Thursday, May 31, 2007

Third Spaces and CEF

Third Space is that space that is neither yours nor mine, but one where each of us comes in contact with the other, and each is allowed to feel at home.

One of the most common Third Spaces we know surround familiar brands. Starbucks is a place for encounters of long friends, and long-lost friends, not to mention making casual encounters where the “decaf, vanilla, mocha, latte, grande” becomes a person named James, who works at the record store down the street from your workplace, that you always pass, never went into, but have pined to discover what is inside.

Another Third Space is also known by its “space” – MySpace. MySpace is one of a number of communities online that act as Third Space meeting places, for the promotion of ideas, connections, sharing old and new friendships, exploring the world of online journals, or blogs, acquiring the latest in music, checking in with the pictures and life journey of your online acquaintance.

MySpace is a personal account designed to allow you to “befriend” others, including your favorite celebrities, favorite TV Shows or movies, bands, High School and college classmates, maybe even your children, mother or father. You can send messages to one another, create your own journal/blog, send comments to one another, stream music and video clips, get to know your friends better.

MySpace is not alone in the market for helping you cultivate your friendships, promote your favorite topics, or celebrate anniversaries and birthdays with helpful reminders. Other social networking Third Spaces are Facebook, Friendster and LiveJournal. Lately the Church has stepped in a created some spaces of their own, with the hope that content might be better moderated, or more specifically directed to creating Christian Community through sites like 7Villages, MyChurch and Xianz.

Christian Educators Fellowship has a commitment to helping people meet Christ where they are, and reaching out to the 7th Generation. As the spaces for social networking have changed, from the town square, to the local barbershop, to the Church, into the realm of Service Clubs (like Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis) and back to the “town square-type” venues of Starbucks and the local bar, developments like the internet have allowed Third Spaces to generate even around the world in a central location based on topics of common interest.

CEF 2008 has taken that step into cyberspace to help reach out through Third Spaces of our own by setting up a MySpace account for “Christian Fellowship”, whose picture looks remarkably like the CEF logo. Friends are gathering here, and by placing “Christian” in your “Top 8 Friends” your friends who check out your page are likely to know of and learn about CEF and our upcoming Conference. In honor of the founding of CEF in 1967 the website is:

But CEF 2008 did not end its entry into the world of Third Spaces with MySpace, but stepped forward into some other areas of connection. College Ministries and the connections we make with our UM Campus Ministry teams, and new Christian Educators has been an area of increased effort recently and Facebook is focused on the College Scene, though it has now been opened to anyone for membership. You must be a member of Facebook to check out the Facebook “CEF group” site, and in doing so you might find opportunity to catch up with those students who have graduated from your Sunday School Classes and gone on to Colleges and Universities across the Globe.

For those who have been marveling at what areas Google has expanded its initial foray into search engines the stretch has even entered the arena of Social Networking Third Spaces in the form of Orkut, where there is a group for “Christian Educators Fwp." Sometimes we have to adapt and in the case of Orkut the adaptation was made so that it would fit into their limited Community Name line space. For anyone with a gmail account or who would like to have almost 3G of email storage space for all those new friends you made through CEF, Orkut is part of the Google network, like and Google Maps.

Other sites are finding their way to the net, and if you have an idea of another social networking site you think would be of benefit to CEF 2008, let us know, by contacting David Camphouse (2008 Design Team) at

Many of you have already heard about the Yahoo Group and I want to remind you to check in there for the most up-to-date reports about what is happening. You can sign up here for the CEF 2008 Yahoo Group.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sermon Notes 4/27/2007

Pentecost and the Stained Glass Windows at Del Rosa UMC

Sermon title: “Long-Winded”

Notes: Consider preaching on the power of the wind of the Holy Spirit as truly being long-winded through the Pentecost to the current time.

“Zwingli would hate our sanctuary. He was a minimalist in the name of anti-idolatry. He felt that the story of the Gospel needed to be told without the distraction of idolatry.

And yet I wonder what Zwingli would have done with the story of the Gospel as told through the movie “Amistad”. One of the slaves learns the story of God’s love for the world as given in the Old and New Testaments through the pictures in the Bible he had aboard the slave ship. The story is told in words and pictures and actions.

We realized that the story needs to be told with words and pictures. For this reason I asked you to bring your binoculars. The Holy Spirit has been driving through the world since before the dawn of time, the creation of the universe, and continues to this day. Peter told the story of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and we persist in this story-telling today because of the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let us look as how the story is told here in our sanctuary.

