Archive for November, 2006

Reflection > Thurs Week 10

November 30, 2006

Today’s class was the last of the quarter, and week 10 is over.

Bolger talked more about the Global Information Economy I posted about yesterday. He brought in a missional approach to this new shift, and shared a few thoughts of his own in identifying “space” and “place”. For instance, if we happen to be sitting next to each other on a bus, we’d be sharing the physical location of the bus, or “place.” But if I was listening to my iPod, and not paying any attention to you, we wouldn’t be sharing the same mental engagement or “space”.

Right now, we are sharing the same “space” as you’re reading my blog and thoughts, but we are not in the same physical “place”. Kinda make sense?

I think this is so interesting, and I love that Bolger was addressing how to bring the church and gospel into these “space” areas – not deem them as apart from the church experience which can only be defined by “place”.

This immediately got me thinking, what would the gospel look like on Flickr? And this doesn’t mean starting a “Christian” photo group (that would get away from a missional approach more meant to transform this culture of photo sharing – although I have started one to connect Avant missionaries and their photos). Instead, this would be looking to join in what the holy spirit is already doing in the community there among the nonbelievers. I mentioned in class that it’s already changed the way I take photos (by creating photo sets and joining groups of people who take like images – anything from out of a plane window, orange flowers, local photos, to my favorite, “Looking at looking at art” etc.). Perhaps a photo group simple titled, “neighbor” and letting people share photos of the people close to where they live. Perhaps this would redeem the maliciously intended I Hate My Neighbor group.

Huh, interesting stuff. I feel like we were just got going, and now the class is over. I really want to continue dialoguing about Jesus in light of not just postmodern, but this global informational economy too. I’m really wondering how being so attached to computers, networks and wires will effect our spirituality. I’m planning on auditing Bolger’s Church in Mission next quarter, so we’ll see what that class covers…

Thanks for bearing with me as I brought school work directly my blog, and I hope there was something in some of these posts that spoke to you!

Reflection > Tues week 10

November 29, 2006

I get so fired up about the modern/postmodern shift, it was a bit overwhelming to hear were are already looking ahead of postmodern to the next shift, the ‘Information Economy’.

Bolger mentioned these three will probably coexist (Modern, Postmodern (or 2nd modernity), and Information Economy). But the later addresses interesting dilemma that I find personally in my own life that I didn’t realize was already categorized.

IMG_3668

Seemingly mundane things such as the shift to digital cameras from film. We love the ability to take multiple photos with the capacity to store the information. Before this inovation, a roll of film and expense of processing were limiting factors. After touring major sites in Europe over the past two years, I’d almost hesitate to pull out my camera with the sheer number of people around me doing the same thing. I actually was moved to start capturing people photographing things. I can’t help but wonder, is this futile and ridiculous? What will we do with all of this information we’re creating? I had to go out and buy a 400MB GB external hard-drive.

Also, the need for computer know-how with almost every job today, and the dependancy on an IT staff to maintain this infrastructure hit home. I came to class frustrated from an unsuccessful attempt to connect to a server in Kansas City for my work with Avant Ministries. I spent a good amount of time on the phone with the IT guy to try and make it work, but we couldn’t resolve it. I’ll either need to find someone specialized to help me sort out the issue, or create a workaround to handle the original need to streamline the creative process of producing a magazine.

All this to say, I (and you too if you’re reading this) are already seeped in the information economy. I wonder what this will that hold for faith and the church? In the practice of being in relationship of God, it is so vital to shake busyness, unplug and step away to connect with God.

Reflection > Tues week 9

November 29, 2006

We talked about modernity, and the guiding principles found in something called the McDonaldization Thesis (Weber):
• Efficiency
• Calculability
• Predictability
• Control.

Hmm, sounds nice and comfortable, right?

Interesting that one sociologist, Rizter, added the dichotomy: irrationality of the rational. Meaning, the application of control can actually create more irrational results than there were to start, defeating the initial purpose.

This has so many applications in our world. It was a bit taken aback to hear that Rizter had not even thought how his dichotomy played out in the faith/religious sphere when approached by Christian scholars (I think John Draine). These two spoke on what sounded like a panel addressing this question, here at Fuller. It would have been really interesting to hear that conversation. Sound like Ritzer holds a pessimistic view with no answers, but this is at the heart of what the emerging church is addressing > can we control or quantify faith/church? Or is it more holistic?

Lost in dead week

November 29, 2006

Journey on the mythic river of Acheron to the land of the dead… at least for a week. Dead week is here, and while the destination of Finals is not Hades, it sure feels like it. The timing, following a holiday weekend of travel, is harsh. The pressure, building with the growing list of what’s due, is setting in.

This is enough to 1. keep me up at night, and contrastingly pose a problem as it 2. makes me crave sleep to get through the amount of work I have to do.

This just means the pressures aren’t close enough to forgo the necessity of shut-eye completely (although I’m hoping this is an undergrad habit of days gone by – we’ll see). Right now, I’m in a painful pace where my brain juices seem to be either flowing intently in paper production mode, or … not flowing at all. In class this morning, the discipline to focus and filter lecture content in coherent notes was tremendous. Ironically the topic was apocalyptic prophetic literature.

Oh, the end is so so near. Give me hope oh Lord, that this quarter will pass and usher me out of the wilderness and trial of finals and into the victory of winter break!

