Monday, October 27, 2008

A thought on Crying and Pain

Sometimes in order to help He makes us cry.
Happy the eye that sheds tears for His sake.
Fortunate the heart that burns for His sake.
Laughter always follows tears.
Blessed are those who understand.
Life blossoms wherever water flows.
Where tears are shed divine mercy is shown.

-Rumi (Sufi Poet) , "Mathnawi"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Promiscuity": A good old Calvinist word?

I can understand why the Canons of Dort are not the object of much consideration in PCUSA circles nowadays. It did, however, come to my attention that some old translations of the render the 5th article of the second main point as saying:
"the promise of the gospel is that whosoever believes in Christ crucified shall not perish, but have eternal life. This promise, together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be declared and published to all nations, and to all persons promiscuously and without distinction, to whom God out of His good pleasure sends the gospel".
More recent versions read: "without differenciation or discrimination". We sure can use some of that missional "promiscuity" in our congregations today!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Partership for developing new congregations

San Fernando Presbytery, seeking to “relearn the art of starting new congregations,” has teamed up with Evangelical Covenant Church — a denomination with a long track record of successful new church development in its area.

The presbytery is currently interviewing and screening prospective church planters. In the meantime, leaders of the effort say they have discovered some things about successful new churches: they are organized around identity and concern, not around geography; they need visionary leadership more than skilled managers; they need to train disciples more than “provide services for consumers; and contrary to commonly-held opinion, they don’t cost that much money to start. (From Presbyterian News Service)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bilingualism and US Economy

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2006 American Community Survey, approximately 80 percent -- or 223.2 million people -- of Americans use only English at home.

The remaining 20 percent -- 55.8 million people -- speak a language other than English. Add the millions of tourists visiting the country each year and you have a huge demand for workers who can communicate in more than one language.

Spanish is by far the most popular non-English language spoken at home with roughly 34 million speakers nationwide. Still, there are millions of people speaking other languages -- including French, German, Mandarin, Arabic and lesser known languages -- that also benefit from bilingual workers.

Press here to read the report