DescriptionOne Small Step conversation partners Rev. Kristin McAtee (53) and Dr. Marc Dreyer (75) met for the first time virtually for a conversation. In it, they discuss what brought them to a career in the church, what the phrase "defunding the police" evokes in them - and if the church has a role in helping quell political division.
Subject Log / Time Code
- Kristin McAtee
- Marc Dreyer
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00:00 My name is Kristin mcatee. I am 53 years old. Today's date is October 27th, 2021. I'm having this conversation virtually from my office in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mark is my conversation partner and he is my one small step partner.
00:22 My name is Marc Dreyer and today's date while I'm 50 years older than Kate Lee. So I'm 75 today. Date is October 27th, 2021. I'm having this conversation virtually from my office in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I live in Broken Arrow. I am having this conversation with my conversation partner. Christian, who is also my one small step partner.
00:51 Great. So Mark, what made you want to do this conversation today?
00:57 Actually, I've been a NPR listener for about a year and I heard the advertisement for the one, small step program and I thought I think that's something I might be able to do and I was curious about what it would really in jail and who I might be paired up with. So that's why I signed up Christian. Why? Why did you what was your biggest prompter for the interview today?
01:28 So I am doing work right now with storytelling as a means of Ministry of getting to know people in particular with young adults. So I thought it was a great opportunity to see how how it's done. And I trust in PR. So I figured this would just give me some information and advice and, and a good experience.
01:54 Do. This is Mark's biography Maher. Born in Washington. D.c. Father was a director for IRS. Mother stay at home. Mom. Both parents were first generation born in the US raise, traditional conservative Roman Catholic, attended Catholic schools through the 12th grade. I became a federal drug agent at 21. And what today is d e, t a, I married a southern baptist woman when I was 22, became Baptist pastor for 39 years. We have been married fifty-two years. We have three grown adopted Korean kid, after retiring Ministry, on the executive staff and of court, clerk's office.
02:36 So my heart, I love your bio and makes me curious, tell me a little bit about. That's a big change from being raised Roman Catholic to becoming a Baptist pastor. What what, what facilitated that
02:56 Well, by the time I was going to college and I moved away from home. I also stopped going to church and stopped going to mass. And of course, my mother would always ask, are you going? And I would always say yes, I lied. And so
03:17 When I started dating, this girl, who was a southern baptist and she said, would you like to go to church with me? Now? My true answer was no but I didn't want that to show the relationship. So I said, okay sure. So I went to a Baptist Church for the first time and couldn't believe that they called The Church. There were no candles. No, holy water. Nobody genuflected. There was no place to kneel down in the, in the church. People chewed gum made candy talk through trash on the floor. Nobody was in a solemn. All the things that would have gotten my head slapped for when I was in Catholic school. So I came out of there and said, I don't know why you called at church, cuz it was more like a clown show. That was not a helpful thing to say to her. But anyway one thing led to another and I
04:17 Ended up asking her to marry me and she said, I can't marry your Catholic. A nice. It was he's just which of course that was a head answer. Not a hard answer. But what happened to me is I heard the gospel in a way that I've never heard it before and after attending for a few months with her and one night. I have gone to church. She was an airline flight attendant. So she was out on a trip and I wanted to let her know that I've gone to church that day. So I went by the church on Sunday afternoon to pick up a bulletin so that I can have it on the front seat of the car when I picked her up. So she would say, oh you went to church. So when I went in, there were some folks there that I knew and they said don't Mark. I didn't know you came to church on Sunday night. I'm like busted. So I went in with them and somehow at the end of the service, when they gave the altar call, I found myself out in the aisle, and I thought
05:17 Well, I either shoot my way out of here, or I go forward to the front. I did Pastor said, why have you come? And I said, I'm not really sure. But one thing led to another and I made a profession of faith in Jesus that night and changed my life forever. So I was going to be baptized about five weeks later, and course. We were engaged to be married. It was about two years or two months before wedding.
