Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The City That Loves Well ?

I am in Philly the next few days putting on the CCDA institute at the Campolo School of Easter U. I am pretty sure the city's slogan was changed from 'the city of brotherly love' to something more PC (politically correct).

I had lunch yesterday with Andy Crouch, who is a writer with Christianity Today. He asks lots of questions like good writers do, I figure. He is a friend of Rudy's and it was good to connect.

One of the things I have been mulling over preparing for this reconciliation class, is the immense challenge of bridging the 'class' divide. It is so much easier to mix with brothers and sisters of different cultures when we have similar education, income levels, coffee preferences, and the like, than mixing it up in an authentic way with someone from a different economic class.

For example, I have a great friend from La Villita, that is from Puebla, Mexico. He speaks very little English, has values so different than my own, prefers drinking Sanka (in the orange packet) to Starbucks (he thinks I'm crazy for paying more than $1.00 for a cup of coffee!)

For us to be friends is a far greater 'cross-cultural' experience for me, than hanging out with Phil Jackson from LCC, or David Gibbons from Newsong, even though they are African-American and Korean, because these two brothers and I are alike in many ways (similar class, education, etc.), though our ethnic make up is different.

I can imagine a multicultural church of 'similar class' individuals way more that I can a church that is truly diverse in terms of economics & class.

Broadening the dialogue in this way seems crucial if we are to become a mestizo church.


At 11:08 PM, Blogger Abner Ramos said...

Good point bro.

My mom thinks I'm crazy for even thinking about paying $10 for a pound of Starbucks coffee. When my wife and I got married last year I had an old High School friend call me up and ask, "What exactly is a 'crate and barrel'?" Our registry had to take into account our family background (Latino and White), and their differences in how they see money.

It's hard to deal with it in the family, but it's even more difficult in our churches. I think one place to start would be by doing teaching on money. I've been to very few churches where the pastor actually talks about it (and if they do, it's about the building fund, or about how it's the root of all evil).

Yesterday we did a teaching on this very topic in El Acceso. I have a student who owns 90 Gucci bags. Her pastor (who also happens to be her dad), has never questioned this part of her character. It's a discipleship issue, but most of the time we see our spending as a private thing.

It's all a complicated and touchy subject. Add the race dynamic and you're in for a wild one.

At 7:33 PM, Blogger Noel Castellanos said...

You're going to start meddling now, if you start talking about people's Gucci bags!

The greater the diversity, the more diverse the valuse systems--How do we bring them all under Kingdom rule and authority?


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