Saturday, May 27, 2006

Heading to Seattle

After a few years of wanting to start my D. Min program at the Bakke Graduate University, I am finally going to start on June 5th. I will be in Seattle for a two week intensive to start the 3 year program. I'm very excited to take another step in my preparation for the Kingdom work God has me to do.

Here are a few reflections I have as I enter this new endeavor:
  • As oppossed to having to go to school, I get to further my studies
  • This a family affair, as I could not do this without the support of my wife and kids
  • With great knowledge comes greater responsibilty
  • New insights, I believe will lead to more mature ministry initiatives
  • If I want young Latino leaders to value and pursue education, I must model this commitment myself
  • I'm grateful to CCDA for helping me to make this a reality by giving me this time away

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Check Out Our New Immigration Website

I invite you to check out a new website I have created with Any Bales, Juan Hernandez, and a few others to help Christians become better informed on the issue of immigration reform.

Sleeping After Seattle

I just picked up Rudy Carrasco from O'hare airport for our CCDA board meeting here in Chicago. He flew in from a World Vision board meeting in Seattle on a red-eye, and arrived at 5:15am (what was I thinking agreeing to pick him up?).

After picking up a latte at the new urban Starbucks here in Lawndale, we came to my house for a couple hours before our meeting...

Right now, Rudy is dead asleep on my couch!


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Did We Miss the Mark at Azusa?

In the same month of this past weekend's UYWI, our nation experienced the closest thing to the civil right's marches of the King era with well over a million immigrants, documented and not; Latinos and not; democrates and not...all marching in support of changing our current immigration laws.

And while this revolution-crisis is at the height of national debate, from the halls of Congress to the hallways of school campuses (it effects so many lives of Latino young people--especially in California) we missed an opportunity to engage the 1500 plus urban youth workers in the process. To inform. To connect it to Kingdom justice, which was the theme of this year's conference.

80 - 100 UYWI attendees came to an afternoon workshop on Saturday to find out more about this issue, which I am so thankful for, but we missed an opportunity to connect a national crisis to the very theme of the conference- Biblical justice.

By the time next year's UYWI comes around, only God knows where our nation will stand in regards to dealing with the 12 million undocumented immigrants that reside in our nation (6 million in California alone). Will there be millions more that take to the streets to march and demonstrate? Will there be more boycotts and walkouts and anxious moments as more walls are errected and more troops are deployed?

My gut tells me that 1400 more informed young people broken up by the love and compassion of Christ for the least of these...for of our immigrant neighbors (a good number that were attending the conference) would have made a difference for the Kingdom.

I regret I did not push harder to highlight this issue on a larger scale at UYWI; as a result I believe we missed a historic opportunity to live the Kingdom, NOW.

CCDA Emerging Leaders at UYWI

30 emerging CCDA leaders met at Azusa before the UYWI conference this past week to explore how the movement of Christian Community Development, characterized by grass roots, faith-based, incarnational (living among the people we are seeking to impact), development (versus hand outs), and justice (that begins with economic justice) will flow into the future.

In the light of gentrification (Cabrini Green in Chicago is an example of what is going on all over the country- desirable land close to lakes, oceans, rivers, downtown attraction that were once home to public housing and the poor, are now being re-claimed by the 'gentry' (the landowners with capital) who now are seeking to exploit low property values and especially, close proximity to the city center.

What will CCD and 'relocation- living amongs the people look like in this reality? Not only in Chicago, but everywhere throughout our nation!

What kind of relationshops, and networks (geographical and cyber) will it take to connect CCD leaders of this generation to faithfully and effectively transform our changing cities?

Will our statagies move us into old suburbs becoming home for the displaced city poor? Will our churches in the hood become more cross-class (class will be more a more difficult gap to bridge I believe, than race and culture in many places)?

Will the Latinoizing of our nation impact our strategies, our focus on collaboration with other ethnic groups? Will we see a 'poor people's march / movement' in the next decade with Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians and others taking to the streets ala the May 1st demonstrations to demand justice in an exptreme rich and an extreme poor society?

The emerging leaders of CCDA will be at the center of finding solutions to these, and other crisis' facing our nation and our church. Thanks to all the leaders who paticipated!