Part of what I am enjoying about this event has been hearing from new voices and new insights. There are so many people here presenting that aren’t on the normal conference circuit.
Yvonne Latty (NYU Journalism prof): Yvonne wrote a book about the importance of finding her story as part of America. As a kid the only black history she learned was about slavery and Martin Luther King, Jr.. After the tragedy of 9/11, she struggled with finding her identity within the story of the U.S.A.. After writing a story about a World War 2 veteran who is African American, she began to realize that there was so much of her story as an African American woman who grew up in the U.S. than she realized.
Marlon Wood (The Awakenings Movement): We need to tap into the stream of culture. Missiology and anthropology are connected. Jesus was the first anthropologist. God came to be with us and live among us to love, serve, and reach out to us.
Erwin (Mosaic): Too often a church trying to move towards diversity is like an affluent Anglo church who reaches out to impoverished African Americans rather than befriending the affluent African American who lives on our street. If we aren’t careful we end up positioning ourselves as more powerful than those we are trying to help rather than seeing those around us – (including the “outsiders!”) – have so much from which we can learn. Our churches aren’t diverse because we don’t care about people. Step one, ask yourself: “Is your church even willing to make the changes necessary to reach their own children?”
The final session dealt with culture in terms of media and included some guys working in the entertainment industry including Phil Cooke (author of Branding Faith: Why Some Churches and Non-Profits Impact Culture and Others Don’t), Dan Rupple (CBS Producer with “The Price is Right” and David Letterman and with Seriously Funny Entertainment), and Mark Joseph (consultant for Walden Media and founder of Damah Film Festival)
Erwin: Too often we are persecuted for our foolishness not “the foolishness of the cross.” We are surrounded with people who are suffering and in real pain here in the U.S. and around the world. What are doing for them? All around us, we have the opportunity to connect people who do not know God and want to know Him. We can be part of the solution of the problems we see all around us!