05:51 And my dad, I was living at home. I move back home to save money, while we were saving up for an apartment. Then, to my dad, came down the stairs from upstairs and said, your mother's been upstairs, crying all day, where you going? And I said, I'm going to be baptized. He said, we already have been I said, well, that was when I was about
06:13 3 weeks old and I was wearing a dress and I'm not going to rest on a decision that you made for me. I'm going to make my own decisions. So I'm going to go tonight and do that. So he then said, to me, if you leave this house tonight to go, be baptized. You'll no longer be my son, which is a fairly large statement. So I didn't know when I came home, if all my stuff and be out in the yard, it wasn't, but things were very, very cold around my house. And then a few weeks later. We got a letter from the bishop of the Catholic, Diocese of Kansas City excommunicate. Her having been baptized in another Faith. Well, that did my mother and even more because she believed that man. I was going to hell. So
07:02 They did not take it very well.
07:04 But the Lord, as he promises restored them, to me it took about five years, but the my dad ended up telling me when I surrender to the ministry and became a pastor. He came and listen to me one Sunday and he said, well you did good which was his way of saying, it's okay. So we never talked about it again, but there I was very brave or very brave person. Well, I was tearing it down at that time so I could find my way out of it. If I were you DEA and Pastor the same time. I was at work, for the justice department, has an agent for 11 and a half years and in night. Now, this is going to really date me and 1977. I surrendered to the ministry and
08:04 Walked in the next day to the office, the regional office where I was, especially where I was at supervisor. Asian. I said, I'm resigning.
08:13 It's like the next day I did that. I guess I thought that two days later somebody would call and say we've been waiting for you to surrender the ministry of the church for you course, that didn't happen. I went to work at General Motors painting cars was in seminary. But anyway, I am
08:30 I did, I resigned that day and 6 months later. I did actually get called in my first church, which I knew nothing about. I thought you went to Seminary where and how be a pastor? Didn't realize that that didn't teach you. You had to go out and actually do the stuff true. That is total. Truth. One more question with, where'd you go to Seminary twice to Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, and got a master of divinity. And then I got a PhD
09:09 Okay, I think he's pushing us. So.
09:13 Okay, it's my turn to read your biography.
09:17 And I have that here.
09:21 I have spent most of my ears in Oklahoma with a few years spent in California. I married later in life and I'm blessed with a fifteen-year-old stepdaughter. I serve as an associate pastor and I believe spirituality is far more important than religion. Well, I most often vote with Democrats. I have voted for Republicans. I wish I could let it go system. Revolve more around boneration and compromise. That pull reviews. I care deeply about immigration and incarceration.
09:51 So, how did you come to be in the ministry?
09:58 Well, I didn't grow up in church.
10:02 I went occasionally with my grandmother and I went when I was probably 9 years old. I went to church, I believe, with my grandmother. Maybe my mother on Mother's Day and I don't remember what the sermon was, but I was, I was convicted of going to hell and I came home and my pet parakeet had died. And I was like, it's kind of person with the parakeet in her conversion story. Like, oh my, my parakeets in hell, I don't want to go.
10:37 So, I made a profession of faith and told my my parents and they're like, okay.
10:44 So I went to church some in in junior high and it was Southern Baptist Church and I enjoyed it. I went I did giaise got my crown. Yeah, but then in high school, I didn't go. And so when I got into college I said, I really want to get back to this. I started reading my Bible every day and I really just needing that relationship and I would say the best thing that ever happened to someone asked me to teach first and second grade Sunday school, which I thought was kind of ridiculous because what do I know? But it forced me into an elementary education that was good for me.
11:23 And so I went to college at in California. I got my degree, I started in music, but I ended up with child development, but that nagging was always there. And I was in a small Church in, California is serving as music. Music Minister, just part-time and the pastor that came became my mentor and he really talked me into Ministry by trying to talk me out of it. He said if I can talk you out of this if I can tell you how terrible it is then and you still feel called then you'll become a minister. So that was good as get education. But of course, like you say, can teach you this, you have to
12:04 You have to walk this path to understand it. But yeah, that's how I got into it.
12:10 So what kind of church do you serve in? Now Church National committee's for CBN, offend work with some other organizations involved with CBS Church, August 1st. Oh, wow. I was at First Baptist Church in Oklahoma City for I was on staff 13 years and then I serve for year of the development director in a free clinic we had started and then I work for two years for the Cooperative Baptist. Fellowship of Oklahoma has served as associate coordinator for the state.
13:03 I just went my full 75 years.
13:09 You're the guy that retired as he was, probably minister of Education Administration. Maybe any retired. He came from the church. I retired from in Tulsa.
13:26 Oh, really? I can't think of his name.
