On this week’s episode of indoubt, James Ellis III joins us and we have the chance to learn about him and his role as Chaplain at Trinity Western University – and James has a story to tell. You’ll hear him talk through growing up in the face of racial conflict and tension, rebellion, and violence, all of which eventually led him to know and love Jesus Christ.
Who's our guest?
James Ellis III
Ordained in the Baptist tradition, Rev. James Ellis III serves as University Chaplain and Director of Student Ministries at Trinity Western University, Canada’s leading Christian liberal arts institution of roughly 6,000 students. He is the editor of a 2015 book on Smyth & Helwys Press, Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil: Stories about the Challenges of Young Pastors.
Welcome to the indoubt Podcast, where we explore the challenging topics that young adults often face. Each week, we talk with guests who help answer questions of faith, life and culture, connecting them to our daily experiences and God’s Word. For more info on indoubt, visit indoubt.ca.
Hey, everyone. This is Kourtney, and I’m so happy you’re joining us for another episode of indoubt. If you’re new to the program, our hope is to reach all ages, but specifically young adults, with biblical content that helps you through your day to day. Right now, things sound a little different, as we’re respecting the prescribed physical distancing. So, all of our conversations recorded remotely with our guests and hosts at home. In saying that, we want to continually provide you with relevant and engaging conversations.
On today’s episode, we’re doing just that with our guest this week, James Ellis III, and he has a story to tell. James is the University Chaplain at Trinity Western University. And I won’t give away too much, but you’ll hear him tell his testimony that involves racial conflict and violence, but also how he came to know and love Jesus Christ. His story is something that I hope you find encouraging and helpful in your daily walk with God. So, here’s the conversation with Daniel and James Ellis III.
Hey. Welcome to indoubt. My name is Daniel Markin. And today, I’m joined by James Ellis III. How are you doing James?
James Ellis III:
I’m doing well, Daniel. How are you?
I’m doing well. Thanks for being a part of our discussion today. And as we begin, before we begin, would you just tell our listeners who you are and where you came from, and everything that we need to know about you as a person, as James Ellis III?
James Ellis III:
No problem. I’ll give it my best shot. Let’s see. I am the University Chaplain and Director of Student Ministries at Trinity Western University here in Langley, BC. I just began this past fall, September 16th, so still relatively new and trying to learn the ropes about life here in Canada. As far as I guess just maybe my general background, I was born in Okinawa, Japan. My father was in the United States Air Force. I’m a US citizen. We left there when I was four years old, and then moved to Maryland, so just outside of Washington, DC, the nation’s capital there in the US.
I was raised on a military installation, and so my whole life kind of as a kid growing up was around the military, living on base, as it was. Long story, but I eventually went to the University of Maryland, and that’s where I went to undergrad and got involved in ministry, just really because I felt like Jesus called me to it. I did not choose it on my own. I did not do a little sort of roundabout pick a card. I was a website designer for a number of years, worked at the Washington Post, National Public Radio, and lastly, USA Today. And just was behind the scenes, doing my little website editing job. And eventually felt like God was calling me into ministry. And so I said, “Okay, Lord. We’re about to do this,” and it’s been an interesting journey.
What was the kind of defining moment that really launched you into saying, “Yeah, I’m doing ministry”? Because I think there’s definitely a trail leading up to it. But was there a day where you’re like, “Well, here we go”?
James Ellis III:
I mean, I guess I would say, if I would start back a little bit, you can’t do ministry if you’re not in Christ. And I came to Christ when I was 20 years old, so I had never been to church at all, ever before in my life. My parents, even today, I’m 40 years old, and my parents are not believers. They do not go to anybody’s church. I’ve never seen them pray, read a Bible, anything like that. That’s just not who they are. And so that’s how I was raised. But in college, I had some friends that kept bugging me about, you should go to church. You should check out Jesus. And really, even though they were living very, I guess I would say double minded or hypocritical lives there in the coed, very secular, free living dorm that I lived in. I said, “Hey, I’ll go to church with you guys. But really, and honestly and truly, just so you will get off my back and stop talking to me about Jesus at 2:00 in the morning as we’re staying up and not studying,” as we probably should’ve been.
