Wednesday, October 24, 2007

'Fall' on the UBC Campus

The last six weeks have been intense! It all came to brief interlude after spending Friday, Saturday and Sunday, literally chained to the iMac spitting out 6000 words, mostly for my Christianity and Capitalism paper - a Christian critique of Neo-Classical Economic Household and Consumption theories that affect our savings, debt, and exposure to consumerism and advertising - a really interesting paper to research and write, but I'm glad it's over!To unwind and restore myself, I spent a glorious (and rare!) sunny and warm fall afternoon walking around the UBC campus - I tried to capture it with my camera, although it's hard to do - Fall is so BIG here! There's a few more pics on my Flickr page.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ekklesia (gathering)

Jess and I have a new job (#3 job for both of us now). We are working as ‘interns’ for the 18+ college/careers group at our church, St John’s Shaughnessy. The group’s name is Ekklesia, which is a New Testament Greek word that means ‘gathering’, which implies more of a gathering in a house (church), than a formal meeting in an institutional church.

It’s a wonderfully simple model of Christian fellowship – we meet on a Wednesday night at 6:30pm where about 30 of us share a meal together. We do a few simple things as a group: we get to know each other better through some sharing times and ‘spotlights’ on individuals; we encourage each other with what we have been reading/learning in the bible; we pray for each other, sometimes we break-up in prayer-quads. Then we split off into 3 separate bible study groups, which wrap-up at 9:30.

Our role is great – we administer the group (the planning and legwork behind the scenes), we do a lot of the upfront leadership, and we share the responsibility of leading and shepherding the younger bible study group. Plus, we are given a Starbucks card to take Ekklesia people out for coffee! One big reason why we are doing the job, and also a joy of the job, is that we lead under Ken Moser – it is great to be working with Ken & Julie again!

I see some really healthy signs in this group: new people are welcomed and integrated quickly and we get new people every week; there is a hunger for God’s word to be taught; there is a desire to reach out and bless our community (although we are still working out how/what to do); people have time and care for one another. The Lord is doing something with this group – it’s great to be onboard when the Lord is working!

Another testimony to this group rang loud and clear this weekend … we were meant to go on a weekend retreat together. What would be a worst case scenario arriving at a campsite? Discovering the site had been double-booked with 90 boy/girl scouts under the age of 12 is one possible answer. We had to cancel the retreat. We went to a cold beach and hung out for a few hours, which ended up being a warm and enjoyable time together. Us leaders proposed meeting the following day a 3pm, have 2 of our 3 planned talks, have a great meal together and then go on, as planned, to our ‘mystery’ activity, Curling. Many people also met at 11am for a picnic on a glorious Autumn day in Vancouver, and the group hung out together in a home after Curling. All smiles, lots of laughs, no bitterness, but some understood disappointment. Ekklesia made the most of a potentially horrid situation, and we had a great time together!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I love this guy!

That’s kind of a weird thing for me (Andrew) to write, but let me explain …

I enjoy all the courses I am doing this semester, but my Christian Education and Equipping class is a real joy! The course has a simple aim: to equip us (both laity and the 'pro’s') to make disciples of Jesus Christ who will make disciples of Jesus Christ. Darrell Johnson believes the best way to make disciples is by helping people engage with texts of scripture. We spend a lot of our time looking at how Jesus makes disciples in the gospels.

Darrell Johnson who shepherds us through is amazing! He preaches with the kind of authority that Jesus talks about, he cares for his students, but most of all the love he has for Jesus spills out of him. I think this is why I love this guy, because he is so deeply in love with Jesus, and we can see it, and it’s contagious!

This week, Darrell went the extra mile for his students … he wrote a 10 day devotional packet on the Psalms and Ephesians for us to linger in during our upcoming reading week.
To share some of Darrell’s love for Jesus around, here is a link to the devotional pack for you to linger on as well. Darrell also wrote us an email with some additional thoughts after he did his first devotion today. I will post this email and any further ones he sends as comments on this post.

Enjoy lingering …

More on Darrell: Bio / Free Sermons / Regent Audio / Books
More on Jesus: listen to Darrell / read your bibles