13:33 Jlynn, small world. Jay is the best I worked with him before he retired. I don't know. Five years was too has been the most influential person in your life. And what did they teach you? And it may be more than one person, I guess. Yeah. Well,
14:09 Probably the most influential person in my life, is the Lord Jesus Christ who changed my life completely. But if I were to name, a human Earthly person, I would say it would have been my mother-in-law. My wife's mother, who was my first spiritual mentor and who did not want me to date her daughter because I was Catholic, but ended up becoming a real Mentor. She and her husband gave me my first Bible which I still have. And whenever I had a Bible question, I would go to her and ask her the answer. So,
14:54 And of course, she taught me all kinds of things that I never learned at Seminary.
15:03 Who's the most influential person who has been the most influential person in your life? And what did they catch you? After I mentioned in California, that got me into Ministry. He he and his family. I grew up in an abusive home. So I never felt like, I really had a father and he kind of took me in, not just, as a, as a nother Astor, but as a daughter, and he taught me first of all, that the gods really love me. That was just hard for me to ever believe taught me. Like you said, a lot about Ministry, but no one could certainly teach me in seminary, just not me. That man could be good, Fathers and good, husbands and loving and and and tell me what family was like. So even though he passed away, like I still, you know, I go visit my, brother's I called his son's, my brothers and his wife. You know, she still like a mom to me. So,
16:03 Really cool.
16:09 Can you describe briefly your political views and I would add to that how you came to that? If it's not the one you grew up with and I think of myself as moderate, I would describe My Views.
16:28 Honestly, I wish that there might, I wish that there was not a two-party system. I wish that there was some way to
16:40 To express your views and not have it tied to an identity. You know, I feel like it's so polarizing to say, I'm a Democrat. I'm a republican. I'm broke. I think I would probably tend to lean left at 10 to go towards social justice issues to caring for the poor, which often identifies me as Democrat, you know, I do think the National Security is important. But yeah, My Views tend to lean left and I don't know, but when I grew up my my mother, I don't know that.
17:16 She probably leaned toward Republican. And so my earliest political memory. I was in first grade and it was the Jimmy Carter Ford election. So we must have been Democrats because I was the only one who voted for Carter in my classroom.
17:37 And everybody was laughing at me or like, haha, I went, but I supported Reagan. I supported a lot of people.
17:47 I don't know. I think Ministry changed me. Honestly. I just think looking at people as you know, working a lot admissions. Working a lot with immigrants and refugees, seeing the social needs working in a downtown church. With all the homeless people that really influenced a lot of my politics.
18:07 And how about you? Can you describe in your words in your personal political views?
18:14 Well, I was raised in a home where my mother would have voted for the devil. If he been running as a Democrat, her father was a state legislator in Missouri and was a democratic state legislator. She was first generation, Irish, born in the United States. And so they were all Irish Democrat. My grandfather was the number two, in the Irish mob in Kansas City and didn't see any conflict between that and his political views during his religious views. And so I always thought that I was a Democrat until the first time I was able to vote which in those days cuz I'm an old guy was 21 yet. Be 21 to vote.
19:06 And so I voted for republicans and I thought well, that makes me a Republican and then I realize know that doesn't necessarily I lean to the right but I'm not a Trumper. I absolutely ridiculous that I voted for Kanye West for president because I could not bring myself to vote for someone who is pro-choice but I couldn't stand. The idea that I would vote for Donald Trump because I couldn't stand some of the stuff that was in all the rhetoric than the other things were going on. So,
19:52 I listen for about a minute and a half to conservative talk radio before I get so angry at the name, calling that I have to turn it off. I listen to NPR and sometimes I get challenged by things that they talked about. As normative that I have a hard time getting to spiritually, but I listen more than fewer than I do anything else. So what does that? What does that make me? So I'm not sure where I still think I vote. Once I work for a republican. I was always an integer is an independent because I couldn't in the church be labeled. So I didn't register registered Oklahoma's and Independence, Missouri is an independent. So the people in the congregation to say, where are you staying for that?
20:43 And I voted for my boss is a Republican and I am registered as a republican, so I could vote for him in the primer because in Oklahoma, Republicans can't vote in the primary without being registered. So, I lean to the right that I have some moderation in me to, as well. I'm glad
21:08 What was one moment in your life or in our country's history that stuck with you and influenced how you felt about your own politics?
21:18 I think the first time I became challenged about voting for Republicans was during Watergate.
