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Following Jesus through a 21st Century Wilderness

March 30-31, 2019

Church of the Ascension hosted The Very Rev. Michael Battle for a Lenten workshop weekend on March 30-31, 2019 called “Following Jesus in a 21st Century Wilderness.” Battle’s book Ubuntu: I in You and You in Me was the focus of the parish-wide Sunday School leading up to the workshop. 

The Saturday workshop was broken up into three periods with small group discussion between sections of the presentation. Reflections of those discussions were brought to the larger group. Three separate recordings were made of the entire workshop. You can listen to those below. 

On Sunday, Michael Battle led the parish-wide Sunday School class and preached the sermon at both the 8:00 and 10:30 am services. You can listen to these sessions below.

Who is...

Michael Battle

Currently appointed as Herbert Thompson Professor of Church and Society and Director of the Desmond Tutu Center at General Theological Seminary in New York, the Very Rev. Michael Battle, Ph.D. has an undergraduate degree from Duke University, received his master’s of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, a master’s of Sacred Theology from Yale University and a PhD in theology and ethics, also from Duke University. He was ordained a priest by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 1993. Battle’s clergy experience, in addition to his current church work, includes serving as vicar at St. Titus Episcopal Church in Durham, NC, rector at Church of Our Saviour, in San Gabriel, California; rector at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, Raleigh, N.C.; and interim rector or associate priest with other churches in North Carolina and in Cape Town, South Africa.

On two occasions he moved into churches located in ethnically changing neighborhoods (to Asian in one and to Hispanic in the other) and helped both to adapt and grow. He also served as provost and canon theologian for the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. In 2010, Battle was given one of the highest Anglican Church distinctions as “Six Preacher,” by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. A distinction given to only a few who demonstrate great dedication to the church that goes back to 16th century England and Thomas Cranmer. Battle’s academic experience includes service as interim dean of Students and Community Life at Episcopal Divinity School, dean for academic affairs, vice president and associate professor of theology at Virginia Theology Seminary; as associate professor of spirituality and black church studies, at Duke University’s Divinity School; and as assistant professor of spiritual and moral theology in the School of Theology at the University of the South. Battle has published nine books, including “Reconciliation: the Ubuntu Theology of Desmond Tutu,” and the book for the Episcopal Church’s General Convention, “Ubuntu: I in You and You in Me.”

In his PeaceBattle Institute he works on subjects of diversity, spirituality, prayer, race and reconciliation. Almost since its inception, he has served as pastor and spiritual director to hundreds of clergy and laity for CREDO for the Episcopal Church. He has also served as chaplain to Archbishop Tutu, Congressman John Lewis, the House of Bishops and, in 2008, was chaplain to the Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops. He is a featured keynote speaker and has led numerous clergy and lay retreats, including the bishops’ retreat of the Province of the West Indies. In addition, Battle has served as vice president to the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Arun Gandhi’s Institute for Nonviolence.


Workshop: Part 1

Following Jesus Through a 21st Century Wilderness Part 1

Workshop: Part 2

Following Jesus Through a 21st Century Wilderness Part 2

Workshop: Part 3

Following Jesus Through a 21st Century Wilderness Part 3

Sunday School lead by Michael Battle

Sunday School lead by Michael Battle Sunday, March 31, 2019, 9:15 am

Sermon by Michael Battle

Sermon by The Rev. Dr. Michael Battle Sunday, March 31, 2019