Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

“Friendship is …

November 23, 2012

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” -CS Lewis

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Reflection for Wednesday Week 10

March 12, 2007

This was a great closing class. I feel really satisfied and like I learned a lot. I really appeciate all the the methodology for teaching despite all the frustration early. Today was very conclusive, and I am sad to see it come to a close.

Reflection for Monday Week 10

March 6, 2007

I think the final comments, tying the quarter together were very helpful. It’s just interesting how space plays a role in learning, which I never really noticed before. I get easily distracted in Travis, but in the classroom, confined to a smaller, more personal space, it was easier to pay attention and really absorb the material.

Reflection for Wednesday Week 9

March 5, 2007

I think I have reached a wall of all that I have been taking in and writing in my case study. I’m feeling like I have a lot of basic concepts and practical ideas, but I’m not exactly sure how to take it further.

Reflection for Monday Week 9

February 28, 2007

I really appreciated Prof. Bolger’s lecture on Monday. Not only did I enjoy the content, but I really respect how he is so open about talking about the class format. It was good to hear his reasonings for the structure, as well as see that he really values and respects the input of the class. I really appreciate him.

Reflection for Wednesday Week 8

February 26, 2007

The class format was really appreciated today. I think it was good to open up a time for discussion and/or working on our papers. I found it really helpful. I also enjoyed hearing from both the TAs. It was a good change of pace and interesting to hear their perspectives and explanations on kingdom of God and other relevant topics.

Reflection for Monday Week 8

February 21, 2007

It really helped to have our peers read our case studies and critique them. I was wary about this project, but then looking back I realized that all our in-class writing assignments and reflections played a crucial role in developing my ideas and think things through.

Reflection for Wednesday Week 7

February 19, 2007

I’m having a hard time deciphering between Trinitarian and Kingdom. Both seem to have the same ideas and emphasis, just using different language. Perhaps I am missing something. When working on the case study in regards to these two different perspectives, I found myself writing the same ideas.

Case Study

February 19, 2007

It is evident among Christian circles that God cares for the poor, and that we are called to care for them as well. Yet the kingdom of God is so much more than just the middle class “helping” the poor. How do we reconcile the two classes, especially in a the confines of a Christian homeless shelter?

Everyday, in places like the Union Rescue Mission, God’s word is made flesh as good-intentioned, middle class Christians are overworked to fight the plague of poverty and homelessness that have infested most of our cities, like Skid Row, LA. These Christians are cooped up in offices, separated from the very people the are trying to help. There is a major disconnect between the homeless and the employed in these missions. Relationships that are formed are based on a helper-helpee dynamic. This leads to further burnout and unbalanced and empty relationships. The homeless are not given the dignity and respect of being seen as equals. How do we bridge this gap? How can we empower the homeless, give them dignity, and help them take ownership over their problems? How can we make the power struggles that lie within the confines of a mission, more egalitarian?

The kingdom of God looks nothing like this model. Jesus would not drive into the parking garage, blind to the homeless sleeping on the street, then go up to his office. Jesus would build real friendships. He would know people by name instead of talking about “them” and “the homeless.” Each person is a name and a face. The kingdom of God looks like unity amongst all people of the shelter. The kingdom of God embodies peace and justice and community. Transformational ministry occurs in the lives of both parties when they are able to engage in real friendships, real relationships, instead of a disconnect and isolation between the floors where the homeless live and eat and the floors where the workers eat and work. A better community needs to be fostered. An egalitarian body needs to emerge.

Power struggles and separation are not only a tension between workers and the homeless, but also amongst the homeless themselves. There lies a tension between those in the program, those who are in volunteer positions, and those who are just there for emergency shelter. Pride and identity stem from these distinctions. Even more distinct lies the divisions between the security and staff and the homeless, as well as these groups versus the full-time employed. Division and competition are fed instead of harmony and well-being through unity of the body of Christ. Several measures have been taken to promote change. Employees take time to eat lunch and chat with the homeless in their cafeteria instead of eating in the office lunchroom. Security guards wear plain clothes instead of uniforms and are becoming friendlier to the homeless. News programs are played in the homeless guest room, instead of dumbed-down comedic movies. These small steps are making a huge change in making the atmosphere more kingdom-like. Much more needs to be done.

Much more needs to be done in the spiritual formation of both parties, as we begin to understand each other and become a part of the body of Christ.

Reflection for Monday Week 7

February 14, 2007

Relating the core principles of the emerging church has made an great impact on me and what the kindgom should look like. It’s interesting in how my views and beliefs on methodology for the poor has changed in years. In high school, I was always thought that working with the poor should be a privatized matter, through building relationships and individual aid. Then I began to look at structures and systemic problems and how their effects cause poverty and how we need to set up programs, etc. While I still believe that, I no longer see the government and programs as a change agent. I am going back to the idea that it is truly the church, small communities and individuals that can bring about transformation.