Lecture Title: Decolonizing the Church: The Great Paradox for Leaders Today
What does it mean to decolonize the church? Is decolonization possible? If not, what can leaders do in the here and now to unravel the “threads” of control, order, and stasis? Through an examination of enduring themes of leadership such as individualism, power, and expertise, we can begin to understand how the very fabric of our being as religious institutions remains woven together with the ways of empire. Only once such threads in the fabric are revealed and pulled might clergy and congregations take on the difficult and necessary work of reweaving the “garment of destiny.”
Pulpit+ Exchange Series
During an April 17, 1960, “Meet the Press” interview, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “I think it is one of the tragedies of our nation, one of the shameful tragedies, that 11 o’clock on Sunday morning is one of the most segregated hours, if not the most segregated hours in Christian America.” Sadly, Dr. King’s speech sounds like it was delivered yesterday. In large part, this shameful tragedy remains in 2023. Iliff’s Pulpit+ Exchange Series (supported by the Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative from Lilly Endowment Inc.) is designed to help ordained clergy and lay leaders interrogate this continued status in American churches. It is also designed to place new foundations for education, dialogue, action, and growth within and between congregations.
About the Evening’s Agenda
Join other clergy and lay leaders for a light meal from 5:00 pm to 5:30 pm (MST). The lecture will begin at 5:30 pm. An opportunity to ask Dr. Lizardy-Hajbi questions and engage in discussions with colleagues will follow.
About the Lecturer
Joining the faculty in 2018, Dr. Lizardy-Hajbi oversees contextual education, co-directs the Doctor of Ministry in Prophetic Leadership, and teaches in the fields of leadership theory and praxis, congregational and community formation/change, practical theology, and applied research methods. In particular, her interests include organizational leadership, liberative theological and postcolonial approaches to ministry, church vitality and growth, young adult spirituality, and intersectional pedagogical practices. Dr. Lizardy-Hajbi is co-editor of Explore: Vocational Discovery in Ministry (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022) and has written several book chapters, journal articles, and national and denominational research reports. At present, she is a regional advisor for the Exploring the Pandemic Impact on Congregations (EPIC) National Research Project and a Research Fellow with the Center for Church Management at Villanova University. Additionally, Dr. Lizardy-Hajbi currently chairs the ATS Research and Data Advisory Committee and serves on the AAR Committee on Teaching and Learning, Academy of Religious Leadership steering committee, and Journal of Religious Leadership editorial board. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, her ministry has included Christian education and faith formation, intercultural and interreligious student affairs in higher education, hospital chaplaincy, and denominational leadership and research. Dr. Lizardy-Hajbi delights in journeying alongside students as they nurture capacities for practical-prophetic leadership within their respective communities and contexts.