With the “Eternal Light” in the cross, the crosses in the pews, the stories told in the hymns and through our Stained Glass window.

Starting at the bottom:

Birth (corolla)

Dedication at the Temple

Healing Blind Bartimaeus (stones)

“I am the Good Shepherd” & Searching for the lost sheep (ridge)

Let the little children come to me (stones)

Right side: The Woman at the Well (stones)

Left Side: Foot washing of the Disciples (stones) (With this orientation, we realize that the windows were not for the church, but for those outside the church, as we read left to right, and the disciples ' footwashing came just before the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane)

“Take this Cup” (corolla) (ridge)

Ascension (gold) (lilies)

Let us look beyond the window to tell the story with words and actions, and not allow the story to be told only through the lens of our stained glass windows.

Use this to conclude, challenging the congregation to be changed by the Gospel, related to them through pictures, through the Bible or through lives lived in example before them.

Paul writes - This from Soren Kierkegaard (Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard). It makes you think, but will it motivate us to act:

The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. ‘My God,’ you will say, ‘if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world?’ Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.”

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Rapid Thriving Growth

I just read another blog posting about the growth of "Adam Hamilton's church", a United Methodist Congregation, The Church of the Resurrection, in Kansas City.

The profile talked about how Adam started that church "in 1990 and has seen it grow to more than 12,000 adult members and average worship attendance in the 7,000 range".

In Southern California I am inundated regularly with the "Purpose Driven Church" and Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA, run by Rick Warren.

Prior incarnations included the Crystal Cathedral and Robert Schuller.

I am also familiar with Bill Hybels and Willowcreek Church in the Chicago area.

Throw in Rob Bell and the Mars Hill Bible Church for good measure.

Leave alone the folks like Joel Osteen or Bishop TD Jakes, who are big power players in the ongoing life of the church, but don't quite fit the mold I am thinking for they took over previous powerhouse churches, as did many in the denomination today.

But, my question begins with the viewings of these models of ministry, and the "Mega-church" model. I see repeatedly that the rise of the church is dependent upon the ability of the pastor to either inherit or to create from scratch his or her (Aimee Semple McPherson comes to mind) own church in order to create the mega-church. I continue to wonder if the mega-church is only possible if one is afforded the opportunity to create from the ground up which may mean moving sites, a new church start, or some other combination I didn't readily bring to mind.

This continues to spur my thinking that the church is driven by personality and if the transient pastor is to have a hope of making substantial change and providing for huge growth he or she is going to have to have bigger personality than anyone else in the congregation, be able to override the tendency of the congregation to turn inward and ultimately set his or her obvious stamp on the whole of the congregation...and then what happens when that pastor is gone.

Anyone with some insights about how to have or create such a personality or if I am just off-base?


Kingdomality Quiz

any years ago there was a period of time that is often casually called "Medieval." It was a time, so the story tellers tell us, of tiny kingdoms, brave knights and ferocious dragons.

ransportation and travel were both crude and difficult, usually necessitating that each kingdom be as self sufficient and self reliant as possible. So it was very important that within each kingdom all the major crafts and professions of the day were ably represented to insure the survival of the kingdom. In the English language we still see remnants of some occupations in the familiar surnames such as Smith, Carpenter, Miller and Baker to name just a few.

nterestingly enough, beyond the specific title the vocation also took on its own greater personality. This personality preference can also give a broader understanding of the basic complementary style and types necessary to the kingdom's survival, or perhaps any organization's success. Although the specific vocation influenced the name, it was no accident that certain personality types and styles gravitated to certain occupations. The personality of these jobs suited the inclinations of the job holders, and the predecessor to modern day job descriptions was born. The successful matching of a job-holder's personality to the personality and unique requirements of the job was necessary to the kingdom's survival, or perhaps any organization's success. The successful kingdoms more than likely were able to blend the differences into a powerful and formidable entity. With today's diverse workforce, the corporate kingdom that acknowledges and nurtures these personality preferences could become an organization as successful as the Camelot of old.

ven though we now appear to have the freedom to explore many different career alternatives, we still have a medieval vocational personality within each of us. This personality, properly identified and understood, can motivate our success but, if ignored, may set the stage for our ultimate failure. Since times appeared to be simpler then, let us return to the kingdoms of medieval Europe and see what we would have done then, regardless of what our names are now.

