Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Kick'n It in Jackson with Dr. Perkins

After arriving a bit early for the CCDA Youth Conference in Jackson, MS, I had the opportunity to take JP to lunch at a Chinese buffet. It was a treat to listen to John talk with great enthusiasm about planting a new community-neighborhood based church right around the ministry complex that has been established here in Jackson.

At the heart of this new effort is work with children and youth (they have a very strong partnership with Young Life), and the securing of run down houses in their target area (around 8 square blocks) that they are slowly converting into homes with families from the community. We peeked into a house that had been struck by lightening to see if it might be a possible acquisision for the ministry, but the assessment was that it was too far gone.

JP and I also talked about the need for Latino and African-American believers to move beyond superficial alliances to an authentic partnership in Christ, committed to transforming the most neglected neighborhoods of our nation. I thanked John that 15 years ago at the very first CCDA meeting in Chicago, when there was hardly a Latino involved, that he had the vision or openness to embrace the need for CCDA to be more than Black and White. Even though it has taken a while to see this become a reality, we are now seeing the fruits of that early commitment.

For such a time as this we are primed to see a new mestizo/mulatto alliance that can send shockwaves throughout our nation-if we allow it come to pass. I believe CCDA is in a unique position to help make this partnership a reality, and not a moment to soon.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Not Even Tiger Can Mestizofy Golf

Tiger Woods made a frantic run on the last round of this weekend's PGA tournament. This has become common place over the last ten years, as he has won 9 major tournaments including last weeks British Open.

What has not become more common in the last 10 years is more African-American golfers on the tour. While there is no one as popular, or has had a greater impact on the world of golf and beyond (just ask Nike, that sells out of every outfit Tiger wears on TV), pro golf is still a predominately White sport.

Over the years I have gone to the Western Open here in the Chicago area, and have always seen a good number of Blacks and Latinos (we are always the loudest cheerers) following Tiger, but the system and the availability of course time, expense, etc. all but make it impossible to make golf a thriving sport amongst the poor(er) folks of our land.

This has caused me to wonder that if the greatest golfer in the world, being Mestizo/mulatto, cannot bring about more diversity in his sport, what will it take to create a mestizo movement in any sphere of North American society? In baseball, poor Latinos from Latin American abound, because these players are being developed and trained on their turf and in turn, they are making great profits for their teams, which usually get them for a steal (once they get to Manny Ramirez or Pedro Martinez status this begins to change).

How about in the church? Is there opportunity for African-American and Latino and other leaders to lead? Are we serving on boards and making the short lists of major Christian organizations? With the rise of Latino leaders throughout our society in other venues like politics and media, will we see the same in Kingdom work?

It is not enough to see one 'Tiger' doing well, what we need is to see hundreds of young men and women who love Christ and are gifted ministers, speakers and leaders to get to use their God given gifts and abilities for the advancement of His purposes. If my vision for a Mestizo Future becomes a reality, that is exactly what we will see very soon!

New RELOAD Season set to begin

This coming September, and on into 2006, I will be helping with the RELOAD Tour which provides training for urban youth workers, youth, and others intersted in children and youth. Check out the website, for more info.

Jesus and Justice

Check out the article in the most recent Christianity Today, about Billy Graham's decision to not segregate his Jackson, MS crusade in 1952, and how this shaped his ministry efforts during the turbulent civil rights years. It also mentions conversations Graham had with Dr. King about working together, eventually coming to the decision that they had far too different methods to make that work.

While Graham could not be called a champion for racial justice, maybe he did more that we give him credit for.

Debunking the Concept of 'Race': Could it be that most of us are mestizos?

Check out this article that concludes that we as a diverse 'world humainty' are far more similar than different. Maybe a Mestizo Future is really, 'Back to our Mestizo Future!'

Children Stranded in Ark. Immigration Raid

ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (AP) -- When immigration authorities raided a poultry plant and took away more than 100 employees to face deportation, some workers were able to call home and arrange care for their children. But about 30 children, some as young as 3 months old, were left behind with no parents after the arrests, officials said.

''A lot of those families had kids in day care in different places, and they didn't know why Mommy and Daddy didn't come pick them up,'' Arkadelphia Mayor Charles Hollingshead said. A local church ground was helping make arrangements for them.

Check out this link to read the entire story.