And it just happened that one Sunday morning that I went to Maple Springs Baptist Church in Capitol Heights, Maryland, I heard the gospel preached. I was able to sing these songs that I had really no idea what they were saying. But I was convicted that Jesus was real, and that He died for … I mean, as much as He died for the world, and that’s awesome, I was convicted that He died for me, James Ellis III. And I said, “Oh, I need Jesus y’all. I need Jesus right now,” and so I gave my life to Christ, so that was 20. And then eventually, when I graduated, again, as I mentioned, I had this career in website development. After that, I became a pre-kindergarten teacher. I love little kids. They are really nice and cool to work with, but they also have a lot of germs. I could tell you more about that.
And as it was, eventually when I was teaching pre-kindergarten, I really was asking God, which I should’ve done long before, but I’m 23, 24, and finally started asking God, “What do you want me to do with this borrowed life, this ransomed life I’ve been bought with at a price? There’s got to be something that You have in mind that You want me to do, not my neighbour, not my friend, but me with this life.” And I didn’t hear Charlton Heston sort of speak with this big bass of a voice into my consciousness or anything. I didn’t hear God speak audibly. But just in the deepest reservoirs of my heart, I felt God kept responding with ministry as the answer to my question.
And it would start to be confirmed by just seemingly random encounters that I would have with some of the teachers I was working with, other people that would just say, “Mr. Ellis, you’re really great with these kids.” I was working at a Christian school doing pre-K. And they would say, “You’re really good with your students. I see how you kind of like a shepherd to them. And I see how you line them up in the hallway. And I see how you lovingly sort of break up their little fights that they have. And I see how you just really care about them. Have you ever thought about being a pastor?” And that just kind of happened over and over again, even though no one was privy to these sort of private conversations that I was having with God. And so yeah, I accepted that, hey, all right. I think this is what You’re calling me to, God. And eventually started seminary and went on from there.
Wow. And where did you go to seminary?
James Ellis III:
So I went to George Truett Theological Seminary, which is at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. If anybody is familiar with Chip and Joanna Gaines and all their HGTV stuff, that’s where Waco, Texas is. I did one degree there, a master’s in theological studies. But then I also did another master’s at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. I did a one-year post master’s research degree called A Master of Sacred Theology. And for that year that I was there, was able to really focus on pastoral care and homiletics, which are two topics that I’m really interested in. And I’m currently in a Doctor of Ministry program at Western Theological Seminary in Michigan.
Oh, wow. So, let me ask you this then. You alluded to your parents, never been to church, never want to. Were they hostile? Would you consider them hostile to Christianity, or are they just kind of, hey, you do you, we don’t really care, we don’t really believe? How would you describe them? And then how would you describe? Were they supportive when you said, “Hey, I want to get into Christian ministry”? Tell us about that because it occurs to me that we probably have lots of listeners who again grew up in non-Christian families and get saved. And their families, you want your parents to come to faith, but that’s got to be difficult. Would you be able to share about that?
James Ellis III:
Yeah, no problem. So I would say, my parents do not seem now, nor did they necessarily seem when I was growing up, hostile to Christianity. I mean, they didn’t seem like they were anti-faith necessarily. We didn’t practice another religion or anything like that. It’s not like we were Muslim. We weren’t Baháʼí or going to any other kind of Buddhist temples or anything like that. We didn’t do anything or believe anything, so to speak, no rituals, so no Easter, no Christmas, no Mother’s Day, somebody’s dragging you to church. I didn’t have any of that growing up.
And so yeah, I think for me, when I came to faith, to be honest, my parents kind of wigged out. My mom is just, as many moms are, I’m not trying to be stereotypical, but really emotional. And I remember when I came home, again, 20 years old, I was a junior in my third year at the University of Maryland. I played football, American football, my first couple years, and then by then wasn’t playing anymore. And I came home during a break and told my mom, “I just gave my life to Christ.” And my mom busts out into tears. And she’s crying. I think in her mind just probably because of experiences she had with I think Christianity growing up, I think she felt like, “Oh, now he’s going to be like he’s joining a cult. Or his whole life is going to be talking to me about scripture every day and kind of being one of those kinds of Christians,” so to speak.
So yeah, growing up my parents, and even as I came to faith, they kind of wigged out, but didn’t seem hostile to faith. I will say though, as far as my calling to ministry, my parents eventually calmed down with the whole me coming to faith thing. We definitely had some differences and just some tension for a number of years. And so, I think they really kind of resolved themselves to the fact that he is his own person. He’s his own man. These are decisions that he has made. And either we’re going to get on the train and just really support him to the extent that we can, or we’re just going to continue to have this very distant relationship.
