Alyssa Aldape is a contributing correspondent for Good Faith Media.
1. What story, verse or passage from your faith tradition’s sacred texts has significantly influenced / shaped your life?
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind,” 2 Timothy 1:7.
I was an anxious and, at times, a timid child. My mom told me to say this verse to myself whenever I was having big feelings.
I have said this verse many times before spelling tests, during most of puberty, in college, seminary, etc. It’s been on a sticky note at every desk I’ve ever had.
And it is the verse I repeat to myself when I say or preach about hard things. It is the reminder to be unapologetically about the work of good news and liberation, which is not rooted in fear.
2. Who are three people (other than your family) who have shaped your life and worldview? And why?
Keith Herron, my childhood pastor. He preached a kind, gentle and inclusive gospel. He was also the first pastor I ever saw dance and drink a beer. Big theological shifts for me.
Arlin Tellez, a college student I met through advocacy work in Washington, DC. Arlin reminds me daily to keep pushing for liberation and freedom. She is a wise and bold leader in her community and a Latina I strive to be like.
Ashley Robinson, a fellow pastor’s kid, friend and colleague. She is a brilliant minister and writer whose words call us in to see the glittery specs in the otherwise ordinary work of faith and life. Her witness reminds me that the work of the gospel is to see each other as good and welcomed in the eyes of God.
3. List three of your “desert island” books, movies or TV shows.
Voices From The Ancestors: Xicanx and Latinx Spiritual Expressions and Healing Practices by Lara Medina, the Alabama Shakes second album, “Sound and Color” (I know you asked for a movie, but I need music!) and “Parks and Recreation.”
4. What is one of the most critical issues people are facing today?
It will and has disproportionately affected communities of color and low-income areas. And because, for the most part, if you have access to cooling and heating resources, I am afraid we will not really act or take community action as people of faith until it is too late.
This is what keeps me awake when my melatonin gummy doesn’t take.
5. What are a few of your hobbies?
Hiking with my person Nick, running the trails in Rock Creek Park, playing the guitar, writing, sitting around the table with my family and laughing or remembering stories from childhood, reading, and putting our New York Times Cooking subscription to good use.
6. If you could freeze your life into an already-lived 10 seconds, what would they be?
It’s between the night the San Antonio Spurs won the championship in June 1999. People parked on the shoulder of 1604 and celebrated on the highway! Including me, my dad and brother.
And mine and Nick’s first date when I was early for the first and last time in our relationship and neither of us knew what the next days, months and years would hold for us.
7. Our tagline at Good Faith Media is, “There’s more to tell.” What’s your “more to tell”?
Preston Clegg, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Little Rock, once preached about a fire in the bones – a good word that’s itching to get out and exist in the world.
For me, it is creating spaces for other mujeres and people of color to explore a spirituality outside of the institutional church.
I want more for us than a concept that hasn’t worked since the 1980s and that the institution itself is largely unwilling to reform. I want more for all of us than continuing in patterns that often hurt us.
It is that fire that has kept me in the faith.
Reflection and resources at the intersection of faith and culture through an inclusive Christian lens.