I’m attending a pretty amazing conference called Signs of Hope LA. It includes local, national and international speakers discussing what is happening in Los Angles among area churches concerned about the poor, issues in justice, and city development.
For now I think I’m simply going to toss my notes on here with out edit. I’ll do some reflecting latter. (I had my laptop with me so I could take good notes)
LA as a Text – Michael Mata
If life is the art of encounter, than the city is the setting of that encounter
Signs of hope are the encounter
We need to see the built environment as a text to be read
There is incredible diversity in LA.
A world atlas in S. California.
These reflect powerful forces at play on the global stage.
We are part of in incredibly interconnected global web.
People in all over the glob wear Jordan shirts and watch Hollywood videos.
We eat food from all over the globe.
According to emigrants, the US and LA are free’er and cleaner than the rest of the world.
The emerging global culture is an interaction of innovation.
Change often takes place invisibly. A great degree of cultural sincritization, this is good and bad.
Looking at the city
Bonoventure hotel (quad cylinder downtown hotel) communicates power and prestige for those that have, the rest of us are left looking on.
Suburbs leave people separated and isolated, enduring long commutes.
Urban form is never devoid of social content, it is merely the grid into which we live.
Visit your local market, (not supermarket) these indicate who actually lives in your neighborhoods.
Korean store owners are fluent in Spanish, not English.
Color of paint, plants, what’s for sale at the local market, all of these are indicators of the local reality.
When we see the poor we are reminded that not all have made it.
Cultures that once had a high value on family, now must contend with consumerism.
Children are the most vulnerable, they don’t vote, and are dependent on adults for all needs.
Homeless people, though absent a secure home, none the less are in need of identity through speed.
Youth are very adapt at transforming public space.
Consider the spiritual dimensions
The goings on inside the historical protestants churches are often out of touch with the local reality.
Islamic faith is growing rapidely as reflects by the growth in their buildings.
Space is routinely transformed into “sacred space”
Multiculturalism has bred a pluralistic religious environment.
How are we to be defined? Are we enviting? Or do we hide behind locked doors and gates.
Do we actually represent justice and mercy?
The built landscape reflects our theology, hopes, lives and dreams.
The ministry and mission of the church must be aligned to take into account the global changes that are occurring in our world?
What is the locus of the place and ministry of the church?
As you venture into the built environment what do you smell and hear as well as see.
LA’s place on the planet – Dr. Ray Bakke
What are your favorite biblical city texts?
Every year in China, 30 million relocate from the rural to the city.
LA can invent the ways to be the church for the migratory.
The nations are now in the neighborhood.
Missions are no longer geographically distant, but culturally distant.
Head coaches no longer coach, they position coaches do. Pastor’s need to do likewise, relinquish the power, raise up leaders.
Jesus was a intercontinental refuge.
How do you put emotional boundaries on urban ministries? Know that Jesus struggled also. Jirus’ daughter and the women who ‘touched’ Jesus.
The people running from LA are running into the people running from Chicago…somewhere near Colorado Springs.
If you were a missionary, you would be considered irresponsible if you did not take some time to learn the language, and pay close attention to the culture. We need to do the same thing.
Missionaries didn’t ‘just preach the gospel’. They took the time to do their mission thing.
Put up art from the people of your neighborhood, you won’t have to tell them they are welcome, they will notice the minute they walk in.
The seven last words of the church “we never did it that way before”.
You don’t teach surgery at the university, but at the hospital.