Reflections from Rissa Obcemea

Sunday involved the opportunity to attend several spiritual opportunities. The beginning of the day involved a reflection of a passage from Isaiah and a discussion of how the themes of “call to crisis” applies to social work. Following that, we were able to meet with the pastor of the church that we were staying at. He was a very interesting individual, who not only was generous enough to extend us the hospitality of his parish hall, but spoke with the social workers on a very down to earth level. I was really interested in his theories of faith and fractal theory. It was refreshing to find the integration of faith and science, since those two concepts are often pitted against each other. He also had a multi-systemic view of faith and believed that the church should be more centered on the community rather than just individual faith. On a secular level, it seems like a very strong approach because it takes advantage of people’s natural desires for involvement and societal relationships. I also appreciated his desire to have a multi-cultural congregation and focus on welcoming outsiders, as I think that is necessary to gain and retain membership in all denominations of churchers.
Afterwards, I chose to attend the Baptist worship service at Ebenezer Church first, because I had never attended a service from my Catholic raised background, and second, because of the historical significance of the church itself. The reverend’s discussion of race and the culture of poverty proved very important and it was interesting to hear his perspective about class differences among African-Americans as yet another problem in the fight against racism and poverty. In light of previous discussions about class conflicts, it is necessary to synthesize on how lower class whites, and recent use of immigrant day labor has become a detriment in the movement for racial and economic equality.
Rissa Obcemea

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