And so today, 2020, as unbelieving and sort of un-churched, if you will, as my parents are, my parents are some of my biggest supporters. They’re very encouraging, again, to the extent that they can be. And even to the extent that my parents, there’s times they have said, “Hey, you have this new move that’s coming up. You’re moving from maybe West Virginia to DC, or from DC to Michigan, or from Michigan to British Columbia. But if the Lord is calling you, then you’ve got to go.” And so just those kinds of things from people who are disconnected from the church in all the ways you could think of, that’s special.
James, let me ask you about this because when we were talking a little bit before the show, you’d mentioned that you had experienced violence in your life in the past, that you’ve known people who’ve experienced violence. Would you be able to share with our audience a little bit about that?
James Ellis III:
Happy to. It’s one of these things that I wish I had a different story to share. I wish that it wasn’t a part of my journey, but it is. And so as devastating as it has been, it’s also I guess you could say a privilege to be able to share this kind of story as often as I do. I mean, I get to talk to students and other folks rather often to kind of keep my friend’s legacy alive. So my best friend in the world, I was 13 years old, again as I mentioned before, I went to all black schools until I kind of got into my high school years. And even though I lived on Andrews Air Force Base, which is a huge military installation, where Air Force One, the president’s plane, is kept, and there’s all this security and whatnot, and a large degree of diversity on the military base because you have different families, different branches of the armed forces and people from all parts of the world that live there.
I was bused about 45 minutes away to a place called Capitol Heights, Maryland. And so in that setting at that school, it was right on the border of one of the worst parts of Washington DC in terms of homicides and things like that. This was the height of the 1980s crack epidemic in the DC area. So, in my playground there in Capitol Heights in elementary school, we would have crack vials on the playground. There were fights all the time in the community and in school. It just was one of those kinds of places. And so that’s kind of, I just lived in these two separate worlds, one world on base with my parents, security, all these different kinds of things, diversity, and then going to school every day in totally different world.
But I found my best friend. His name was Joseph Antonio Ford, and he had been my best friend from our kindergarten years all the way up through sort of as we entered middle school. But when I turned 13, my parents moved us to the suburbs, as I mentioned. And so, I switched schools and was about to go to this different middle school on my way to high school. And I got, one Sunday morning, my mother came downstairs in our new house that we had just been in for probably a month or so. And she had the metro section of the Washington Post. And on the metro section was this leading article, this big blow up, and it had a school photo of a young person, and it was Joseph’s school photo. And the headline said something like, “13-year-old straight A student caught in a crossfire, shot and killed in Maryland.”
And so yeah, Joseph was the only Christian that I knew all of those years of my life. He was a junior deacon at his church. He played the drums. He was involved in all kinds of different youth things at his church. And so one evening, a straight A student, again, never was in trouble, he was on his way home from church with his brothers and his mother. They were in their car and they were driving down this avenue. And there were two guys on opposite sides of the street that started shooting at each other over some drug deal that one person thought the other one ripped him off, or something like that.
So they’re on opposites of the street. They start shooting at each other. And the car that Joseph was in with his mother and brothers just happens to get hit with a hail of bullets as they pass through the street. And fortunately, no one else was hit. The car was riddled with bullets. But Joseph was struck once behind his ear and he died instantly. And so that was just a huge moment in my life. I had never really dealt with death up to that point. I would deal with it a couple times more with some other friends that were shot and killed later on. But that was the first time. And again, not coming from a Christian household, people can give you sort of these general platitudes and sayings, but my parents didn’t really know how to navigate that well.
And so it just was difficult to lose someone who, again, he was the only Christian that I knew up to that point. I mean, he was always talking about Jesus. He was a straight A student, super smart, just never got in trouble. And it was just hard to lose someone. So I guess I would say in some maybe recovery circles in churches, and also not in churches, they’ll say that hardship is the pathway to peace. And I think you see that in scripture too. I mean, you look at the book of Job, you look at even Christ’s story. He paid an ultimate price and sacrificed himself that we wouldn’t have to experience the same. And so, I think that as much as tough times and unpredictable calamities and all these kinds of things happen in our lives, personally, not on a global scale, but these things happen in our lives. Tomorrow is not promised for any of us.
It’s really difficult, but I think the best thing we can do is sort of not run away from those experiences, be in community with people. And I wasn’t a Christian at the time, but all these years later, once I did come to faith in Christ, I now again have this privileged opportunity to kind of share Joseph’s story and all that he’s meant to me, even all these years later with whoever’s willing to listen. So it’s a tough story, but I’m grateful that God’s allowed me to be able to continue to share it.
