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Showing posts from October, 2009

Synergy

On day two, we were visited by Gabriel Salguero of New York and Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners.
Salguero was a very engaging communicator and his wife was on stage to do simultaneous translation in Spanish. They made a hilarious duo. He told the story of his adolescent bully who would steal his lunch money and exhorted us to work together to take on the "grande, fuerte, feo" bullies of our day.
Wallis also encouraged us to synergize our efforts as the Body of Christ as we battle the injustice in our land. If our faith doesn't spill over and bring about change in society, then it's not revival, he said.
Perhaps the most challenging things that Wallis shared were the prayers of his two young boys, ages 6 and 11.
"Dear God. I want to pray for all of the hungry and homeless and sick people. Um....God...do you know there's a lot? Any comments or questions?"
"Dear Jesus. I want to pray for the 25,000 kids today who will die today from hunger and other stu…

John Perkins

Each morning at the CCDA conference, we had the incredible opportunity to sit in on a study of 1 John with John Perkins. If you aren't familiar with this man, you need to be.
Perkins was a contemporary of MLK Jr. and fellow civil rights leader. He has lived in Mississippi for the better part of his 80 years on this earth, and suffered greatly at the hands of his Southern oppressors in the civil rights era. Along with his wife, Vera Mae, and their eight children, they stood firm on the foundation of Jesus Christ and persevered through difficult times, refusing to let hatred toward their white oppressors overtake them.
Perkins is the father of the CCDA and has been a champion for the marginalized and poor in our nation. His own mother needlessly died of malnutrition/starvation after his birth while they lived on a plantation. John said he couldn't imagine responding in another manner to his mother's death than to give himself to loving and serving the poor in the name of Jes…

Subversion

The five main sessions of the CCDA annual conference took us on a journey into five community development themes of Subversion, Synergy, Solidarity, Simplicity and Symphony.
Day One: Subversion
Our main speakers were Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, husband of the late Rev. Tom Skinner, and Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, professor at North Park Seminary.
How do we subvert the status quo? Can we imagine an alternative way of living out Jesus' kingdom values in a world that elevates the haves over the havenots and fear over hope?
Dr. Skinner was a powerful communicator and challenged us to mentor young people into the freedom we have in Christ, not fear. Freedom over fear.
Dr. Rah has studied and written extensively on the topic of the Next Evangelicalism. That's a fancy term for describing the movement of the global church. One hundred years ago, Europe and North America were the center of the Church. Today, the global South leads the way. Put simply: the Church is no longer "white", as…

Tipping Points

I am confident that in the coming weeks and months, I will look back on this past week's CCDA annual conference in Cincinnati as a tipping point in my and Amber's life. It was absolutely incredible. Jam-packed? Yes. But, instrumental in our formation as members of the Body of Christ? Undoubtedly. And...it was so much fun! We were challenged and encouraged in countless ways. I look forward to reviewing the conference on this blog in the coming days.



Word of the Day: Reconciliation

I've spent a good amount of time thinking about reconciliation lately. The book we just read raised some good questions, so we have been wrestling with it in our Academy group discussions. And of course, we're encountering the challenges of reconciliation on the streets of Memphis, which has a history that we all know about.
But at the end of the day, this video sums it all up. :-)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnOyMSEWNTs&feature=fvw

The Three Rs

Currently, we are reading Restoring At Risk Communities for the Academy. It's more or less the official handbook of the Christian Community Development Association, a compilation of essays from various seasoned community developers.

We are all being really challenged by the thoughts expressed in this book. We're talking about painfully difficult ways of living as disciples of Jesus Christ that I would rather not think or hear about. These aren't lofty treatises for utopian societies, but instead Biblical, Gospel-centered practices that are being tried and tested by men and women in communities around the globe.

The content of this book - and ultimately the call to live incarnationally on earth as disciples of Christ - centers on the three "Rs" of Relocation, Reconciliation and Redistribution. We are being confronted by the difficulty of living this out in a city that is rich with segregation and self-protection.

In the posts to follow, I will share some of the inner…