Monday, November 26, 2007

Calvin Institute and "Multicultural" Worship

As a pastor I have found the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship to be a tremendous source of information on the rich theology, history and practice of Reformed Worship. How refreshing to see them dedicating a great deal of attention to multiculturality. If you agree with me that "Reformed" does NOT equal "euro-centric" or "stuck in the 1950's", you will find some useful resources in their Vital Worship page.

Americans Using Internet for Religion and Spirituality

WASHINGTON D.C. - The number of Americans going online to find religious information is growing and those who seek spiritual material are generally looking for things to complement already devout lives by educating themselves on their own faiths and finding resources to assist in prayer or devotions. Some 25% of adult Internet users -- about 28 million people -- have gone online to get religious and spiritual material, according to a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. That is a jump from the 20 million online Americans who reported last year they had used the Internet to get spiritual material.

More people have sought spiritual succor online than have gone to gambling Web sites, participated in online auctions, traded stocks online, or done online banking. "The Internet fills many niches for religious people," said Elena Larsen, a Research Fellow for Pew Internet Project and the principal author of the report. "It is a helpful reference and communications tool for those who are active in their church. Converts to new faiths can find volumes of information. People who feel their religions are unpopular can meet others safely online. People who do not belong to religious communities can find resources and experiences that might not otherwise have been available to them."

Visit Beliefnet for more details on the report

Friday, November 23, 2007

G.K. Chesterton on Thanksgiving

I found this quotes at Tod Bolsinger's blog:

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace."

"You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink."

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Newcomers and the Antelope Valley

PALMDALE - The Antelope Valley's population growth is driving the region's economic engine, adding more households with spending power and fueling local job growth.

Nearly 2,150 additional households a year have moved to the Antelope Valley since 2005, and the average household income of those living in the region less than four years is $67,900 - 3.5 percent higher than the overall area's average household income, a study has found.

"It's household economic stimulus to the economy and the job market," said Alonzo Pedrin, who led the study. "Every dollar spent by new households generates $1.28 in economic activity in the Antelope Valley."

Since 2000, the number of residents joining the work force has grown 1.56 percent annually; job growth has gone up 1.78 percent annually in the same period.

"You are adding local jobs at a faster rate than you are adding workers," Pedrin said.

The figures were part of a $55,000 labor market study done by Anaheim-based Alfred Gobar Associates for the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance, or GAVEA, a nonprofit economic development organization supported by local cities and businesses and other government agencies.

Read the entire Daily News Report

Monday, November 19, 2007

Catching Up With The Jones's?

Two Latino surnames are among the top 10 most common in the nation.

They are Garcia and Rodriguez and a third Latino surname, Martinez, nearly edged out Wilson for 10th place.

Garcia moved to No. 8 in 2000, up from No. 18, and Rodriguez jumped to No. 9, from 22nd place. The number of Latino surnames among the top 25 doubled, to six.

The number of Hispanics living in the U.S. grew by 58 percent in the 1990s to nearly 13 percent of the population.

Press here to read more about the Census report

Friday, November 16, 2007

Presbyterians on Cyberspace...

So what happens when John Stuart posts his daily devotions on his blog, “Heaven’s Highway”?

People write to him from India, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Folks from his congregation say things like, “That’s not what I believe,” or “I never thought about that,” and conversations begin.

And, as an added bonus, a teacher from a local high school is having students download his sermon podcasts. The students are preparing for an upcoming production of the musical “Brigadoon,” and their teacher wants them to get it right.

“They’re copying my accent,” Stuart, pastor of Erin Church in Knoxville and a native of Scotland, said with pleasure.

There is no blueprint to Web 2.0, but the simple truth is this. Presbyterians — like lots of other folks — are using Web-based technology more and more. They find it freeing, a doorway to discipleship, a way to creatively meld words and music and images and ideas.

Click here to read the complete Presbyterian Outlook article