Archive for September, 2006

A new day, a new blog

September 30, 2006

Welcome to the new blog if you’re just coming over from the blogger site. I’m glad your here!
I’ve had an itch to do something with my blog for awhile, an I’ve finally scratched it. This isn’t much, but it has more flexibility than blogger. Bear with me as I get this one up to speed (i.e. content, blog roll links, etc.). Should be good!

Reflection > Tues Week 1

September 30, 2006

[Note: for those of you who aren’t connected with Fuller, these Tuesday/Thursday reflections are a required part of MP520: Transforming Contemporary Cultures, taught by Ryan Bolger and TA’ed by Wess Daniels. I’ll be writing two reflections a week based on lectures and general class going-ons. Also – book reviews to look forward to. I’ll be posting 500 words on books off the reading list for the class. If you’ve been following my previous bloging, I think you’ll find this content up your ally … or at least an interesting read.]

Walking into this class, there was a bit of a stardom factor. Professor Ryan Bolger, wrote Emerging Churches with Eddie Gibbs. Now he’s my professor, and I’ll hang out with him (ok, and 30+ other students) twice a week.

Bare with me here on this first reflection. I lost these notes on my HD dive yesterday.

Bolger spent time introducing the history of how the study in this area even came about, and how the class came to Fuller. What stuck with me in this intro was the concept of “Christendom.”

Defined as the combination of church and state, Christendom was established in the western world since Constantine legalized Christianity as state religion. The notion developed over centuries that good citizens were Christian. Good Christians were expected, and did, go to church.

That means for centuries, churches naturally fell into a “they’ll come to us” mentality, because simply, the people came. Generation after generation followed their parents to church with no question or change.

But the recent baby boomers were the first to break this pattern and walk away from, what by that time, had become mainline denominations. This has caused a shift in the past few decades of the way people go to church, or simply, that they don’t. Even among Christians today, “Church shopping” is a popular term when looking for a church. This is a new practice. I never even thought twice about the term “shopping” attached to looking for a place to worship. Seems to fall in line with the rise in consumerism since post WW2…

Attendance rates at mainline congregations are generally still dropping, The average age of members at my home church, Concord First Presbyterian, is 69. Bolger mentioned mainline denominations in England/Scotland are forecasting their own death dates, Like my home church, members age, and there are no larger influxes of younger people to balance out the flock.

I’ve known this. I’ve been watching it happening – horrified, but wondering what could be done (and you bet a big reason I’m here at Fuller). Bolger broke it down in a way that made this “click” for me – as the age of Christendom comes to an end, and we can no longer expect people to walk through church doors on their own, a very fundamental change needs to happen. We, as the church, need to start going to them in their cultures and communities. Sometimes called, “being missional,” this very real and active outreach demonstrates Christ to the community, and brings people back to church.

They don’t come because they are supposed to be there, but because the church came to them. Through service, love, advocating, it’s a bottom-up approach that very much embodies Christ’s own ministry.

I walked out of class giddy – I felt I found handles on a bulky awkward bag I’d been carrying around. I know this is general and vague, but it was after-all the course introduction. I’m very excited to dig in!

hard drive dive

September 30, 2006

You always hear, “Back up  your files! Back up your files!” It never hits home until something happens to YOU.

Well, it happened to ME yesterday – my hard drive failed. I noticed it was humming a bit louder than normal, then running really slow, then not starting up, and finally not responding to a press of the power button.

Thankfully there’s an Apple store in Pasadena with a Genesis Bar – where you can take wayward mac equipment to be looked at my Mac Genesis (that’s actually their title – I saw Joe’s business card, who worked on my computer).

So my laptop is on it’s way to Houston to get a new hard drive, and I’m left with my head spinning wondering exactly what I’ve lost. I did a full back up of my fundraising stuff, Avant files and design portfolio files in April, so I should have most everything but these past few months. I rescued my pictures, and I back up contact, calendar, financial info, and browser bookmarks every week on my ipod, so I think I’m coming out relatively unscathed. I did start taking my laptop to class this week, and lost one class meeting of all three classes of notes, but thankfully it’s just week one – not week ten before finals.

The new hard drive and cost of repair is covered by Apple Care – an insurance like-investment that just paid for itself. I’m out a laptop for a week, but thankfully have my trusty G4 tower I used through out college as a back up. It’s just runs at 400mz, and has 512mb memory, but I’m grateful to have something to fall back on.

I told my roommate I feel like it’s a best case of a worst case scenario. But my lesson is learned, and I’m off to Fry’s to get an external hard drive – something I needed anyway as I’m constantly getting the “startup disk is almost full” message. I even thought about getting one a few weeks ago when I was making the move down here, but convinced my self I couldn’t afford it quite yet. Wrong.

New Blog

September 28, 2006

I’m going to stretch my legs a bit in WordPres as suggested by my professor of Transforming Contemporary Cultures. We have to blog for class … I think I’m in heaven.