Saturday, August 27, 2011

This Week's news - August 27, 2011

The first class in the Beeson year is in the books.  On Monday 16 Beeson Pastors, 9 "in parish" from 2008 and the 7 of us in the residential side joined to participate in Cultural Anthropology for Global Mission.  It was a fascinating class experience.  The content and class presentations added greater understanding to what the Lord is up to around the world. 

Some statistics/facts that amazed me were:
  • in the Ukraine there is a church Pastored by a Nigerian that has about 50,000 adherents
  • beginning in 2001 more than 50% of the world lived in cities - the first time in the history of the world
  • there are over 400 cities that have over 1 million in population, of the over 400 - 100 of those cities are in China
    • I probably know less than 50 of the cities
Some insights from the scriptures that were highlighted include:
  • God's sense of mission begins before creation
  • From the beginning God has marked people in fellowship with Him with a calling of "sentness"
  • The book of Acts is less about the Acts of the Apostles, and more about the Acts of Jesus. 
  • Paul does the majority of his ministry in the cities
  • the story of God begins in a garden, it ends in a city with a river flowing through it
The class presentations centered around comparing and contrasting worship services that were culturally different from our own.  A thread that kept appearing in the presentations was the quest to be a part of disciplining and missional communities.

One experience of the class that was radically different was the integration of technology and connectedness.  All the class participants were on laptops and cell phones were nearby for many.  Everyone was in the room and on the web.  Conversation and learning were chaordic (chaotic and ordered).       

While I was in class, Anna and the kids were also chugging along in their studies.  In Kentucky school began about 2 and 1/2 weeks ago, they began their regime also. They boys are beginning their days with music practice and then a 2 mile run with a friend.  Anna and I are also running.  Today she ran a personal best, 4 & 1/2 miles. 

Anna has been baking most of this afternoon for a desert function tonight.  She's gained a reputation among our cohort as having the best chocolate chip cookies ever.

This week we welcome Beeson International Leaders and together we will take a class on Spiritual Formation.  A highlight of that class is a retreat to the Abby of Gethsemane. 

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