Western Christianity’s Implicit Bias Concerning Land and Race (Luke 4:14-30); Guest Speaker: Randy Woodley

We welcomed Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley, PhD to Camas Friends this Sunday. Randy is an activist/scholar, distinguished teacher and wisdom keeper who addresses a variety of issues concerning American culture, faith/spirituality, justice, race/diversity, regenerative farming, our relationship with the earth and Indigenous realities. His expertise has been sought in national venues such as Time Magazine, The Huffington Post and Christianity Today.

Dr. Woodley currently serves as Distinguished Professor of Faith and Culture and Director of Intercultural and Indigenous Studies at George Fox University/Portland Seminary. He served for several years on the Oregon Dept. of Education, American Indian/Alaska Native Advisory Council. Randy was raised near Detroit, Michigan and is a legal descendent of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma. Randy co-hosts the Peacing it all Together podcast with Bo Sanders. His books include:

  • Decolonizing Evangelicalism: An 11:59pm Conversation 
  • The Harmony Tree: A Story of Healing and Community 
  • Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision 
  • Living in Color: Embracing God’s Passion for Ethnic Diversity

Randy and Edith (his wife) co-founded Eloheh Indigenous Center for Earth Justice www.eloheh.org and Eloheh Farm & Seeds www.elohehseeds.com  They both served together on the Greater Portland Native Climate Council.The Woodleys have been involved for over 30 years in mentoring Indigenous leaders and others, as well as many other aspects of service among Native communities. Their commitment to serve Native Americans led them to become serious about important structural issues such as peace, racism and eco-justice.

Luke 4:14-30:

14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. 16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

    because he has anointed me

        to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives

    and recovery of sight to the blind,

        to let the oppressed go free,

19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23 He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’” 24 And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. 25 But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26 yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27 There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30 But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.