How do we understand God’s calling when not everyone has access to the same networks, resources, or opportunities?
In this episode, practical theologian Dr. Patrick B. Reyes speaks about his new book, The Purpose Gap: Empowering Communities of Color to Find Meaning and Thrive. Reyes writes about his own childhood neighborhood in Salinas, California, which he describes as an education desert. He flips the white, western script of individual “shining stars,” and expands our view to see calling in terms of whole constellations.
Topics and resources discussed in this episode:
- Communities of Calling Initiative
- The Purpose Gap: Empowering Communities of Color to Find Meaning and Thrive by Patrick Reyes
- Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE)
- Nobody Cries When We Die: God, Community, and Surviving to Adulthood by Patrick Reyes
- Children’s Defense Fund Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry and Dale Andrews Freedom Seminary
Dr. Patrick B. Reyes is a Latinx practical theologian, educator, administrator, and institutional strategist. He currently serves as the Senior Director of Learning Design at the Forum for Theological Exploration. His expertise is helping communities, organizations, and individuals excavate their stories to create strategies and practices that promote thriving. Learn more at patrickbreyes.com.
- In The Purpose Gap, Patrick challenges the idea often found in vocation literature that vocations must be linear or redemptive to be meaningful. How does this idea resonate or push against your understanding of your callings?
- Patrick explains how the literature on meaning and purpose is often focused on white, middle class students who have the opportunities to achieve the “American dream.” He says this raises questions of who has access to vocational opportunities and resources, and who does not. What role do access and privilege play in your ability to live out your callings?
- Patrick argues that we do kids a disservice when we refuse to be honest about structures of oppression that inhibit the expression of callings. How do you talk with the kids in your life about their dreams and callings?
- Patrick talks about the important calling of congregations to repair the world—and how that calling is often inhibited by traditional models or ways of being church. How can your congregation’s callings become more expansive? What does the congregation need to let go of to enter into a more expansive space of discernment?
- Take stock of the people, practices, purposes, and places that make up your callings. How do you relate to each? What would it look like to pay more attention to these aspects of your vocation?
- Check out resources to explore calling in your congregation on the Communities of Calling Initiative website.
- Try out The Purpose Gap Practice on Patrick’s website.
- Miss the last episode? Listen to two members of Edgewood United Church, Marcia Beer and Diana Farmer discuss the significance of invitations for the callings of individuals and communities.
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