The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

I’m thinking about starting a leadership program…

My heart is broken…has been for a long time.  Here we are almost fifty years after the Civil Rights Movement and while so many positive things have happened there is still so much to do concerning the African-American community.  The list is daunting:  Mass Incarceration (African-American’s make up 43% of the prison population but only 12% of the US population.  1 out of every 3 black males born is expected to go to prison)–fatherlessness–black women are 5 times more likely to have an abortion than their white counterparts…that’s over 1800 abortions per day in the African-American community–staggeringly low graduation rates–eight million below the poverty level–substance abuse–the list goes on…

Many Christians are not equipped to understand AND lead when it comes to these issues.  What we need are transformative servant leaders!  People who like Daniel will sacrifice for the sake of their community and like Nehemiah who are able to read their neighborhood as well as their Bible and then respond by washing the feet of the city.
I’m thinking about starting an African-American Leadership Program.  Imagine fifteen students over eighteen months being mentored, taught and inspired to understand the times and know what to do.  I would lead them through an in-depth curriculum of reading, prayer and conversation as to what it means to receive wisdom from God, practice Christianity, understand their calling and cultivate a willingness to sacrifice as people of the cross.
As a pastor, I always have and always will seek to reach all people–that is my primary calling!  But the fact is, there is a huge leadership gap that I see  and I’m wondering if God could use me to make a difference.
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Linda Mershon

posted September 30, 2010 at 2:03 am

Pastor Robert, I see and understand what you are saying. The need is so great. The program you propose sounds carefullY (and prayerfully too, no doubt) thought out. It is so evident that God is with you. You have special gifts that would greatly bless the students of this program.

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posted September 30, 2010 at 10:50 am

If people are going to lead – they need to know where they are going. Moses had the advantage in that he was leading people away from something into an uncertain future and destination. The same was true during the era of the Underground Railroad. Both Moses and the Underground Railroad “conductors” had a vision and sense of direction. There is nothing as clear to run from here, and no sure place to go. I think that if someone (you?) can lay out an easily described destination there will be people willing and able to guide small groups in that direction. But simply saying we have to get going to any place better than this won’t getanyone motivated or moving.

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posted September 30, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Pastor Robert, I think you have a wonderful vision:) Very inspiring and true! We are old aquantices.. when you used to live by and work at Safeway. Email me sometime I would love to reconnect and see how I could
help Rick

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Your Wife

posted September 30, 2010 at 12:38 pm

YES! God can use you – I believe He has broken your heart, given you this vision and will provide all that is needed along the way. My heart beats a happy tune when I see you humbly offering yourself to our Lord.

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posted September 30, 2010 at 2:12 pm

I wish Pastor Robert would email,, my soul is pining for his help and to help others in this treachorous time… please

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robert gelinas

posted October 1, 2010 at 2:18 am

I’m not able to make contact with you at the moment. If you call my asst. Rebecca at the church she will be more than glad to connect us. (303-783-3838)

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posted October 1, 2010 at 7:33 pm

I love what you said about raising up ones like Daniel and Nehemiah within the African-American community. The generation is full of the fatherless looking for moms and dads in the Kingdom. Daniel was an orphan who torn away from his family while in exile, discovered Abba as the Trust-Worthy and Faithful Father.
My prayer: Abba raise up this generation to know and trust in your Love! (Mal 4:6)

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medieval clothing

posted October 13, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Love the way you wrote this,,I’ll be subscribing to your posts,^_^

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Sue-Lin Toussaint

posted October 29, 2010 at 5:29 am

I am very intrigued by the possibility of an African-American leadership group. As a school principal in an urban school, I’m often wondering how to better align my calling and purpose to my work. It can be lonely out here! My husband is also interested,and somewhat disillusioned with the Church’s inability or unwillingness to speak to some of the issues you are addressing.

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Zaya Kuyena

posted December 4, 2010 at 10:01 pm

I really hope all the best in this new endeavor.
In a times where, people (esp people of colour) are finding ways to be trans-racial, assimilate – you are seekign to address the lingering problems still unfortunately affected people on the margins today.
side note:
i wanted to ask your thoughts on christian scott?
who for me seems to be jazz musician of my generation addressing the same issues in a counter-intuitive manner which is similar to the approach of the likes of miles and coltrane.
what does this mean for my generation of jazz-reflective theologians?
thank you.

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