Alliance San Diego is thrilled to feature Bishop Yvette Flunder as the keynote speaker for the 33rd Annual All Peoples Celebration on Monday, January 18 at 10:30AM. Normally held as a breakfast with more than 1,000 attendees, this year’s APC event will be delivered virtually. Bishop Flunder will join us online to inspire us with her deep and profound reflections on what it means to “Persist,” this year’s theme for the All Peoples Celebration.
Register for the 33rd Annual All Peoples Celebration here!
We asked Bishop Flunder a few questions about her ministry and her thoughts on the work of Dr. King. Check them out below!
How do the teachings of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. influence you or your work?
Dr. King was self-affirming and clear about his relationship with the divine. He believed, to achieve true freedom, we must identify and speak truth to the powers that thrive at the expense of other people’s freedom. He believed in a non-violent civil rights movement influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, much like Nelson Mandela. He also did not fear putting himself in harm’s way. His letter from the Birmingham jail has as much power as Paul’s letters from the Philippian jail. He was not afraid, nor was he a hero worshiper. He was just as at home with the common hourly wage worker, as with presidents and kings. What’s most important is, he knew who he was.
As a faith leader, and Bishop of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, what does it mean to be "Radically Inclusive"?
Our theme for The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TFAM) is, ‘we believe in radical inclusivity, extravagant grace, and relentless hospitality.’ Radical inclusivity is and must be radical. Radical inclusivity demands that we reach out to the farthest margin, intentionally, to give a clear message of welcomes to everyone. It recognizes, values, loves and celebrates people on the margins. It recognizes harm done in the name of God. It is intentional and created ministry on the margin.
The primary goal of radical inclusivity is to not imitate the mainline church. It requires a new way of seeing and a new way of being. It requires awareness, information, understanding and does not hide, and works to undo shame and fear.
Radical inclusivity must be linked to preaching and teaching. It demands hospitality.
Radical inclusivity is best sustained and celebrated when everyone in the community is responsible and accountable.
Get your tickets to the 33rd Annual All Peoples Celebration here!
How can we live by Dr. King's teachings and PERSIST when faced with injustice?
Persistence is the connection between believing in what we are fighting for and what will come to pass, even if we don’t live to see it. Sometimes we must pass the baton before we finish the work, but when we are persistent we do all we can, while we can.
Micah 6:8 “…And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
When we are faced with injustice we must also understand that our justice responsibility is not simply to get people to heaven, but to bring heaven to earth. This is the real work for people of faith. Dr. King honored God by persisting in the work of justice, righteousness, and equality for all people…. And it cost him his life…
What are your reflections on this past year?
The obvious reflection would be that 2020 was the year of loss and sorrow. Last year included the pandemic of COVID-19, the pandemic of racist, sexist, and homophobic politics, the pandemic of abuse of our planet, and the pandemic of abuse of our neighbors at the southern boarder. 2020 was also the year of revelation.
Great things have happened. We are now more politically astute and more conscious of world politics. We developed a vaccine, survived an onslaught of political negativity, our virtual communication skills have exceeded all possibilities, we grew closer to our friends and loved ones, and we are prepared for our what’s next.
What is your hope for the future?
My hope for the future is we are more informed by our past…our ancestors taught us so much with their struggle.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 “…The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.”
We have the baton and are bringing in a new administration with fresh air, new vaccines, and new opportunities. We need to be sure to hold all of those in power accountable, including ourselves, so we can give our children a better world.
1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”