21:27 And I'm old enough again to live through that in a personal way and I understood how the guys did what they did. And I understood why they did what they did. But no one is above the law, including president, United States. And so that caused me to
21:45 Think about that in a different way. I am with you about wishing. There was a little, we weren't so polarized in our voting choices, but we are. And so I voted for some Democrats and some and some Republicans. I don't vote ever a straight party ticket, but I think Watergate change, my hope you about our political system.
22:13 What about you?
22:16 Has there been anything that that has influenced your politics that happened in our country?
22:24 This cat sound weird. I love John McCain's so much. I wanted to vote for him for president and I was ready and then they put Sarah Palin on the ticket and as much as I think a woman ought to be pressed and I was like, oh my gosh, you know, I couldn't support her. I can support who she was and, and I guess it was my kind of Awakening to this political division. Like I feel strongly they had him put her on the ticket. It was a it was a political the way, you know, let's get the female vote. And so it was very disheartening for me because I really thought he would have been an excellent president.
23:11 I think that really maybe that turn me a little bit more towards a Democrat, but honestly, this past year, what happened in January, the polarisation.
23:26 I'm just going to say like you, I can barely, I will glance at the news. I will glance at CNN. I might glance and BBC. I love BBC, and then I'll listen to NPR. Like I just can't take the rhetoric. And so that has definitely altered my politics and where I go 4 News.
23:47 I agree with you completely. I appreciate you sharing that.
23:53 What have you learned about yourself during the pandemic or have you had one of those epiphanies during the pandemic? I am?
24:03 Oh man, I'm kind of like typing. I'm not full Taipei, but I am a Jew or I am a get out there and do it kind of person and I had been in a difficult Ministry position at the end of my term. At first. I'm sure you're familiar with the situation and you know, I had to leave for my own health, but I was I work myself to death and become less Ministry and more activity and I didn't my next two jobs were much slower, which I think was preparation. But when hit the pandemic,
24:37 And I wasn't going to church and I was in kind of denominational think so. We absolutely had almost nothing to do. You was hard. It was so hard for me to slow down and be home and
24:51 That was a good lesson, but also. So, you know, I mentioned, I married late. We have my step daughter whom I have known her whole life. I was her children's minister. So, you know, we've only been married for years and my husband still had to go into the office most of the time. So it was me and, and our daughter 24/7. And I know she's 15.
25:22 You know what? It was good for us. Like we we found ways to relate that were new. I learned how to draw her out when she was having a teenage moment. I learned about taking a walk with the dog or laying in the hammock, you know, when we didn't have to look at each other eye to eye, she would share things. And so I mean it's in a lot of ways, the pendant was a blessing because I slow down, I developed a great relationship with her and it was good. It was a good time and good time. That sounds terrible, but it was a good time for me. What about you? Did you have any epiphanies during the pandemic? I didn't. I came to work about a year after I retired and the court clerk's office in Tulsa County. And even though we closed to the outside world, as far as customers coming into the offices of the building for several months.
26:19 I never about a third of its here, never stop coming to the office and we still continue to do business. And so I basically watch the pandemic happened, everybody else. But other than the fact that there was very little rush hour in the morning or the evening because people were at home. I wasn't in life. Just continued, from either way. It had been. It was different for my wife. She was at. She's not retire, but she was a schoolteacher, so she was home, but it was, for me. It was like, yeah, no business, as usual. So, I, I didn't realize some of the things people talk about having gone through during the pandemic guy. I can't personally relate to, cuz I, I didn't know.
27:07 Go ahead. Okay. I was going to pick one of these questions. Local political issue close to your heart.
27:21 I would say that one of the more difficult issues that I faced. I think it's because I'm in the court clerk's. Office is how to understand.
