Homeless karaoke

•July 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

How awesome is this:  http://lacentralcity.org/newPages/homeless_karaoke.php

There’s also a documentary about it: http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/homeless_karaoke/

Space

•October 1, 2008 • 1 Comment

How are people feeling about the space we looked at on Main?  I’d sure like to get a look inside to see what we’re up for in the back room.  As far as location, I think it will serve our mission very well.  It’s relatively visible (even if it is hiding behind a truck) and close to the neighborhood we had in mind.  And as cool as it has been hanging out at Karlene and Josh’s, we all know that we could be getting “out there” a little more.

What other kind of potential does this space hold for our church and community?  Anyone getting any kind of great revelations for or against moving in?  I know I *think* it’ll be great, but I haven’t heard any booming voices from the sky.

What’s our time table for getting into the place?  Does anyone else looking at it?

Aristides, 137 AD

•September 1, 2008 • Leave a Comment

“It is the Christians, O Emperor, who have sought and found the truth, for they acknowledge God. They do not keep for themselves the goods entrusted to them. They do not covet what belongs to others. They show love to their neighbours. They do not do to another what they would not wish to have done to themselves. They speak gently to those who oppress them, and in this way they make them their friends. It has become their passion to do good to their enemies. They live in the awareness of their smallness. Every one of them who has anything gives ungrudgingly to the one who has nothing. If they see a travelling stranger, they bring him under their roof. They rejoice over him as over a real brother, for they do not call one another brothers after the flesh, but they know they are brothers in the Spirit and in God. If they hear that one of them is imprisoned or oppressed for the sake of Christ, they take care of all his needs. If possible they set him free. If anyone among them is poor or comes into want while they themselves have nothing to spare, they fast two or three days for him. In this way they can supply any poor man with the food he needs. This, O Emperor, is the rule of life of the Christians, and this is their manner of life.”

Downtown Situation Room

•August 12, 2008 • 4 Comments

Last Sunday we talked about the proposal for the Eugene downtown security to ban certain “undesirables” from the downtown area.  There have been some threatening incidents toward shop owners, which I agree are totally unacceptable.  But I feel that the ability to banish people from public spaces has a big potential for discrimination, because it would only be used on people who make the respectable folk nervous, aka. dirty homeless people and punk teenagers.  Can you imagine a group of elders being asked to move along from the benches on the sidewalk?  Security certainly wasn’t bothering with the group of middle aged peace protesters who were flanking the entrance to the library on Saturday, but they did shoo the crusties off the benches they were chilling on when I was there on Tuesday.

I’ve been reading “Jesus for President” and thinking about standing up for powerless people who are being disrespected by the powerful.  I wish we had more people in our faith community at times like this.  How do you argue with 50 Christians joining the gutterpunks and homeless people on the sidewalks?  I looked on the City of Eugene website and I didn’t see any upcoming public meetings that will deal with this issue.  I really feel like this will end up being an abuse of power, and that we as a church should say something about it.  Are there any other churches in town that care enough about it?  I know you can’t force respect on people, but we can show others when they are acting cruel.

The second part of the issue is finding and being part of a positive solution, like an alternative safe place for teens to hang out and be themselves without being pushed around.  The teen area in the library is minuscule.  Nuestro Lugar requires those pesky commitments like obeying the law (for the record, I think LEAD is amazing, but I can understand why some don’t want to be involved).  Everyone wants something like that (so they don’t have to deal with them out on the street) but they don’t want to pay for it, and when it happens, it’s a long struggle.  LEAD didn’t have their own space for many many years, and the organization is 10 or 11 years old.  The Youth Action Council has been trying to get a teen center since before I was involved in it in high school.

There’s a cycle in this lack of respect that happens between age classes.  Adults disregard the rights and potential of teenagers, so the teenagers believe it and push back, which proves to the adults that they’re just bad eggs.  Why does it have to happen that way?  Where’s the support that growing young people need from stable adults?

Ok, someone else can use this soapbox now.  What are we going to do about treating homeless people like human beings?

We did it!

•March 3, 2008 • 4 Comments

After lots of work, dozens of ideas, discussion, debate, and more than one session together, we have chosen our name!

Springfield Community Church

We chose it because “community” is an essential element of our understanding of ourselves and our mission. We wanted to avoid names that were inaccessible, or overly used, or overly trendy.  We want to identify with our town, even at the risk of being generic. And in the process of consensus building, this is where we were led together.

Now we can set up our official documents!

Naming our Church

•January 29, 2008 • 8 Comments

We are still on a quest to choose a name for our church! Here are the top suggestions that we came up with Sunday afternoon. We may end up with one of these names, or we may find some more inspiration. If you have any other ideas, please post them!

Riverside Community Church

Washburne Community Church

Peace (or La Paz) Community Church

The Way

The Neighborhood Church

Other ideas included: Element Community Church, Open Arms, Open Doors, The Well, Border Crossing Community Church, Namaste, Manna, Mercy, Trinity, and Trillium.

Redistribution – Sunday’s Recap

•January 29, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Sermons always deliver very differently than they are written, but here is Sunday’s transcript, even though a bit different from Sunday.

Zacchaeus
Luke 19:1-10

Zacchaeus has always been a Sunday School story. I remember the song that I sang as a kid and my daughter sang as well. But the only message that really stuck with me about the story was that Zacchaeus was short.

But there is so much more to this story than Zacchaeus’ stature. Continue reading ‘Redistribution – Sunday’s Recap’