Resistance & Ritual from the Margins: Ubuntu

February 21, 2021

"A self-sufficient human being is subhuman. I have gifts that you do not have, so consequently, I am unique -- you have gifts that I do not have, so you are unique. God has made us so that we will need each other. We are made for a delicate network of interdependence." --  Desmond Tutu

Many of us have been taught that to explicitly name our complete dependence and critical interdependence is to admit weakness. Yet, as Tutu reminds us, our dependence is an important part of how God has intentionally made us -- it is fundamental to our humanity at its most authentic. For enslaved folx who stole away into the woods to find a Jesus of liberation, this acknowledged interdependence was key to survival and to the way they inhabited Christianity. The southern African concept of Ubuntu literally means, "a person is a person through other persons" and is often translated, "I am because we are."

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.