As we pursue increasing opportunities to connect students and faculty with what the New Testament describes as “true religion”–the care for widows and orphans (James 1:27)–, we’ll be highlighting opportunities for Mission Team Leaders to use on their campuses. Brenda Niemeyer is giving direction to the Campus Ministry’s partnership with the Christian Alliance for Orphan Care. Below, she describes an outreach idea for local movements that might work on your campus.
I wanted to let you know about a great opportunity. Nov. 8th is Orphan Sunday and the Christian Alliance for Orphans (which the Campus Ministry joined last year) is starting a national movement to spotlight the needs of orphans around the world (the goal is to see 1000 events taking place around the nation on Orphan Sunday). . .and we have the chance to take part.
Would you consider doing something on your campus that day to help meet the needs of 143,000,000 orphans?
We are looking for teams who would be willing to do something very simple. A few examples:
1. Collect some items for Care Packs i.e. simple school supplies (please see attachment for list). This could be an opportunity to connect with other groups on campus and/or fraternities and sororities. You can mail what you collect to Global Aid Network’s warehouse: Global Aid Network Distribution Center 1506 Quarry Road Mount Joy, PA 17552 Phone: 717-285-4220
2. Collect shoes for orphans (many have never had a pair of shoes). This could be a great way to connect with and serve with other groups on campus, even very secular ones. Again, you can ship the shoes to Global Aid Network for distribution or anywhere else you would like. Global Aid Network Distribution Center 1506 Quarry Road Mount Joy, PA 17552 Phone: 717-285-4220
3. Show an orphan related movie on campus and collect a dime as admission – one dime feeds a child a meal (see this link).
Here are some other movie suggestions: http://www.orphansunday.org/resources/orphan_themed_movies
There are many more ideas out there – these are some of the simplest. You can check out www.orphansunday.org <http://www.orphansunday.org> if you are interested in youtube videos, bible study materials, advertising posters and fliers, a simulation etc.
This is such a great opportunity to connect with believing and non-believing students on your campus. They want to be part of meeting the needs of others. Half of the students who went on projects with a strong humanitarian component this last summer specifically chose those projects because they were going to get to live out the gospel by sharing His love in tangible ways as well as by telling people about Him. Pretty exciting to think of this next generation taking a stand for those in need!!
Please let me know if you plan to host/sponsor an event on Orphan Sunday. If you have any questionsyou can reach me by phone or email. 303-260-9973. I would be glad to help you in any way I can. — Brenda Niemeyer (CCC Partnership Director For Christian Alliance for Orphans)
CarePack Supply Checklist.pdf
Several of us are still work on are partnership with Compassion. Here’s a impressive set of reflections — the 1900+ LDP students are college students, formerly sponsored children in poverty, who are now studying at the best universities in their countries.
The folks over at Micah Network came up with a lovely term: Integral Mission. I love the way they defined it–wording that helps us keep both proclamation and demonstration in balance:
Integral Mission is …
” .. the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel. It is not simply that evangelism and social involvement are to be done alongside each other. Rather, in integral mission our proclamation has social consequences as we call people to love and repentance in all areas of life. And our social involvement has evangelistic consequences as we bear witness to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ. If we ignore the world we betray the word of God which sends us out to serve the world. If we ignore the word of God we have nothing to bring to the world. Justice and justification by faith, worship and political action, the spiritual and the material, personal change and structural change belong together. As in the life of Jesus, being, doing and saying are at the heart of our integral task.”
I failed to include in our partnership links Campus Crusade’s own Compassionate Urban Ministry, Here’s Life Inner City. Here’s Life Inner City has been leading us in holistic approaches, partnering with the Campus Ministry and others for years doing Urban Immersions, etc. I just received a glowing report from Chip about 20 Auburn students whose lives were changed by a recent urban immersion in Chicago. Many of us have been using their materials, Compassion by Command, Holistic Hardware, etc. for years and look forward to their help in helping us blend “justification and justice” on the college campus.
If you’re not already familiar with their efforts and the opportunities for partnerships with your campus or movement, check them out here. — Jay
Jonathan Pennington sent me a link to the following mp3, in which he summarizes his understanding of the Gospel. It’s another helpful contribution to our discussion about the Gospel’s embrace of both justice and justification. While honoring the 4 Laws’ role in his own conversion, Jonathan suggests helpful ways to improve our gospel proclamation based on the larger Biblical narrative. I especially appreciated his description of the gospel as both:
- cruciform and creational
- personal and panoramic.
