Rising Out of the Void

Sometimes we find love in places we don’t expect or understand. James Baldwin’s short story “Sonny’s Blues” tells the story of two very different brothers trying to reconcile. In this second of two sermons on Baldwin’s work, we will explore some lessons that Baldwin and the poet Audre Lorde have for us on reaching deep within and finding the power to love—by forgiving, paying attention, and letting some things go.

Benjamin Van Dyne is a PhD candidate in theology at Fordham University, where his work focuses on the interconnections between evolving concepts of race, personhood and death. He also teaches undergraduate classes in religion and theology and serves on the coordinating committee for the labor union of Fordham’s graduate workers. Prior to Fordham, Benjamin graduated from Union Theological Seminary where he was a classmate of Rev. Petra’s, and worked as a community organizer in Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, New York City and Long Island. He grew up in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Virginia and remains connected with local church communities. He lives in the Bronx with his two children. He’s on Twitter at @benjaminvandyne.