Friday, September 19, 2008

Holland & Hope

Ahh, Refreshing.

So started today's chapel sermon at Western Theological Seminary. Denise Kingdom-Grier, an African American RCA pastor preached a message which called us to allow everyone to use their gifts, those with voices, and those voiceless, those with abilities, and those ablely-challenged.

I am at Hope College / Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Western Michigan to observe the National Council of Churches Disability Policy committee, comprised of numerous denomination representatives, and to start by 3 year term on the board of directors of Friendship Ministries -- the world's largest interdenominational organization devoted to resourcing churches to include people with disabilities.

As principal of Palm View Christian a PK-8 Assembly of God school, I often encourage students to explore Christian colleges with Christian world views. I have opportunities to frequent numerous campuses around the country as I guest lecture or attend conferences. Hope College, known for its most famous and innovative alum, Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral, is at it again. With its new Friendship House, people with cognitive disabilities live in the same complex as regular residential students and become involved in campus life. I am looking forward to the tour this afternoon.

As I walked through the Denver airport to catch a connecting flight, I was intrigued by a bill board which announced that the technologies businesses will rely on for survival five years from now have yet to be invented. The question was then posed, are you alarmed? Or inspired? I have reflected on that statement throughout these proceedings, and with the context of urban elementary Christian education and church growth and mission.

The strategic decisions made today will set the course for history, in our schools, churches, communities, and lives. I don’t know about you, but I’m inspired!