Take some time to listen:
I had a quick lunch with Jonathan Pennington last week. Jonathan is a Professor at Southern Seminary in Louisville and one of our CCC IBS teachers. He’s just publishing his dissertation on the Kingdom in the Gospel of Matthew. He sent me to several of his lectures (here) and I’ve enjoyed listening to him.
His lecture on the Proclamation and the Kingdom particularly addresses our journey to balance proclamation and demonstration of the gospel. It’s one of the best summaries I’ve heard. Take some time to listen to it.
Jonathan suggests the following applications (let him clarify them). I list them only to suggest we think thru how we can incorporate these applications:
- We should adopt a Kingdom-focused theology and world-view.
- We must think about and proclaim the gospel broader than just our personal forgiveness of sins.
- We should be involved in and support social works and policy that reflect the realities of the coming Kingdom.
- We must realize that the Kingdom story is our story and we have a part to play.
- We must live, preach and act with the forward-looking hope of the Kingdom.
Also, many of you will be in CSU. Take advantage of the many seminars dealing with our good news/good deeds within Campus Crusade for Christ. The Good News Good Deeds Initiative (the team behind this website) is sponsoring two of the seminars:
Building Movements Characterized by Passionate Proclamation and Compassionate Demonstration of the Gospel – Chip Scivicque, Ron Sanders, Jay Lorenzen, Charles Gilmer
CCC increasingly confronts the tensions of fulfilling our organizational mission alongside the Scripture’s call to engage in justice, advocacy, and compassion initiatives as expressions of the gospel. In a discussion format, we’ll explore these tensions and suggest practical ways of serving the God of justification and of justice.
International Justice Mission – Larry Martin
Lory Student Center North Ballroom
Come hear about God’s heart for justice, and what the IJM is doing around the world to secure justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.
Lots of other great seminars available, many on similar topics.
In the building of movements, do we depend upon a combination of methods, knowledge, and skills
when what we need most is imagination?
Skye Jethani, in his book The Divine Commodity, suggests that the challenge facing Christianity is not a lack of resources or motivation, but “a failure of imagination.” We too often become slaves to the models and methods of the past. We want to obey Christ but lack his imagination. I trying to find approaches and/or questions that might trigger a Christlike imagination. Here’s a few I’m trying:
- Imagine a world in which God rules and reigns in every place. As you do so, take a look around the world and notice the things that will not be true in the new heavens and new earth. Then understand they don’t belong here either.
- Imagine that God is constantly trying to give you new ideas. Actively seek out those ideas, listen closely, be present in each situation, write down those ideas. Now, implement a few of them–ignoring everybody but that quiet whisperer who leads you into all truth (John 16:13)
I found the following story about Maggie Doyne–I don’t know her or her spiritual story. What I find compelling though is her imagination? What if all of us had “Christ-ignited imagination”?
Fast Company article
My daughter sent me to this op-ed piece by Bono. Loved the last line and was challenged to be part of a church/para-church that makes the best soul music.–Jay
It’s 2009. Do You Know Where Your Soul Is? (NY Times)
I AM in Midtown Manhattan, where drivers still play their car horns as if they were musical instruments and shouting in restaurants is sport.
I am a long way from the warm breeze of voices I heard a week ago on Easter Sunday.
“Glorify your name,” the island women sang, as they swayed in a cut sandstone church. I was overwhelmed by a riot of color, an emotional swell that carried me to sea.
Christianity, it turns out, has a rhythm — and it crescendos this time of year. The rumba of Carnival gives way to the slow march of Lent, then to the staccato hymnals of the Easter parade. From revelry to reverie. After 40 days in the desert, sort of …
Carnival — rock stars are good at that.
“Carne” is flesh; “Carne-val,” its goodbye party. I’ve been to many. Brazilians say they’ve done it longest; they certainly do it best. You can’t help but contract the fever. You’ve got no choice but to join the ravers as they swell up the streets bursting like the banks of a river in a flood of fun set to rhythm. This is a Joy that cannot be conjured. This is life force. This is the heart full and spilling over with gratitude. The choice is yours …
It’s Lent I’ve always had issues with. I gave it up … self-denial is where I come a cropper. My idea of discipline is simple — hard work — but of course that’s another indulgence.
