Sunday, April 18, 2010

ethnicity and the emerging church: context Cabramata

Fascinating day today in Sydney, exploring Cabramata: entering under an Asian arch (I love the fact that the arch has koalas, kangaroos ie Australian animals), walking down street after street of Vietnamese shops, looking for a place to eat that at least had English subtitles on the menu. A very rich and multi-sensory day.

All this while the emerging church in the US fights over ethnicity and racial identity.

In Cabramata it’s hard to imagine an emerging church that would be white, Western, or any shade of colour apart from Vietnamese. Hooray for Cabramata Uniting Church, with a Vietnamese pastor and church worship in multiple languages.

Looking forward to discussing these type of issues – youth cultures, ethnicity, 2nd generation migrant patterns, glocalisation (koalas in Asian arches) – with various folk from the New South Wales Synod on Thursday and Friday.

Posted by steve at 07:59 PM

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

sydney bound for mission, discipling, leadership

The Taylor family head for Sydney on Friday. We have two weekends of “exploring Sydney time.” In between, I am working, teaching a 3 day intensive for ACOM (Australian College of Ministry).

Here is the blurb:

We are living in times of rapid change. Many existing patterns and paradigms face challenges. This course will explore the implications of ministry in a culture of change, with a specific focus on local church ministry. It provides practical case studies on mission, discipleship and leadership and subject these to theological reflection, in order to encourage creative and critical thinking on the nature of mission and ministry today. It will not be prescriptive but will encourage participants in their ability to dialogue between context and Christian texts, offering theological imagination in response to what God is doing in the lives of individuals and communities.

And here is the lecture outline.

I normally accept one “academic” intensive outside New Zealand a year, so when ACOM asked about 18 months ago, I said yes, little knowing that by the time to course rolled around, I would be living in Australia and trying to settle. So the timing for me is less than ideal. I need a break during study break, not more teaching!

Nevertheless, there 15-20 students, which is a great sized group to work with. And as per usual for the creative Steve, every course presents a chance to update my material in light of current reading and refecting. So this will be an essentially new course for me – one that is pulling from Missional Church Leadership, Sociology for Ministry and the Breathe intensive last year.

I’m looking forward to being around a Sydney-side table with some keen minds working on mission, discipling, leadership.

And for the rest of the Taylor family – it’s a holiday in Sydney. I will absorb their joy!

Posted by steve at 02:00 PM