Yeah. And it’s clearly had an impact on you. And who knows how many people that has also impacted? Right? That’s the thing. You never know until … On this side of heaven, when you get to heaven, there’s going to be so many people who have been impacted by his story.
So, one of the things I wanted to ask you about was I did my degree in the United States as well. And one of the things that was very new to me and I think would be helpful for some of our listeners, was I came in as a Canadian into a context that was very … There’s a large focus on issues of social justice. And that’s kind of the way I want to take this episode, is talk to you about what it means to be a Christian in social justice.
In Chicago, the area of contention often in most issues was that of race relations. And you are an African American male. And I would love to hear about your life growing up, what that was like, and how the gospel transforms relations, race relations like this, because in Canada, I think we look down at United States and we see some of the racial tensions going on. But we don’t really have much to compare it to here. And so, I would love to, if you could share for our listeners. What were some of the tensions there? And what were some of the difficulties and things you experienced?
James Ellis III:
Yeah. I mean, definitely as a person of color, more specifically as an African American, given the history and even current realities of how America came into existence as a nation, and all of the racial disparities and exploitation that all of us should know by now that went into that and continue to be permeated through a system that is unjust and that is unfair. Life is different as someone who, I’m African American, so I stick out in most all contexts that I’m in. And so, I guess I would say two things.
I mean, on the one hand, I think my journey has been one of difference. I was raised by African American parents, but there’s still so many different layers to my story. So, for example, my paternal grandparents, so my dad’s mother and father, are both from the South, not just minimally south of the Mason-Dixon line, which is where Maryland would start, but the South, the deep South, like Florida and Georgia. And they eventually moved from the South to New York, and that’s kind of where they met and fell in love, my grandparents I’m thinking of.
My maternal grandparents, my grandfather’s from Texas and my grandmother is from Maine. And anybody who knows anything about New England, but maybe in particular Maine and New Hampshire, Kittery, Maine and a portion of New Hampshire, there are not a lot of black folks up there at all. There’s a lot of really good seafood. They kill it with lobster and flounder and shrimp and all that. I highly recommend it. But while there’s diversity in the crustacean life, in the seafood that’s offered, there’s not a lot of diversity in terms of the people.
I’m saying all that just to say that my grandmother on my mom’s side is French Canadian. So if you see all of my relatives on my mom’s side, you would not at first glance think that they were African American. At the very least, you might say that they’re a darker Italian individual. Their hair is really curly. They might have a nice semi tan, so to speak. But they are not my shade of African American. And so, as a kid growing up in the Washington DC and kind of Maryland area, Prince Georges County, which is a county in Maryland that has one of the largest, highest incidents of economic prosperity among black folks. It’s one of the richest black counties in the entire country.
So to experience that, where sort of black pride is celebrated and you see people who look like you all the time, I went to school with all black students. But then you go just up north, and you’re in a totally different land. But then I’ve also had experiences, I went to school with all black kids for most of my life until high school, when my parents wanted to move us to the suburbs so they could buy their own house and not be in base housing anymore. And so, we moved to Charles County, which is just south of Prince Georges County, where I was raised. And so I went from being in all black schools to one of a few in this new high school that had just been built.
And so my football coach that I love to death, Don Zaccarelli, he was a white guy. Most of my football coaches were, assistant coaches were white guys, most of the team was mostly white guys. And so it was just different. And so, I say all that to say as an African American, you’re constantly navigating difference and being a minority all the time. You don’t get a day off. There’s no vacations from being African American in a society that has the structures that America does. And I think that’s just the particular journey. You have to have some grit and some perseverance. And ultimately, it’s best represented in African Americans, I would say we’ve gotten this far by faith, not that all African Americans are Christians by any means, but many of us are. And the ways in which we have navigated oppression and dejection over the years has been through faith in Christ.
If I want to switch gears, you asked about sort of social justice and sort of maybe how that looks. Yeah, I mean, part of my lament and critique of the church in America, and I’m sure some of it would translate well here to Canada, is that it’s really easy for us to have a theology that says we should go and do, that we should feed those that are hungry. We should clothe those who are naked. We should visit those who are in prison. It’s cool to say that in some esoteric, detached, abstract way, which the Bible would attest to that these are good things that we should do.
