P4090103On returning to Duke, I was eager to get back to my regular work in theology and world Christianity (and Chris Rice, who had now finished his degree program at Duke was thinking of going to Africa, possibly to work with the Mennonite Central Committee). Then Dean Gregory Jones surprised both us with an invitation to shape the vision and provide leadership to a center for reconciliation. There was a sense of interruption; a sense of anxiety, and yet a feeling of being drawn into something of God’s doing, something new and exciting, a story bigger than our individual stories, and bigger than Duke. In this time of uncertainty and discernment, we began to feel a sense of call (encouraged by the words of a dear friend of Chris who even in the midst of uncertainty would say, “God is doing something new. I do not know what it is, but I am so glad to be part of it.” I was equally encouraged by Greg’s leadership, as by the bond of friendship and shared convictions between Chris and myself – and grateful that a Protestant and a Catholic; an activist and a theologian; black and white; an American and an African; a student and a former professor will be working together, learning from each other and jointly shaping the vision and providing the leadership for the center.


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