Our culture is hotly divided on many different issues, and this division comes at a cost to us in the Church. When we read scripture, we are encouraged to “keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” and see how the Church is connected to one another as the Body of Christ. We even read in John 17 where Jesus prays that all believers would be “one … so that the world would know” that Jesus was sent by the Father.
Our unity — or lack of it — is a witness to Jesus’ work in the world. As the Church we send confusing messages to those who are watching because of how Christians are representing diverse viewpoints. Today’s conversation invites us to consider how we can engage in difficult conversations in our local churches.
Rev. Nancy Lambert, director of Clergy Excellence and assistant to the bishop for the Great Plains Conference, joins Shelly and Ashlee to share about the invitation offered to Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, to join the clergy in the upcoming Orders and Fellowship event. Schade is the assistant professor of preaching and worship at Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky, and is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Her book, Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide, which came out in 2019, explores how clergy and churches can address controversial social issues using nonpartisan, biblically centered approaches and deliberative dialogue.