An Interview with Jo Saxton

Jo Saxton 2

Interview with Jo Saxton

 

Today, I have a special treat for you. I’m doing an interview with Jo Saxton, a leader I’m honored to know. You might recall that I posted a review of her new book, “The Dream of You” recently on the blog. Now I’m digging into some of the questions I had while reading it. I pray this will encourage you.  

 

Natasha: Jo, you have quite an interesting story. You speak all over the country and have become known as the “Nigerian Brit,” can you share a little bit about that story, and how your name changed from Modupe to Jo?

 

I call myself a Nigerian Brit because both play a fundamental role in my identity. I’m a Yoruba Nigerian, and my parents moved to England in the 1960’s. Many of my formative years were spent growing up among a wide Nigerian community in London. Nigerian food, Nigerian sounds, Nigerian cultural practices. That was my norm.

 

Nonetheless, London is my hometown; and it’s a diverse and cosmopolitan city. Its where I grew up, made friends, had crushes on local boys; I walked its streets and loved it. I feel such a visceral connection to London because its shaped me too. Still the London I grew up in is eclectic, much more so than the pictures of England captured in shows like Downton Abbey or The Crown.

 

My London includes Buckingham palace with the royal family, and Big Ben and tourist attractions, but it’s also Brixton market with its Ankara materials and meats and fruit. My London is fish and chips, and chicken tikka masala and jolloff rice. Its hanging out at the local pub and the local hair salon, knowing they house two different cultural worlds. Its reading Shakespeare, Ben Okri and Zadie Smith. Its Wham & Shalamar, soul music and Seal, as my elders dance to Sunny Ade again. All of that is the London I called my home.

Continue reading “An Interview with Jo Saxton”

Why You Should Not Say, “The poor will be with you always.”

“Poverty is not a sin.”

 

He spoke these words boldly, as if he was saying something prophetic. Then he gave a pregnant pause, and waited for the audience to delight at this great revelation. These were the words uttered by a pastor while I was attending a workshop at a church planning conference for leaders. While this statement is true, I didn’t find the words that followed particularly insightful.

He approached the topic of poverty in the same way that I have heard many American pastors and Christians quote the scripture:

“The poor will be with you always…”

When I hear both of these statements, particularly in the contexts in which they were given, I have great concern that the pastors are not challenging themselves or their hearers to respond to poverty in any tangible way. The problem with these holy references is they are both incomplete, and an incomplete truth can be just as harmful as a lie.

Continue reading “Why You Should Not Say, “The poor will be with you always.””

500 Years after the Reformation

From the Mosaix website:

October 31, 1517, is traditionally considered the day that German priest and scholar Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses for consideration at All Saints’ Church (more commonly, Castle Church), in Wittenberg, Germany. Legend suggests that he did so by nailing them to the church door, although this cannot be proven. In so doing, Luther aimed to bring about reformation in the church by addressing widespread abuses in his day. Furthermore, his emphasis on justification by faith was never intended to abandon consideration of faithful witness, but just the opposite.

As Luther writes in The Freedom of a Christian, union with Christ by faith involves caring for our neighbors in love. To care for our neighbors, that is for those very different than us as defined by Christ (Luke 10:25-37), and thus to fulfill the whole Law beyond mere love for God (Matthew 22:40; Galatians 5:14), requires proximity (Ephesians 4:1-13f.).1 For Christians, fundamentally, this means walking, working, and worshipping God together as one in and through local churches beyond the distinctions of this world that so often and otherwise divide. In so doing we provide a credible witness of God’s love for all people on earth as it is in heaven.

Yesterday marked the 500 Year anniversary of this historic event. In this honor, the Mosaix Global Network has released its 95 Theses, calling for a new reformation and challenging the local church to work and worship together as healthy multi-ethnic and economically diverse congregations.

Continue reading the Mosaix Preamble, 21st Century Call to Reformation, and 95 Theses Concerning the Unity and Diversity in the Local Church.

Continue reading “500 Years after the Reformation”