27:36 The variances of the bond project. Do you know what the bond project is? So we are, we have been involved. We actually got sued by a group of attorneys and they had to know how, how they do. They get some plaintiffs to sign on and they suit us for our bond system here in Tulsa County, which we had a bond schedule. So, if you were arrested for particular crime, then you had a particular Bond. You didn't get a hearing. It was just automatic assigned it to Jo and someone won that lawsuit happened. We ended up having to
28:25 Start bond hearing. So, we now have court 7 days a week during sixty-five days a year, including all holidays. Where every offender this arrested for a crime or misdemeanor, or felony has to appear before judge within 24 hours, a bond set and the sketch the schedule is gone and because of the influence of the bond Project, A lot of people are released on personal recognizance, PR bond, which means you just sign your name that you'll come back. There's no monetary consequence. And
29:01 And some of those people are are not that nice of a person, may be the crime that they were arrested for that time. Wasn't that bad? But if you look at their history, but then on the other side, we have people that couldn't pay Their fines and fees and would get arrested for failure to pay and saw that, it was almost like reading a debtors prison situation. I'm a former chairman of the parole board in Oklahoma. And so I have seen, you know, we saw a 600 Defenders ammo and I've seen lots and lots of stories and I know about the Injustice of people being convicted in and really convicted innocent. Let me they're innocent. That were victims of the system, you know, you go to the penitentiary cuz you can't pay your child support. Well, how in the world are you going to earn enough money to pay your child support while you're in the penitentiary? You no makeup?
30:00 States for ten cents a day. Portico problem. The bonding system and the fee, brought the fee. Issue is a problem for me. I see both sides and I struggle with that. I need to hear you say that because, you know, I know in Oklahoma, we imprisoned more people than anywhere else. And I know so much of it is just like, you say it's fees or if it's some ridiculous things and, you know, I can't, it's it's this is not any one place to blame. You can't blame the police. You can't blame the court system. You know, it's a whole systemic.
30:44 In people, so I appreciate hearing that from your side that you know, that you see that and you
30:50 That it's an issue for you.
30:53 Just thinking about this. This is not on the questions that are out here. Just one that I was thinking of what he said that made me want to ask you. Where do you stand on the whole movement of defunding the police?
31:10 So here's the thing. I don't I don't think those are the right words. I don't think that think those words are wrong. I am very supportive of a dish and I seen it may be in Kansas City or no Somewhere in Arizona of adding like Social Work reply. I feel like the police system was stripped of you when we took away as many social workers, as much as you know, there's no Mental Health Care. There's not enough mental health bed. This is coming from working downtown and having to call the police for people.
31:46 Often, you know who clearly that just need medication and I know at the worst there, with the best are going to go to the, ER, for 12 hours and get kicked out. Again. I think that's the stuff and the police. It's not fair to Citizens, is not fair to those people. So I don't think that the answer is defunding the police. I think the answer is reimagining a system where we have social workers available for those calls or, you know, police police officers trained in social work. Yeah. I mean, I don't, I don't think we need to strip the police force, think it's actually in addition.
32:26 Okay, that's, that's, I think that's a reasonable suggestion. I think. I think it, Clee challenge an economic challenge to implement. But if we had unlimited resources, maybe we can, but it's clearly the, the prison system in. Oklahoma is our mental health facility, and that's a crazy idea, mental health. It's not fair to the, the people running the prison run in and I'm with you. I don't know where we get the funding for that, but I guess that's where when we talked about what side Miley non-politically, eilean Mor.
33:17 Thinking that perhaps on the Democratic side. There's more emphasis on. Are we providing Mental Health Resources? Because I see that, that's a huge crime. That's a huge reason for crime.
33:38 I kind of like this question.
33:42 What do you think? It means to serve a community in what? Qualities matter in a l for you?
33:56 I think it's discovering. First of all, what's the common good and so bad for that has to mean listening to people, I think when I was younger, I thought I knew what everybody needed.
34:10 Here's what we need. If we decided this, it would be great. But it takes a lot of listening. And again, that's why I think this project is so important. It, it means it means listening. And I'm at CVS. We talked a lot about asset-based, Community Development, which means looking not at the problems of your community, but looking at the assets, what are the assets and how do we build on those? So I think
34:39 I think of those things to me a leader is not a person with all the answers, but a person who knows how to listen and a person who knows how to integrate a lot of ideas. A person who knows how to guide a group toward a compromised position, or that moderate position, where we all get a little something that we need and want to celebrate the recognizes. What's good in the community? What would you say to that?
35:12 I think, I think it for me, it might be positional.
35:19 I've known a lot of people that were
35:23 Operating in the church with the title, Pastor that weren't they were administrators or they were teachers, they were evangelist but a pastor's heart. I think I can see the hurting people, and be drawn to want to do something about it. And so, if you're going to be called a pastor, then my thought is, you'd better be one, and it doesn't have anything to do with gender. It has everything to do with where your heart is. I go to Life church now, and
36:06 More than half of our staff is female. And I call every one of the pastor, because I've seen their pastors hearts.
