Resistance & Ritual from the Margins: Steal Away

February 7, 2021

"We took our gods...went into the woods...and found Jesus for ourselves." - Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman

For BIPOC Christians, the question about the extent to which we have taken up the slavemaster's religion or the colonizer's creed is a live one. For our white siblings, the question has a different shade but still asks the extent to which we are in league with the plantation and the "pioneer." Yet, since it's inception, Christianity has always contained adherents who refused to worship the gods of empire -- folx who recognized the liberating, transformative Jesus beyond the master's gaze and stole away in the fullness of themselves. On American soil, the hush harbor gatherings of enslaved folx in the woods represented such an expression of church. These ancestors created rituals in their Jesus-following and modes of resistance that the American church is desperately in need of today.

Rev. Tonetta Landis-Aina is a native of North Carolina and moved to Washington DC in 2004. She holds a Masters of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary and is passionate about marginalized people finding their stories in scripture as well as about the new shapes the church will take in the 21st century. When Tonetta isn't geeking out on the Bible or trying to piece together what God might be doing in this beautitul city, she is enjoying time with her wife and 2.5 year old son who loves to assure everyone that he's grumpy.