our distinct personality, The Black Knight, might be found in most of the thriving kingdoms of the time. Your overriding goal is to win. You approach each task or situation as a contest to be won strategically and efficiently. Because you can control your feelings, it is not unusual for you to charm, as well as successfully delegate tasks and responsibilities to the more emotional types. You are often concerned with what's in it for you. You seldom involve yourself in activities where you can not foresee a reward for your investment or effort. On the positive side, you can be analytically empathic and logically persuasive. On the negative side, you may be unemotionally manipulative as well as impulsive. Interestingly, your preference is just as applicable in today's corporate kingdoms.

h/t: Brother Maynard

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

More on Campus Ministry

Some thoughts on Campus Ministry spurred on by Andy B. over at Enter the Rainbow.

Some documents worth reading related to this article.
This is Our Story from GCFA
Campus Ministry Resolution #28 from Cal-Pac Annual Conference 2006.
(Not available online at this time)

I am more and more discouraged at such thoughts, as the force of ministry seems to indicate a move to sustain rather than change (hearts, minds and doors).
Our own Annual Conference (Cal-Pac) went forward with a similar initiative last year and this year is scrambling to undo the damage of the proposed change, before it ever got moving with substantive change to do away with the system.
Seriously, I do think tying the college ministry units with the local church is a positive move, it is a great partnership for the University of Alabama Wesley Foundation and Trinity UMC, in Tuscaloosa. Unfortunately there are very few churches so close to the campus where many of our campus minsitry units are housed. But, the connection is enhanced as new students are drawn into the mission of the local church, and the local church takes on the issues and concerns of the college campus.
The UMC has a long history of making inroads in education and to leave these things behind only serves to discredit the UMC with the younger generation as we leave the halls of learning we once so highly valued, and lessening the appeal of the church to the average student.
I see the key to rejuvination as one that embraces the climbers turn of phrase, "If you can't get out of it, then get into it."
The move to cluster campus ministry into the local church is a matter of stating we are not ready to get out of campus ministry, but we are leaving the system that has worked at generating new ministers, introducing the faith to countless students, and providing a forum for discussion.
While I do agree that we need to reexamine how to do campus ministry, I do not think that shuffling the whole kit and caboodle over to the local church, which is already financially strained and not desirous of new ministries, is the key to change in this instance.
Sorry to go on, but I will cut and paste and link in my own blog.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Lazy ways of Loving Neighbor as Self

Dear Del Rosa Family,

We are constantly trying to better our depth of faith through our experiences in the Christian faith. We look to do this by striving to be the best disciples we can of Jesus Christ. We do this through works of piety and works of mercy.
Works of Piety Works of Mercy

• Prayer (private & family) • Feeding the hungry

• Public worship • Clothing the naked

• The Lord’s Supper • Caring for the sick

Reading & studying Scripture • Visiting the jails and prisons

• Christian conference • Sheltering the homeless

• Fasting or abstinence • Welcoming the stranger

• Peacemaking

• Acting for the common good

The practice of these works of mercy and works of piety help to hone our ability to follow the Great Commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself”.

Below are some of the websites I have come across in my time in ministry, and some of the agencies we have worked with at Del Rosa UMC to help “Love our neighbor as ourselves”. Listed with each site are a contact person at the church to let you know a little more, the website address, a brief description of the services offered, and the hope that you will find a way to be more involved intentionally “loving your neighbor as yourself”.

This is an extensive list and so I will be spreading the various websites and agencies over the DRUMBEAT Cadence articles of the next few months. This month I will be looking at some easy ways to: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself”

Keep on Loving,

Pastor David

Cool People Care

Cool People Care is a website by Sam Davidson of Nashville, TN, devoted to providing a “little” thing you can do each day to help improve our world. It is updated M-F with a new action item.

From the site: “If people are told how they can make a difference in less than 5 minutes a day, they just might do it. And, just like tiny water droplets make a tidal wave, if you get enough people to care for 5 minutes a day, you’ll change the world.”

The Breast Cancer Site/ The Literacy Site/ The Hunger Site/

The Animal Rescue Site/ The Rainforest Site/ The Child Health Site

The Breast Cancer Site is a simple way, simply by clicking on the tab (one click per day is registered from each domain) that you can help fund mammograms for underprivileged women. Also a part of the site are several other sites that allow you to help fund books, food, animal, rainforest and child health…all without you having to pay a cent, just click the button.

