The past few weeks have been one of voting, speaking, praying, planning, and waiting. This Holy Week has been one of tying up loose ends so my family and I can take a much needed vacation. Of course, we are preparing our hearts and meditating on the ultimate Good News—the sacrifice of Christ—and the new life we are offered through Him.
I did have the opportunity to peek at a few joyous moments on the internet over the past couple weeks. Check them out:
- I love great music! And I LOVE listening to a voice that stands out on its own. It’s no surprise then that Ms. Patti Labelle is one of my favorite old school artists, and I consider Fantasia among my generation’s legends. That says a lot because I don’t easily consider myself a fan of entertainers. However, when you ask Fantasia to give a tribute to Patti Labelle and she sannnngs, yes, sannnnnnnnngs about Ms. Patti being her friend. Well, expect perfection. And it was!
Continue reading “Good News in March!”
I’m thrilled to share that my friend, Nikki Toyama-Szeto, has joined the Leading Voices of Missio Alliance! I have been listening to and learning from Nikki for several years. I found her interview about Female Asian-Americans: Finding a Voice quite informative. She is an inspiration to men and women everywhere, especially to women like me who have the gift of leadership. Today, Nikki serves as the Vice President of Global Strategies for Christian Engagement at the International Justice Mission (IJM). Most recently, she co-authored the book, “God of Justice: The IJM Institute Global Church Curriculum.” Take a look at her talk about the new face of human trafficking. I’m so glad that we will all be hearing from her voice more consistently. You can connect with her on Twitter: @ntoyamaszeto .
Here is her introduction from Missio Alliance:
My neatly ordered world crumbled when I got to college—like for many others. In addition to trying to find a new set of friends, making my way far from home, and navigating the thrill of having lots of people “like me”, I was shocked to find that my college experience upended my neatly ordered faith. Before, my Christian faith was tucked into a manageable box. I tried not to swear at tennis meets and to make good choices. But then I encountered a community of people who tried to be like Jesus. They studied scripture, took it seriously and let scripture inform the major decisions of their life. Being in this extraordinary community transformed my high school faith into an adult faith. And I became curious about what the world would look like if the promises that God made in the Bible were reliable and true.
So that began a journey of both seeking after God, and calling others to follow Him with their whole lives. I did this for years, with young adults on campuses with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in northern California. But who was the teacher and who was the student? From Stanford students, I learned what it was like to merge faith with an intense leadership environment. From Berkeley students, I learned about a faith that was as big as the world, and God’s heart for those on the margins. And from University of San Francisco students, I learned about following God in the realities of a city, work, job, and other obligations.
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the third annual “Engage our Culture” forum at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Charlotte campus. The topic for this year’s forum was “Bridging the Great Divide: The Church’s Call to Racial Reconciliation” featuring Margaret Yu, National Executive Director of Epic Movement, the Asian American ministry of Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ); Mark DeYmaz, founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, leader of the Mosaix Global Network and author of several books related to multi-ethnic church ministry; Soong-Chan Rah, Milton B. Engebretson Associate Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago and the author of the recently released Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times; and Bishop (Dr.) Claude Alexander, Jr., Senior Pastor of The Park Church in Charlotte, NC.
The panel began with a question about the basic theological or biblical foundation for having a discussion about the social construct of race. This cultural and community dynamics concerning diverse people groups is prevalent throughout scripture.
Continue reading “#EnageOurCulture: Race, Injustice, & the Church”