How does the past shape and inform the present? In a city that bears the scars of colonialism and white-body supremacy, what would it mean to lead a church beyond the past without ignoring or perpetuating the brokenness that extends into the present? Pastor Fred Liggin of Williamsburg Christian Church and 3e Restoration describes the tensions and hope that come with leading a community into radical social reorientation around Christ’s table.

Place and Space:

  • Colonial Williamsburg (see the “Historic Triangle”)

  • Most members are “not from around here”

  • 56 year old congregation, (Fred serving there for 10yrs)

  • Stone Campbell Tradition (Restoration Movement)

How do we make surprising friendships possible?

Theological Themes:

  • How does the history of colonialism inform and form ministry in the present?

  • The “homemaking God”

  • Being “formed in the fires of suffering”

  • Being present with neighbors in homelessness

  • Redefining traditional power centers in the congregation

  • Moving beyond church characterized by affinity groups


Tension and Disorientation

  • Bringing together people who are not supposed to be together according to social norms causes almost constant social tension in the congregation.

The first sermon I ever preached was one of lament.

Hope and New Life

  • When the Department of Health and Human Services calls the church to ask for help, this is a sign that the transformation of distorted social structures is actually possible.

Note from Host Seth Richardson:

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