not normal, I just want to reassure you. But as you say, the fear is “Is it a new normal?” And to some extent, yes, it is.

Kathryn Mae Post: Right.

Debra Rienstra: And that’s just uniquely hard.

So, right now, what faith practices are helpful for you at this exact moment in your life?

Kathryn Mae Post: So, normally I would say scripture, because scripture is always my foundation, but recently I feel like I’ve almost replaced scripture with praxis, which I don’t actually think is that healthy and would not recommend to other people. I think we do need to kind of hold both together.

But another practice that I’ve been adopting is just sitting outside silently and, like, soaking in the earth’s beauty, which is weird for me because I hate sitting still and I’m actually not that much of a nature person. But I think that the world is so—

Debra Rienstra: You’re from New Jersey.

Kathryn Mae Post: I am. Yeah. What nature is there even here to look at? Yeah, we have a lot of chipmunks and a lot of mosquitoes and that’s about it.

Debra Rienstra: I know, I know, New Jersey is the Garden State and there are parts of it that are very green and beautiful and forested. I know.

Kathryn Mae Post: Yeah. Unfortunately not the suburb I’m from, but… but anyway, just, like, because of just all the chaos happening in the world and all the darkness and all the rage and all the fear, all this existential fear that we’re carrying around with us, sometimes you just need to sit and look at the sun and look at a tree and just breathe and know that you are held by a God who is somehow in control of all this and somehow is with you and sitting with you in all of it. So that’s something that I’ve been trying to do regularly to feel grounded.

Debra Rienstra: I think so many people are feeling that and, you know, running out to the woods and the trails and just asking for some comfort from oaks and cardinals. And, you know, I think for us it’s the presence of God in those things, that reality of Christ as all in all, that is so much more evident in what is green and alive and not saying anything on Twitter.

Yeah, it’s almost that human silence that I think you and I are not the only two who have been craving that deeply.

You say you’re on this kind of dialectic between scripture and practice, and right now you’re in this practices mode, even practices of silence. When you go to scripture, are there particular passages right now that seem alive to you, that you’ve been dwelling in?

Kathryn Mae Post: Yes. I think that something that’s been really transformative throughout just my first year of divinity school is being gifted with new lenses with which to look at scripture and in particular the New Testament and the Gospels. Viewing Christ as a brown man, immigrant, refugee, who is a victim of state violence because he dare to challenge the status quo, is so powerful, and that’s a refrain that we’re hearing over and over again, especially from Black religious leaders in this time.

And that is a truth that is so important to center and to learn from. And so the passage that has been really grounding to me is Luke 4. Luke 4, when Jesus is launching his ministry and he quotes Isaiah 61, which is one of my all-time favorite passages. So, Jesus says, in the temple, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And I just love that that is the first thing Jesus says; that is how Jesus like sets up the framework for what his ministry is all about.

So if I ever feel doubtful that anti-racism, you know, should be part of the gospel, I come to this passage and I’m reminded that Jesus came for this. Like, this is why Jesus came, is to proclaim release to the captives and let the oppressed go free. That is Jesus’s ministry. And so if we want to be like Jesus, if we desire to be Christ-like, that’s what we do. It’s so prophetic, and I just love that.

Debra Rienstra: Isaiah 61 has a beautiful section, too, on the healing of creation. So it’s all of a piece, the healing of society and human relationships and the healing of creation.

Kathryn, it’s been so great to talk to you. I really appreciate your wisdom and your lament and your hope, your action and your theory, your deconstruction and reconstruction. It’s a beautiful thing to see and to learn from you. So thank you for your time.

Kathryn Mae Post: Thank you.

Debra Rienstra: This has been Refugia, a podcast about renewal. If you enjoyed this episode and you have a moment, please write a quick review on your podcast platform. Reviews help other listeners find us. You can find us on Facebook at Refugia Podcast. Leave us a comment, and send us your ideas about what refugia means for you.

You can also visit our website at refugiapodcast.com. Explore links and transcripts from this and all our other episodes. You can find me on Facebook and Twitter at Debra K. Rienstra. Thanks for listening to the Refugia podcast.

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