Doctoral Work: Boundary Leaders

filming setup at Lyn Pace's office

For my Doctor of Ministry Final Project I am filming a series of interviews with a remarkable set of leaders in and around Emory University: Rev. Lyn Pace (Oxford College Chaplain), Carlton Mackey (Emory Center for Ethics and Artist), Dr. Elizabeth Corrie (Candler School of Theology), Danielle M. Bruce Steele (Emory Office of LGBTQ and the Center for Women), Rashika Verma (Emory undergraduate student), Ruth Ubaldo (Candler Theology Student), Kevin McIntosh (Emory Housing and Residence Life) and Dr. Bobbi Patterson (Emory Graduate Dept of Religion and Professor of Pedagogy).

This project is born out of my research on Emory undergraduates and from our course work around Asset Based Community Development and Alternative Leadership models–like “Boundary Leadership.” Boundary Leadership is necessary in order to build vibrant, thriving communities of inclusion, wholeness, and mutual prosperity, which, for Christians, is exemplary of the in-breaking Kin-dom of God made manifest through our loving actions.

My structural and social analysis research into the difficult and challenging issues in the Emory University community have further impressed upon me the importance of remarkable and adaptive people in leadership positions both in institutional and community settings. Author and researcher Gary Gunderson calls this “Boundary Leadership,” which “is the practice of leadership in the boundary zone, the space in between settled zones of authority, where relationships are more fluid, dynamic, and itinerant.*”

In order to learn more about how Boundary Leaders function in different spaces and areas of community life, practice self-care, act with intentionality, and help create other Boundary Leaders, I have conducted video interviews with both known and emerging boundary leaders in the Emory University community. This information and research will be compiled into a three to six week video small group curriculum for collegiate ministry.

The goals of this curriculum will be for students to gain a deep and practical understanding of boundary leadership, to understand what boundary leadership does for community formation, and how students/leaders can become/create other boundary leaders.

Below is the first edit of my interview with Chaplain Rev. Lyn Pace of Oxford College of Emory University, which serves as an introduction to Boundary Leadership.

*Gunderson, Gary; Cochrane, Jim (2012-02-15). Religion and the Health of the Public (pp. 119-120). Palgrave Macmillan Monographs. Kindle Edition.

filming setup at Lyn Pace's office

NEXT16

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I had an amazing time this past weekend at NEXT16 with the 700+ college students at Imagine What’s Next  at The Tabernacle in downtown ATL! It was a great opportunity to be creative with images and video and to help make a meaningful and transformative experience for everyone there! This wrap up video is a small taste of the event and the hopeful, creative, and inspirational time we all had together.

Pray and Act — Homily on the Persistent Widow

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“Pray and Act” Homily by Rev. Joseph McBrayer at Emory University Worship at Cannon Chapel on Sunday October 16, 2016 with Emory Office of Spiritual and Religious Life. // My humble thanks to the many women who contributed to the content and direction of this sermon with your responses and online engagement.

Here is the audio of my sermon: “Pray and Act” on the Persistent Widow in Luke 18:1-8 from Emory Office of Spiritual and Religious Life‘s University Worship service today. (as a note, some of the stories I share contain references to sexual assault, harassment, and other incidents which some may find triggering or difficult to hear).

 

 

 

Prayerful Wandering/Wondering

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paying attention reflection of chapelPrayerful Wandering/Wondering

Each week on my walking to and from meetings on campus I try to implement (what I call) an intentional practice of “prayerful wandering/wondering”–on the way back to my office from one place on campus or another, I intentionally look up and pay attention and walk in the direction I feel God’s Spirit leading me. Often, I find myself surprised to see people I haven’t seen in a while, notice people’s emotions and have a sense of their feelings (even if I do not speak with them I might say a quiet prayer for them), and find a way to build in a more Spirit-led practice of awareness into my life. JRR Tolkien reminds us that “not all who wander are lost” and this Holy Wandering and Holy Wondering can be life-giving, empathy-increasing actions that allow us to see the gifts and potentials of our people and communities.

This practice helps me in my work as a campus minister (and in my doctor of ministry research/project) as it helps me to better understand people and their experiences in life as well as giving me a deeper appreciation of the community and spaces around me. Also, I frequently end up wandering a whole lot further than if I would have just walked straight back to my office!
I hope to continue this practice implementing and other practices which help us to see, understand, and respond with God’s loving action.

Freshly Wesley promo

freshly wesley at emory wesley fellowship

We had a great time making this single-take, steady-cam styled Freshly Wesley promo! AND I even recorded a quick instrumental version of “Come Thou Fount” to go with it! // Freshly Wesley meets Wednesdays for Free Dinner at 6pm and 7pm for Freshly and is a Freshman hangout to meet new people, talk about Jesus, and enjoy fellowship with other students. Emory Wesley
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DMin 714 Liturgy Presentation

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Doctor of Ministry “poster” on what I’ve learned about worship in our DM714 Class on “Worship and Liturgy” at Candler School of Theology, Emory University with Professor Ed Phillips in Spring 2016.

Thanksgiving Thoughts

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Thanksgiving Thoughts 2015

“It all begins with a table–or a TV tray, or a lap–but either way, meals in our apartments or homes with other people or by ourselves are an occasion to remember and be thankful.

The practice of “saying grace” or “asking the blessing” or “giving thanks” for the food–whether it is a meager bowl of soup or a filled table of a thanksgiving feast–is to acknowledge that we and our bodies rely upon something outside of ourselves to sustain us. We give thanks for the people whom we don’t see or often acknowledge the people who plow, plant, and pick, the people who grow, harvest, and process, and the people who bring it to our markets, our doors, and our tables.

We also say thanks for the people who are around the table and remember those who have no table to gather round nor loved ones with whom to gather. We take a moment to PAUSE and acknowledge our need for the sustaining physical and spiritual nourishment which we receive from God our Creator–asking that God would bless our food that we might truly be a blessing to others.

So, when you gather with friends, family, and loved ones this Thanksgiving, remember–and be thankful.”

Happy Thanksgiving,
– Rev. Joseph McBrayer, the staff, & students of Emory Wesley

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