What I find though is that in practice, in reality and lifestyle, particularly for Christians that are Caucasian because of the power structure, we rarely do that. And so again, the Bible calls that sort of being double-minded or being a hypocrite. I think scripture contends for this best when it says that faith without works is dead. Good works are things that we all should do. We all should be displaying fruits of the Spirit in our lives, how we work, the ways in which we care for those, especially those that are sort of exploited, or they’re isolated and systematically not set up for success.
Our eye and our heart should hurt in a particular direction to try to want to do our part for people. But to your point, we also should have a really good, sound soteriology, or doctrine of salvation so to speak, as to how we understand the interplay of faith and works.
One of the things I had experienced when I did my degree in Chicago, and part of the discussion of social justice and fighting for the oppressed, fighting for the poor, was my experience was churches that tend to do that tend to really be weak on their theology, meaning that there’s Biblical doctrines that have been held throughout history that is Orthodoxy would be the word to describe that. This is what the church has believed for generations and hundreds of years, thousands of years. Right? This is what the church believes.
What I noticed was churches that they would be more liberal tended to be way more involved in social justice effort. And then the other side of it, one thing I noticed is that you have a lot of maybe very conservative churches, very doctrine and the Bible. And they will almost be rigid in the sense that they’ll say, “Well, social justice is for the left.” And I’m painting them as two extremes. But what I mean to say is, “How do we find a happy medium where we actually do our faith with works and love the poor and the oppressed and those who are in systems of oppression, and also hold to orthodoxy, hold to the Scriptures as we are called do to both? How do you think we go about doing this?
James Ellis III:
Yeah, yeah. No, I got you. I think part of my encouragement is just that we all have to earn the right to be heard. And so, people who are unwilling or feel like they are above being engaged in people’s lives as equals, as human beings created in the image of God, the imago dei, who are going to build relationships with people across the aisles of difference. People who feel like they’re above that, I don’t see that in scripture. And so that’s part of what concerns me sometimes about Christianity, no matter where you find it, particularly in the West. We have to humble ourselves enough to be able to go out and do God’s bidding. God is considered in certain circles … CS Lewis came up with this, but that the Hound of Heaven. It’s God’s desire that no one would experience damnation, that everybody would come to Christ Jesus, that everyone would come to the saving faith.
And in order for that to happen, we have to go out and meet people. You have to have relationships. You have to have cultural intelligence. You have to have social and emotional depth to where you can talk about more than just the Book of Romans, where you can talk about more than just the last Christianity Today article. But you can have just conversations with people about various things, and sort of again earn the right to be heard. I think that’s super important. I think also in terms of sort of bridging this gap between faith and works, if you will, social justice and having a sound theology, I would say that if you read the Bible as it’s intended, and in its entire scope, the Bible, you find social justice in the Bible.
I guess I would say for me, it’s not social justice so much as it is a holiness ethic. It’s not going out and saving these poor folks and feeding these poor folks. That just comes with a certain air of privilege and entitlement that I think all of us, regardless of what colour you come from. I’ve met black folks who are real [inaudible 00:27:42] and feel like I’ve got my good government job, I’ve got mine, you need to go get yours type of mentality. And that’s not healthy either. So, I don’t care what your racial background is or socioeconomic stance, all of us can have this air of entitlement and privilege that’s not necessarily earned. It’s just there because of our parents or because of these systems that are set up. And so I think we all have to humble ourselves, sit down sometimes, be quiet, and do the work behind the scenes to earn the right to be in people’s lives.
And then from there, we’re able to through relationships, share the gospel, meet people at their need to the best that we can. And ultimately, I would say I think we need to really relearn, if you will, how to trust the Holy Spirit. I get really tired of, at least in America, again, I’m new to Canada, but in America, we will program people to death. I mean, it’s like everything has a program. You’ve got the youth ministry program. You’ve got the outreach program. You’ve got a program about a program. We have programs to try to help you how to design programs. And it’s just kind of crazy.
And again, I’m not knocking planning and prudence and information sharing and all that kind of stuff. I think those things are vital, but I think we’ve tended to make them into an idol, where if you can just come up, if you can just craft the right type of program, then somehow the Holy Spirit will bless it, and it’ll take off and do all these wonderful things, whereas I think more than anything, we need to trust the Holy Spirit, be in tune, walk in step with the Holy Spirit, recognize the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is not an it. The Holy Spirit is a he. He’s a person. He has a personality. He’s the third part of the trinity. And so I think, yeah, being able to trust the Holy Spirit to teach us that which we do not know and to do that which we are incapable of doing on our own is key.
