1//ONE//AUSTRALIA - "I Come From A Land Down Under"

If you never got into "Men At Work" - that's too bad. They had one of the best songs of the 80's and it has staying power (They were also not a one-hit-wonder as some might think.

In June I took a small team to Australia in partnership with a missional church in Brisbane. It was the first of what will be many trips and partnerships in conjuction with an organization I started last summer. The organization was started out of my heart for the arts, the realization that there is a disconnect between Jesus' family and society overall in this area and my desire simply to be with creative people, creating places for them to serve, because generally there just aren't any when it comes to faith communities.

Ken and Leanne Baker said "Come! We'll help you see if this works or not" - what wonderful people. And so we came.

For the first few days we trapsed. Trapsed to galleries, trapsed around town, trapsed to the neighborhood center where Ken and Leanne should start paying rent ( http://www.newfarmneighbourhood.org/ ). Good thing it's a community center. And it is a wonderful place. Many of the people that come in and out are people who come in and out of a lot of places. But it always seems to be a hub and it's where we found ourselves a lot.

We taught art classes for a week and were just really glad to see the response. Why this was so cool was because Ken and Leanne (please visit their link to the right) have developed such a great friendship with the center that it was a welcome exchange on both parts. We were able to provide classes for a center that wouldn't have the resources to focus into art instruction, but could certainly find it beneficial for the people that use the center. In addition it connected Ken and Leanne and the center to more people.

Ken and Leanne are extraordinary people and as long as I've known them have been purveyors of a social gospel. The reality that Jesus' Kingdom isn't completely about where you're going when you die, but it's the renewal of life while we're still here that goes beyond the thinking that we're in this just so we can all achieve personal holiness. They have no church building, they live in their community, and function as though they really believe that "church" is more what happens outside of the typical Sunday gathering time than in it. I think you might get an idea of what this looks like in theory, but I feel very few really understand how that functions. (Read "Shaping of Things to Come" to get an idea). Also Adam and Christy Lipscomb spent three months of a summer with the Bakers before planting their church in Grand Rapids, Michigan and are pursuing community in a very similar manner (City Life Wesleyan Church). So this providing of classes and exchange of resources and exploring creativity as a relational connecting was very much in tune with the life of City Wesleyan Church.

I certainly can't cover it all, but following are excerptsand randoms from letters I sent to my prayer teams this summer.


Vandelay Ind. said...

Well Fer-
Here's my thoughts.

I wish I could travel as much as you.

And, Congrats on the new blog. I know you do this with disdain but at least now we can write some musings back and forth to each other. I find its a great forum to "say" what everyone else is thinking. Or at least what I'm thinking. And that's what counts.

Bethany said...

welcome my dear one...to the world of blogs. i too started with hesitation, and have lead hundreds to the Lord because of it. (ok, it's not good to lie, so that was just me being stupid, as usual). i am so proud of you girl, and all the do for the glory of the Lord. i am not a big reader, but i will definitely check out the books on your list. thanks for opening up and sharing your life experiences. blessings my friend. maybe we can watch bill cosby again someday and just laugh a little. i miss that. ta ta for now.