Why I'm on the Moyo Team
Today on the Feed, we hear from Jenn Bryant, member of the Moyo Team, mom to two young girls, and passionate about the ways we practice justice in our daily lives.
By Jenn Bryant
I wanted to share with the Moyo visitors why I care about this project.
In seminary I took a class called “Christian Anthropology.” We discussed lots of cultural, anthropology things. As you can imagine. One event we spent a lot of time discussing was the TransAtlantic slave trade. There’s one story about the slave trade that has always stayed with me. When people would travel back and forth to collect their slaves, their product, they would need to attend church. So they built one at a stop on the slave trade. This building also had a place underneath to hold slaves until they were ready to make their journey home. This fact has always made me wonder: How loud do you think they had to sing their hymns to cover up the screams beneath them? How loud would they have to preach their sermons, read the scripture to muffle the voices of those being forced into slavery?
You see, the people upstairs believed they were “growing spiritually” even when there were slaves down below.
Yet I don’t think we are so different today. How often do we speak the good news while turning our backs on other people’s suffering? We, as people of faith, must recognize that human beings should not be hidden – people deserve clean water, healthcare, education, housing. The list goes on and on. Spiritual formation demands reconciliation. We cannot keep the injustices in our world and communities hidden. We are called to be a people of being AND doing.
At Moyo, we’re trying to do something new on several fronts, but we're not sure if we'll be a success. And that's okay.
Katherine Shultz is a “wrongologist” and she writes, “St. Augustine, sat down and wrote 'Fallor ergo sum' -- 'I err therefore I am.' Augustine understood that our capacity to screw up is not some kind of embarrassing defect in the human system, something we can eradicate or overcome. It's totally fundamental to who we are. Because, unlike God, we don't really know what's going on out there. And unlike all of the other animals, we are obsessed with trying to figure it out. To me, this obsession is the source and root of all of our productivity and creativity.”
Moyo is not perfect, but if we fail we will fail having moved forward. And that's an exciting, scary, and awesome prospect.
We’re hear to listen to the voices that have been muffled, the people hidden “below” our churches. That is Moyo.