Saturday, December 16, 2006

Drinking from a Fire Hose

About 10 days ago, I spent a remarkable day in a conference room in Pasadena. Eight hours, drinking from a fire hose.

I spent it
here, with this fellow, and a group of other "advisors" to the Dean of the Fuller School of Intercultural Studies (SIS).

I have written about this opportunity before, and how I feel completely inadequate to contribute much at all.

The focus of the day was on
Children at Risk, which is a key as a part of the SIS cirriculum. To me, this is simply, for a seminary, how it should be. While theology is important, faith needs hands and feet.

Some other key points of the day, in random scatter-shot form:

"The church is like the ark. It if weren't for the rain on the outside, we would not be able to stand the stench on the inside" -- Augustine

"The well being of the vulnerable is a test of the faithfullness of our worship" and, "The well being of children is an indicator of the well being of society" -- Professor Bryant Myers

In western culture, 1 in 5 of the general population are children. In the developing world, 1 in 2 are children.

There are 10 million child refugees worldwide. There are between 10 and 100 million street children worldwide.

Children in the west lead lives that are deceived by our culture. They are told, via the viewing of as many as 40,000 television commercials a year, that the meaning of life is to be active, happy.......consumers. Many children are very "brand conscious" before they are able to read. Advertisers are even co-opting the language of religion. Case in point - Calvin Klein's "Eternity" cologne.

"Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see" -- John Whitehead

The Search Institute has identified "40 assets" that kids need to grow up healthy.

Fuller has a Center for Youth & Family Ministry, that is setting the pace for work in youth ministry.

The Viva Network is a crucial force in the networking of care agencies advocating for children.

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