From the site: “ is an independent charitable organization devoted to addressing the health and well-being of people (particularly women and children), animals, and the planet. distributes funds generated through the GreaterGood Network of websites to the many charitable organizations responsible for implementing programs named on these sites. 100% of the funds generated through the GreaterGood Network pass through to our partner charities.”

10 tips for the lazy environmentalist to save the earth,,2049870,00.html

You can change the world with your next light bulb change among other easy ways to conserve energy and resources.

From the article: “Being greener really all comes down to just one thing - using less energy. And it could even save you money, too. Here are 10 simple things we can all do - without even leaving the house...”

Save your old glasses

Those old glasses that no longer fit, don’t work at your current prescription, or after your recent cataract surgery or lasiks procedure can be shared with someone who needs them now.

The Lions Clubs have provided a service that recycles these glasses and others. Check out their website for the where, how and why of the project. If you need to get rid of them more urgently, bring them by the church office and we will get them to a collection center.

Save your pop top tabs

Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House is still working to provide families care and comfort as children undergo extensive and expensive medical treatments. Save your pop tabs and let’s add to their ability to care for those families Ronald McDonald House looks after.

From the site: “The idea behind the Ronald McDonald House program is simple: Provide a "home away from home" for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals.”

Save Your Toilet Paper Rolls

Santa Claus, Inc. (San Bernardino Area, check for similar agencies in your area)

There are many ways to help the poor and needy children in our community and around the world. Saving your toilet paper rolls, and giving them to Deb McKenzie for use as wrapping materials for Christmas presents is a cheap and easy way to add your help to the cause.

From the site: “Santa Claus Incorporated, an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff or administrators, provides new toys, new clothing, and new books to local under-served children.”

Save your Campbell’s Soup Labels

Once you are done eating the can of soup, or preparing your favorite meal from one of the many Campbell’s product, please save the USP label and bring it in to the UMW or the church office.

From the site: “This tool was created to help schools invite local community members, like you, to support their Labels for Education program collection efforts. Friends, family and community members can pledge their support and communicate their collection intentions by making a Community Pledge. There is no obligation. Your local school will appreciate any help you can give them through your collection efforts to help them get free educational supplies and equipment.”


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

Some easy ways to: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself”

Cool People Care

The Breast Cancer Site/The Hunger Site/The Literacy Site/

The Child Health Site/The Rainforest Site/The Animal Rescue Site

10 tips for the lazy environmentalist to save the earth,,2049870,00.html

Nothing But Nets

Heifer International

The Linus Project

Operation Christmas Child

Recycle/Recycling your E-waste

Recycling old glasses

Save your pop top tabs

Save your Campbell’s Soup Labels


Craigs List

Recycling your cell phone

Volunteering your time

Buy Green


Monday, May 07, 2007

The Beggar

Please for give the rant, but I am little fed up and in need of journaling it out, and maybe some correction or affirmation (as it is appropriate)

There is a man who regularly stops in at the church. He usually comes by around 8:30AM when I am the only one in the office. He always has a story to tell and asks for $3 for the bus.

Because of this man we even thought there was a ministry need for us top purchase bus passes and distribute them to those in need. We bought 20 and 19 of them went to this individual.

Today when he arrived he came into the office, came around the building and chased me into the men's room. I had stopped after breakfast to go use the toilet. He had to come in the side door of the office, and did not use the restroom when he followed me in. I was so put out I asked whether he was chasing me, and why. He was very noncommittal about the whole thing as though he had every right to chase me around to the restroom and ensure that he could corner me.

From that point he followed me into the office. I had asked him what was up this morning and what he needed, he proceeded to talk about the tornadoes in Kansas and how it had ripped up the railways too. Then, as always, he threw in his pitch for $3 for the bus, as he needed to get to the doctor to deal with his nasal problems.

I was so fed up with him this morning I thought about giving him the $3 as soon as he entered the bathroom and sending him on his way. I am more than a little callloused about him and ready to call it quits on dealing with him.

I guess the question I have is how to deal with "frequent flyers" as the old story goes. I wonder what the role of the church in caring for persons such as him is, but also where our call to asking for something more and greater from the individual as (s)he is able to contribute to the life of the church.

Enough for now.