Yeah. I agree with you. And I think you’re on to something with, nowadays with programs, and we’re going to tailor this ministry to this, we often can take a very individual look at faith and saying that we’ve got to get people in these programs so that they can get saved. And we’re just trying to do it, take these steps. And then eventually, you’re in the kingdom. Right? To stereotype it. But I think we are missing an element of that, which is the call to community that Christ has. And that’s a beautiful thing that we are invited into.
James Ellis III:
Yeah. Let me say this. I think that in some of these conversations about privilege, about social justice, sometimes, and this may not be what some of the listeners are taking away, but I’ll just say it. I think sometimes there can be sort of this conversation about whiteness. And there can be a conversation about sort of minorities or people of colour and these very stratified or very different, unique experiences that people have.
And I guess for me, again, I believe in Jesus. Jesus is the first and the last. He’s the author and finisher of our faith. He is the cornerstone. He’s the Rock upon which I stand and can do anything in life. But God did not create me sort of apart from my skin colour. And I think sometimes, particularly in white Evangelical circles, there’s kind of this push toward, hey, let’s not really talk about all this 400 years of oppression. Let’s not really talk about how at least in America, there’s a system that’s set up that gives you privilege as a white individual that doesn’t give me privilege as a black person. And I have to work very differently than you do, even though you’re working hard, and I’m not saying you’re not.
But there are just differences set up that one person starts out at a deficit and another person, by no work of their own, by no inherent other greater value of their own, starts out at an advantage.
And that’s how you describe … Sorry. And that’s just to clarify. That’s how you describe privilege. They’ve started at a privileged position.
James Ellis III:
Sure. Sure. Yeah. And so, I think it’s just important for me to say that, yeah, I think I don’t want white Evangelicals to feel bad that they are white and Evangelical. Praise the Lord, nothing wrong with that, no more than if someone is Indian and they’re Evangelical, or they’re a believer in Christ. That’s awesome. The point is for me, oftentimes in circles of white Evangelicalism, whether I’m sure in Canada or the US, whiteness is the view by which it’s the default. And so how I see life, how I see theology, how I see Evangelism, how I see fill in the blank is privilege. It’s like that’s the standard by which everything else is just an addendum, like we’ll put a little asterisk. The African American theology, we’ll put that as an asterisk. Latina theology, or whatever, we’ll put that as a little asterisk.
And all that to say, in the body of Christ, we’re supposed to be all tribes, all tongues, all nations. And so, there is not hierarchy in those kinds of ethnic racialized ways, which we’re all very accustomed to. And so, I don’t want to be privileged as an African American. I don’t want to be anybody’s token. But I also don’t want my white brothers and sisters to feel like somehow their skin color is a curse. No, it’s just because of the way things are set up, you enter life at a privilege, and I enter life at a disadvantage.
But in Christ, we can all be reconciled because there’s one faith, one Lord, one baptism. And if we’re willing to do the work, and I think that’s what sometimes we don’t realize, it’s work. Racial reconciliation all these kinds of issues of social justice and all this other, it doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t just read John Perkins literature, CCDA, he’s done a lot of stuff in the States. You can’t just read about these certain kinds of things, and then you get some revelation. It’s like, “Oh, I’ve addressed that. I’m good. I’m good on racial issues.” No, that’s not how it works. It’s a lot of work to be in community with people around difference and to say things that offend, and then realize, man, I didn’t mean it that way. But I need to think about this more, and being in relationships with people.
And so I think we as a church, no matter where we find ourselves, again, especially in the West, we need to do a better job of having thick skin to engage in conversation and relationship with people that don’t look like us, that don’t vote like us, that don’t necessarily have the same racialized experiences that we might have.
James, this has been a great discussion. Thank you for joining us. Thank you for being a part of indoubt.
James Ellis III:
No problem. It’s my pleasure. Thanks so much.
I don’t know about you but hearing James’ story and the different things he’s lived through and persevered through is really inspiring. So, I just wanted to say thank you to James for taking the time to be with us and share his story. On next week’s episode, James is joining us once again, and we’ll be discussing the realities of life amidst the isolation of COVID-19 and how we can all respond appropriately. And I hope that you can join us then too.
Thanks so much for listening. If you want to hear more, subscribe on iTunes and Spotify, or visit us online at indoubt.ca or indoubt.com. We’re also on social media, so make sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.