Then comes the dying and the living that is Easter.
It’s a transcendent moment for me — a rebirth I always seem to need. Never more so than a few years ago, when my father died. I recall the embarrassment and relief of hot tears as I knelt in a chapel in a village in France and repented my prodigal nature — repented for fighting my father for so many years and wasting so many opportunities to know him better. I remember the feeling of “a peace that passes understanding” as a load lifted. Of all the Christian festivals, it is the Easter parade that demands the most faith — pushing you past reverence for creation, through bewilderment at the idea of a virgin birth, and into the far-fetched and far-reaching idea that death is not the end. The cross as crossroads. Whatever your religious or nonreligious views, the chance to begin again is a compelling idea.
Last Sunday, the choirmaster was jumping out of his skin … stormy then still, playful then tender, on the most upright of pianos and melodies. He sang his invocations in a beautiful oaken tenor with a freckle-faced boy at his side playing conga and tambourine as if it was a full drum kit. The parish sang to the rafters songs of praise to a God that apparently surrendered His voice to ours.
I come to lowly church halls and lofty cathedrals for what purpose? I search the Scriptures to what end? To check my head? My heart? No, my soul. For me these meditations are like a plumb line dropped by a master builder — to see if the walls are straight or crooked. I check my emotional life with music, my intellectual life with writing, but religion is where I soul-search.
The preacher said, “What good does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” Hearing this, every one of the pilgrims gathered in the room asked, “Is it me, Lord?” In America, in Europe, people are asking, “Is it us?”
Well, yes. It is us.
Carnival is over. Commerce has been overheating markets and climates … the sooty skies of the industrial revolution have changed scale and location, but now melt ice caps and make the seas boil in the time of technological revolution. Capitalism is on trial; globalization is, once again, in the dock. We used to say that all we wanted for the rest of the world was what we had for ourselves. Then we found out that if every living soul on the planet had a fridge and a house and an S.U.V., we would choke on our own exhaust.
Lent is upon us whether we asked for it or not. And with it, we hope, comes a chance at redemption. But redemption is not just a spiritual term, it’s an economic concept. At the turn of the millennium, the debt cancellation campaign, inspired by the Jewish concept of Jubilee, aimed to give the poorest countries a fresh start. Thirty-four million more children in Africa are now in school in large part because their governments used money freed up by debt relief. This redemption was not an end to economic slavery, but it was a more hopeful beginning for many. And to the many, not the lucky few, is surely where any soul-searching must lead us.
A few weeks ago I was in Washington when news arrived of proposed cuts to the president’s aid budget. People said that it was going to be hard to fulfill promises to those who live in dire circumstances such a long way away when there is so much hardship in the United States. And there is.
But I read recently that Americans are taking up public service in greater numbers because they are short on money to give. And, following a successful bipartisan Senate vote, word is that Congress will restore the money that had been cut from the aid budget — a refusal to abandon those who would pay such a high price for a crisis not of their making. In the roughest of times, people show who they are.
So much of the discussion today is about value, not values. Aid well spent can be an example of both, values and value for money. Providing AIDS medication to just under four million people, putting in place modest measures to improve maternal health, eradicating killer pests like malaria and rotoviruses — all these provide a leg up on the climb to self-sufficiency, all these can help us make friends in a world quick to enmity. It’s not alms, it’s investment. It’s not charity, it’s justice.
Strangely, as we file out of the small stone church into the cruel sun, I think of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, whose now combined fortune is dedicated to the fight against extreme poverty. Agnostics both, I believe. I think of Nelson Mandela, who has spent his life upholding the rights of others. A spiritual man — no doubt. Religious? I’m told he would not describe himself that way.
Not all soul music comes from the church.
Bono, the lead singer of the band U2 and a co-founder of the advocacy group ONE, is a contributing columnist for The Times.
“…the Gospel had become too shaped by modernity and packaged to make decisions. There is a serious shift in our thinking and in our praxis toward the development and preaching and teaching of a gospel that encompasses all the Bible says about the Gospel – and that means an expansion to a robust Gospel, one that is both personal and corporate, spiritual and social, inner and outer, sudden and progressive, and individual and cosmic.”–Scot McKnight
Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you as stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick and in prison and visit you?
And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”