When we make ourselves available to and are authentic with each other amazing things happen. That’s what the Rev. Dr. Margaret P. Aymer Oget does over and over again. A professor of New Testament at Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Margaret serves the church, her students and the academy hospitably and prophetically. I witnessed her hospitality and heard a description of her prophecy yesterday in “Our PC(USA) Seminaries” booth at the Presbyterian Women’s Gathering exhibit hall here in Louisville, KY.
Margaret preached Sunday morning for the thousands of mostly Presbyterian women who convene triennially. Sandra Fisher, a conferee from North Dakota spotted Margaret in our booth. I watched as a smile came over her face and she gently stepped toward Margaret. “I cannot believe I can get this close to you.” She went on to thank Margaret for the ways in which she was fed by her sermon to do justice for God’s sake.
Preaching from Mark 2:1-12, Margaret began her sermon this way “The good news of the gospel is that it calls us to a ministry of meddlin,’” Playing off the Southern expression “When one goes from preachin’ to meddlin’.” It reminded me of how important a role theological faculty play in the life of the Church and especially the PC(USA). As we remember the impact of John Calvin, on what would have been his 500th birthday, it is good to know his legacy of a walking the talk in the community and larger world is alive and well. I was, therefore, encouraged that my ministry to help the Committee on Theological Education “preserve academic freedom for the benefit of the church” continues to be important.
All of us, including Sandra, eagerly await the publishing by PW’s Horizon’s Bible Study in 2010-11 on the Beatitudes. She puts these core Christian principles in conversation with the World Alliance of Reformed Churches’ Accra Confession.
The social media savvy, Margaret also makes herself personally available face to face. She reminds me how important it is to support our Presbyterian Seminaries. Mentor, scholar, preacher, musician, prophet, and priest. “I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” (Frederick Douglass) You pray with your legs, arms, heart, eyes, ears, and mind. Thanks for who you are Margaret Aymer Oget!
Margaret’s publications include “Teaching Christians to ‘Read’: Theological Education and the Church”; “Empire, Alter-empire and the Twenty-first Century”; “What Do the Gospels Say about Sex and the Church?” in Frequently Asked Questions about Sexuality, the Bible, and the Church; First Pure, Then Peaceable: Frederick Douglass Reads James and a forthcoming book, African American Biblical Interpretation: An Introduction with co-author, Randall C. Bailey.
Lee in Louisville.