Reflection > Tues week 8

November 29, 2006

[note: I some how left this reflection in my drafts folder instead of publishing it! It’s out of order, and not so much apicable inlight of the new material we’re looking at (and strangly foreshadows the time of prayer we spent during the next class period…hmm…) Anyway I’m posting it late since it is part of the my journey through the class…]

Honestly? The content in Transforming Contemporary Cultures isn’t so groundbreaking now that I’ve been hearing it for eight weeks. Or rather, let me rephrase… it’s still very groundbreaking, but I’m loosing my fresh ears to hear it for what it is. This makes me a bit sad. *Insert prayer for renewal*

One thing that did stand out was the emerging faith isn’t limited to Christianity. There are about 10 emerging Jewish communities around the country. Bolger was at a conference of Christian and Jew emerging folks, and it sounded fascinating. I guess it speaks to changes in society effecting the way we all approach religion and faith.

Reflection > Thurs Week 8

November 18, 2006

Some friends up in Chico have started a blog to discuss Politics, Economics, Society and the Environment. A tall order, but they’re going for it and it’s cool to follow the group as they pool their passions and collective knowledge, wit and experience. (The blog is literally called, “Not the Name”, which will change at some point, but I secretly wish it’ll stick! Reminds me of Klien’s ‘No Logo’ book title!)

Anyway, this is relevant to class, I promise. They posted on Buy Nothing day, and I left a comment that touched on a new perspective I’d gotten from Wess during the Culture Jam Book discussion. The Adbusters content and Culture Jamming objectives are about being against, boycotting and protesting. Now, that’s good and fine (minus destruction of property or violence), but it begs the question…what are we for?

So what if I don’t buy anything for a day? Will that have any impact when I head out to shop the 364 other days of the year? Wess mentioned he and his wife try to be intentional about how and where they shop, eat out, etc. Do they practice good business, treat their workers and producers fairly, serve organic and local foods, etc.?

The light bulb is starting to go on a bit. I’m realizing it’s ok and good to be against something, but it’s even more important to know what you’re for and live it.

Joshua Tree

November 12, 2006

JT Landsape

The Subaru, myself and two new friends from Fuller explored Joshua Tree National Park on Saturday. It was pretty exciting, because for some reason, I’ve really wanted to go see Joshua Tree for the past few years. I bought an annual pass at the gate since I had a hunch I’d love it, and I’m glad I did – I’ll definitely be back! It’s amazing in its humbleness – just dessert and rock, but some of the coolest cactus and rock formations I’ve seen!

It's eating me!

Lunch spot

The Joshua Trees do steal the show. Turns out their name was coined by Mormon settlers. According to the National Parks page, “Legend has it that these pioneers named the tree after the biblical figure, Joshua, seeing the limbs of the tree as outstretched in supplication, guiding the travelers westward. ”

Anyway if you get a chance, check the park out. If not, here are my photos of just some the 5.5 million Joshua Trees in the park not to mention some amazing rock formations too … pretty cool! I had fun playing photo editor this morning, so there is a mix of color and black and white.

Reflection > Thurs Week 7

November 12, 2006

Instead of class, we headed to the 2006 Missiology Lectures at Fuller. The general theme in these four lectures over two days was Children and the Mission of God.

In the last lecture by Jude Tiersma Watson, I was struck with her humbleness as she walked though Micah 6:8:

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

She walked though these things (act justly, love mercy and walk humbly) and tied them together in a call to belong to each other, which we can forget so easily. To be Christians alone and/or be self-serving is contradictory to the life Jesus and the early church lived. We belong to each other. It’s a messy journey, and hard to work out, but I was overwhelmed with the truth of it as I settle into a new living situation and am getting to know the people around me.

Reflection > Tues week 7

November 9, 2006

Bolger told the story of the very innovative church service in England that was completely native to the club scene back in the early 1990’s (read his Emerging Churches book to get the full story). He also made a remark in class about a group of believers that shows up to Burning Man to be a presence there.

I’m starting to wonder about the value of getting out of the pews and into holistic worship – use the whole body. There is something so powerful about dancing in a club, or joining a community in the dessert away from cement jungles. Droves of people my age are responding, going, and experiencing a spiritual encounter at these events (I think they also might respond deeply to real fellowship, kindness and love, but that’s another story…)

So… turns out our culture is clamoring for spirituality right in-front of our eyes. Could be God stirring in their hearts? Ding ding ding. “But churches are empty,” we realize…”The world must be going to hell!”

What if we just need a new set of eyes? Will we step out of our own viewpoint to join God in what he’s already doing at this junction of spiritual hunger and culture? Where the people ARE, not where the AREN’T?

Hmm, now where is that Power Practice and Redemption Methodology worksheet? It’s time to get missional!

wondercafe.ca

November 9, 2006

Bible Ad

I think I’ve mentioned the Holulust blog before. It features amazing print, web and even video ads for various non-profits around the globe. I get excited when original and thought provoking ads for the church show up (which sadly, isn’t very often). This set is for wondercafe.ca, a great web presence for The United Church of Canada. It’s rich with content, or “stickyness”… I mean, gosh, who wouldn’t want to come back to see EZ Squirrel? (Click the link – it’s on the bottom right of their site – you know you want to!)