|Symposium engages womanist theology and Black women in church setting|
San Francisco Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union hosted a Womanist Symposium entitled “Who Do They Say I Am?” at McGee Avenue Baptist Church in Berkeley on Jan. 14 as part of the Black Church/Africana Religious Studies Program.
The Honorable Congresswoman Barbara Lee, 9th Congressional District, was the morning keynote speaker at the event, which drew nearly 100 pastors, layleaders and seminarians.
“The attendance far exceeded expectations,” said Rev. Dr. Martha Taylor, symposium convener. “By bridging the academy and the seminary, this first ever of its kind symposium offered an opportunity to engage womanist theology within the context of Black women in the local church setting.”
Taylor added, “by holding the symposium in a church setting, not only did it bridge the gap between the academy and the church, it provided an atmosphere to engage in theological discussions that gave some a perspective to consider enrolling in seminary. Taking the academy to the church is an excellent opportunity to engage theory with praxis.”
The Black Church/Africana Religious Study Program is under the direction of Rev. Dr. James Noel, Professor of American Religion and H. Eugene Farlough, Jr. Chair at SFTS. Taylor is an adjunct professor for the SFTS Doctor of Ministry and Master of Divinity programs, and principal owner of Ministry Christian Training.
Rev. Dr. Valerie Miles-Tribble, adjunct professor at American Baptist Seminary of the West, led a leadership workshop addressing sexism, isolation, and fear.
Drs. Brenda Guess and Rose Eberhardt led a workshop on writing the vision and making it plain – an exercise in writing your vision and infusing it with womanist values and concerns. Guess is chancellor of the Leadership Institute at Allen Temple in Oakland. Eberhardt is Professor of Dance Emerita at San Francisco State University.
GTU doctoral student Rev. Richetta Amen led a workshop on Womanist Preaching, addressing the appropriateness of Womanist theological reflection.
The day ended with communion.