Blog Archives: January 2011 — December 2011

Community Network

December 12, 2011
I recently had the privilege of sitting down with fellow Christ Church-ers and discussing how we can love our cities as individuals and as a community.   How can the community we find through Christ Church support and propel us to actively love our neighbors -- beyond what is required of us through a Project Peace event?  How can we spend ourselves such that we need and rely on the community we find through Christ Church?  Although the time together was encouraging and refreshing, we acknowledged that the solution is not another weekly ...

The Future Cultural Leaders of the Bay Area

November 22, 2011
LEARN LOVE LIVE When we first started Christ Church back in 2006 we had only four families with less than 12 kids (attached is a picture of Isaac Lee way back in 2006—Isaac was the first child to be baptized at Christ Church, and is now a second grader!). Now our congregation has grown to over 50 families with more than 100 children! We have not only grown in numbers but our kids are growing up. Those who were the youngest members of our congregation are now middle schoolers! The mission of Christ Church Kids is this: “We hope to be a place ...

Working together to achieve a goal

October 25, 2011
Thru Project Peace I am able to help make collaboration happen on a regular basis in our communities. In the past couple of months I have seen our community come together to clean a fountain, play kickball with kids who needed a day to be kids in a safe place, serve meals to those in need, clean a park, prep two schools for the beginning of the year, and plan a night to raise awareness about modern day slavery. I get to see an amazing community in action working for the betterment of the cities we live in. The issues we face seem ...

What is Global Outreach?

October 04, 2011
THIS POST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY AMY HOOD, THE GLOBAL OUTREACH MINISTRY TEAM LEADER My three-year-old daughter was having trouble going to sleep tonight. We snuggled while I rocked her and as songs came to mind I sang them to her quietly as I did when she was a baby. One of the songs was “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.” I remember singing it at church as a child. What a long time ago, but those timeless ...

What is a Homogenous Church?

September 19, 2011
I absolutely love facilitating the Newcomer Meal and Conversation. Here, newcomers to Christ Church share bits of their stories and then, we converse about our church’s story and mission. As people introduce themselves, I also ask them to answer a couple of questions: How did you hear about Christ Church?What were one or two of your first impressions?Because I am one of the ministers, I have to coax people to share not only the good, but the bad and ugly as well! Churches can learn so much about themselves if they would simply listen to ...

Some Thoughts on the Ten Year Anniversary of September 11

September 07, 2011
All of us remember exactly where we were on September 11, 2001. For Americans, that day has forever marked each of our lives. Some sitting in this room lost friends and family members on that day. Others in the room have had friends and family since deployed on military tours all over the world. Ten years later, all of us struggle with what to say or what to feel. American philosopher, Edith Wyschogrod, in her work, An Ethics of Remembering (1998), says that the greatest challenge in the wake of a cataclysmic tragedy is “the building of ...

Everyone Can Play

August 10, 2011
When I go to a movie or concert or sporting event, I take a program, find my seat, and enjoy the show.  I play no part in the action. Sounds fun, right? What is not to love about admiring and enjoying those who devoted their life to developing their passions, gifts, and skills? Have you ever been part of a group or gathering in which you were a casual observer without any role or responsibility? A lot of churches function like this. A majority of people show up to a Sunday worship service or a mid-week gathering, take a program, find a ...

What if there was no Christ Church?

August 02, 2011
Every couple of years I get the privilege of journeying back to the “Mother Ship” for this, that, or the other. The “Mother Ship” is Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. If you are unfamiliar with our family tree, well, Redeemer is our Grandmother and City Church San Francisco is our Mother. And so, maybe I should call Redeemer the “Grandmother Ship.” Anyway... This particular trip involved an intensive training in Redeemer’s “DNA Handbook.” Twenty-two of us from the Bay Area, NYC, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Orlando, Mumbai, ...

Mister Rogers, a great "Restorer"

July 21, 2011
Many of you may know of the organization (if I can call it that...it's more of a "gathering" or "conversation") called Q.  In any case, there has been some profound work done in the areas of church, city and social restoration, education, government and politics, media, art, and a host of other sectors.  They host annual conferences in influential cities around the U.S.  I was privileged to attend the first of such in Atlanta in 2007.  (It was when I worked at a big church and they could afford to send me...it is fairly expensive - though I ...

Parenting in the Bay Area

June 13, 2011
I just got back from a three-day camping trip in Yosemite with Caroline’s fourth grade class. It was an exciting adventure into the emerging world of ten-year-olds.  I unpack my backpack and take down the tent with a lot to reflect upon: the intensity of my love for my little girl who is growing up right before my eyes (read the comment of a fourth-grade boy: “Oh, you are Caroline’s dad? Well, did you know that ‘so-and-so’ thinks she is cute and likes her?”), the developing self-possession of a typical 10-year-old as she cultivates close ...

Christ Is Risen

May 11, 2011
Christ is risen...He is risen indeed...Alleluia! Well here we are in Easter season...that's right, SEASON.  The Church calendar designates Easter season as (certainly) Easter Sunday, but also the 5 Sundays following.  Now we are of course in post-resurrection Christendom, so in that sense every Sunday to an extent is an opportunity to proclaim the Lord Jesus' victory over sin and death; however, we give special and seasonal attention to that, not only on Easter Sunday, but also on May 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29.  To someone like me who grew up in a ...

Is Anything Worth Believing In?

April 06, 2011
Summary: I much enjoyed hearing Dr. John Lennox, professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, address this question at the Veritas Forum at Berkeley on April 5, 2011. After inviting us into parts of his own story, which he did humbly and humorously, Dr. Lennox began his talk by speaking to two poles at which many people galvanize today. One pole is animated by the assertion that “no truth can be known,” and the other by the assertion that “truth is only known through science.” Dr. Lennox then proceeded to demonstrate that truth can indeed ...

Lent, Lament, and Spirituals

March 21, 2011
If you are a Christ Church attender/member, and have participated in the last 2 worship services (first 2 Sundays of Lent), AND if you have arrived early, or right on time (!), you will have heard me sing some old spiritual texts to set the tone for our services and for this season of Lent.  Outside of the Psalms, it's difficult to find texts/music that more capture the spirit and idea of lament than spirituals.  As I was looking at various texts and songs to use, I ran across several interesting articles linking the history of Christian ...

Lent: All Life is Repentance

March 17, 2011
During Lent I wanted to share a great two page paper on Repentance and the Gospel by Tim Keller.  I recommend using this resource for silent reflection a few times during Lent to cultivate the skill of Repentance and Renewal. Martin Luther opened the Reformation by nailing “The Ninety-Five Theses” to the door of Wittenberg Cathedral.  The very first of the theses was: “Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ…willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”  On the surface this looks a little bleak!  Luther seems to be saying that ...

Pride be Damned

February 27, 2011
Ash Wednesday is a week away, and thus begins a new season of Lent. I love Lent, and it is not because I am melancholy with a penchant for the macabre. I am actually a naturally upbeat person. Rather, I love Lent because it is a season where I am able to focus acutely on my need for God.  Lent is the season of preparation observed through repentance leading up to Easter, the church’s Sunday of Sundays, and what follows, the Season of Resurrection. Repentance is literally, an about face, the turning from certain attitudes and actions, a turn ...

A New Year. A New You?

January 04, 2011
A New Year and a Renewed Mission “We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.” -Edith Lovejoy Pierce “New Year's Day:  Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.  Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” -Mark Twain   Most people stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve, some to see the new-year in, others to make sure that the old one goes. Depending on your age and stage, ...