36:16 And we have a person on staff. That is a male that is called Pastor, who in my view is not because that person is, doesn't have a pastor start Beth at any rate, that's judgmental on my part. I didn't mean to be judgmental. So I think the position that we clearly need people that are just administrators in our country, but I think we also need people that are are absolutely willing to stand on their own. I am concerned.
36:51 I like as a person. I like Joe Biden. I am the I am the thighs with his story and the Trapp family trashed. He's been through. But I am very concerned.
37:04 That he is that run. Maybe this is just the presidency in general. Now is not able to be unilaterally independent, when he needs to be.
37:15 And so I I don't know what the answer to that is because I like his heart. I don't agree with all of his choices, but I'm really concerned about him being able to be.
37:31 Unilaterally independent when he just needs to be the president and first, that's not all the time, but that's, you know, sometime. I don't know if that's even possible anymore.
37:48 So, how do you feel about the infrastructure bill?
37:52 You know, I'm I'm mainly concerned at, well, first of all, I'm 100% in favor of doing something with roads and bridges. I think we're in terrible shape in our country in that area, and I don't know how we can call ourselves.
38:09 The greatest nation on Earth and it'll be crumbling. So, I'm totally in favor of doing something that's totally focused on that. The larger of the two bills, the one that they're really struggling with now.
38:24 I think it's missing homered and I'm a little concerned by how large the words, not the size of the money, but how large the actual volume of the bill is there's like Seventeen or eighteen hundred pages, and I don't know the truth about it, but I hear things around the edge about whether stuff in here that you don't know about. There's this now if we're going to call it.
38:55 Something, let's call it what it is and just do that if we're going to do roads and bridges and like a WPA kind of thing. Let's do that. We need it. We need to do something about the environment. Let's call it that and let's do that. If we need to do something about childcare and you know, family assistance. Let's call it that and do that, that I'm suspicious of all politicians sneaking, things into legislation. That is average citizens. We don't know about what about you?
39:30 Who the money scares me? And you know, I'm an unlike you I'm in favor, a lot of these things but my goodness, how in debt can we be? And and I think the economy is still very shaky globally. And so we're going to take on all of these things at once. Like I went to me at all important issues. But where's the priority? Where's the, you know, if is there someone who can say really will you need to focus on climate because climate essential and that's the key and we're all going to die in 30 years if we don't. So, let's put our money there. So I'm ambivalent. Its it all sounds good, but
40:18 Am I going to ask you this question? Cuz I see we have 10 minutes. So, do you think churches need to do a better job healing the community in regards to call the political division? My son-in-law is a presbyterian Pastor in the Tampa area, suburb of Tampa. And he, and my daughter who I have no idea how this happened to her, because I can remember the days. She needs her. I couldn't get her to register to vote. There. They are Ultra trumper's to the extent. That she won't let my grandson senior picture photographer, take his picture. If he isn't a trump supporter, when I'm like, are you has something happened to you neurologically, but anyway,
41:10 When Brent preaches, he injects politics into his messages and he and I have had several conversations where I've said, the job of the church is to announce the gospel.
41:24 If we don't announce the gospel, nobody will, but if we announce political opinions will be joining a host of others who also do that. So who's going to announce the gospel? And so I think that absolutely yes, the church has a huge role to play in healing the political divide, but it's not going to happen as long as we have.
41:50 Men and women in the Pulpit who don't realize that their job is to announce the gospel and let the gospel change people's attitudes, not their opinion.
42:02 What about you? You said that so well, but then I also agree from the standpoint of working with young adults. They don't have interest in charge because they see us is very hypocritical, you know, and especially situations like this preaching politics. I thought it was about God. I thought it was about loving people. I thought it was about, you know, changing a community for the better and caring for one another and or, you know, the people I love aren't accepted their, I'm not accepted. And so I think as long as we ignore that if we just ignore that divide and don't try to heal it, or we continue to preach politics or we just ignore what's going on in the world, then we're not, we're just a part of the problem.
42:50 I think there's a lot of difficult conversations we have to have and that we shy away from because, you know, as well as I do, you know, you got to keep the doors open. So we were so careful not to offend our current church that we lose. We lose opportunities that we need to be prophets and Proclaimers. As you say proclaiming the gospel of the good news that this is about Kingdom and community. So
43:22 In, if I can get really personal with you, what about the, CBs overall philosophy and practice?
43:36 If anything have you ever struggled with?
43:44 I struggled some with maybe their missions Outlook, only because it's changed quite a bit. What I like about CBO and answer this the opposite way when I like is
43:59 They say, we're not a denomination. It's a choice. Anybody can join in, on any part of the spectrum. You're choosing to be part of this network, part of this Fellowship. So sometimes I wish they would take a bigger stand.
44:15 But I appreciate that. That Soul Freedom, that church Freedom. So that was missions. You know, they started out.
44:27 They're just changed every year. Like are we reaching unreached? People? Are we supporting missionaries fully? Are you now? We're changing this way. That would be my struggle. But I think that they purposely stay wide enough. There's not a whole lot for me to to disagree with and I think things that they had this illumination project. I don't know if you're familiar with that, just studying the lgbtq issue and basically coming outside. Look churches can do what they feel. God has called them to do on this issue. We're not laying down.
45:00 You know, something from on high church has got mad on both showed. You think it's possible to be.
45:12 Well, that's not the one I want to ask you. Do you think that there is a way to find a bridge?
45:19 To being inclusive of folks, and ideas and viewpoints and simultaneously having
45:29 Unchangeable values about something.
45:34 I do. I think you have it. It kind of goes back to that priorities, even in the infrastructure bill. There's a whole world of things we could worry about.
45:43 Let's worry about the core. Do you know that you're loved by God? Do you know that Jesus is God's son? Come here for us. Can we agree on that? And if we consider ourselves on that and decide on that, and
46:03 Decide what's important and what what matters and what is just
46:08 Personal choice and that's hard cuz we all want to control each other.
46:16 Yeah, that's that's the key. Isn't it? Is the control thing. It is freedom is the scariest thing in the world for people. I've always said that and not a freedom.
46:30 Okay. I'm going to ask you if I'm going to ask you a closing question.
46:35 Okay, was I who you expected me to be?
46:40 I know I actually I because I didn't know anything about you at all course. It's like when you call somebody on the phone, you visualize what they look like. So I had visualized, you as an African American female that was in a Pentecostal church because many Pentecostal, especially African-American churches have females in the ministry. And so I visit shows you, you know, my stereotypical views as a an old privileged white guy, but
47:21 So, you have been listening to you and and finding out who you are and all on and what we know who I am, and has been a really revelatory interesting thing for me. How about you? Yeah, you surprised me in a lot of ways. It was just so nice. I thought, you know, Republican if that's going to be a trump people in common and I just appreciate somebody else. Say, where's the metal? Where's the middle? I mean, I can disagree with you on some things. But I feel like if that we found a middle ground and that even if we disagreed, we would be able to find a way to work something out. So that was very nice and, and surprising, and pleased to hear.
48:17 I'm glad.
48:21 What do you think's going to happen in the next election? Will we be more polarized or less? I don't even want to say that but I think more.
48:32 I'm on a bad day. I'll tell you, I think we're heading for civil war and, you know, and disintegration of what we know on a good day. I'll say what we're going to find a way out. So I'm afraid it will be polarized and I'm afraid it will no be more violence, honestly.
48:52 I tend to look at things with the spiritual aspect, sometimes, and I think if I'm the devil, what we have going on is exactly what I had planned. People losing the ability to talk to each other people losing the ability even to understand each other's words, if you listen, we say a lot to each other, the phrase, you know what I mean? Yeah. Well, I don't know what you mean unless you said it to me, but we nod in a sentence, a yo-yo course I do. And so we grow further apart and were critical. We are name-calling as a culture and and we are suspicious of everybody that thinks differently than us. Why? I'm with you.
49:39 On a bad day. I could see Civil War. And I don't know where I stand in that Civil War.
49:46 I know I wouldn't want to stand in the middle right now, but just sit back and
50:01 Were you nervous coming today? And how do you feel now? I wasn't nervous. I had anticipation and look forward to it actually. And I feel satisfied and fulfilled, glad that I didn't really glad that I had this conversation with you.
50:19 How much I was a little bit nervous but you know, I'm really glad now. I've had so much fun getting to know you. And we have so much in common makes me happy to see why you'd be nervous. If you thought I was at a right before, he would have been storming off on some deal. So, I really appreciate to Kos you being involved in this and I ain't the one small step program is a great idea on a stick. Yeah. I really enjoyed this.
50:59 Alright, concludes your one small step for a conversation.