IGNITE: with the creativity of the GOSPEL
Ruled by ruts and reruns in life and ministry? Creativity is God’s forte! How do we . . .
. . . connect with our Creator God to spark fresh ways to lead others to Jesus?
. . .stay innovative in the work place, the city streets, the home, the community and in the church?
Come team with us to IGNITE––with the creativity of the Gospel for the glory of God!
This gathering is for ALL women. Bring your girlfriends to enjoy this “breath of fresh air” experience together!
April 20, 2013 (Saturday) 9:00 am – 4:15 pm
Imago Dei Community Church, main sanctuary
1302 SE Ankeny
Portland OR 97214
COST: $30 early registration; $15 students; $38 late registrations (after April 6th.) $7.50 optional box lunch. (Sorry, no box lunch orders after April 16th.)
Keynote Speaker: Sarah Thebarge
- Area Restaurants (a list will be provided at the conference)
- Bring your own lunch, or
- Box lunch - Pre-order when you register.
Conference invitations have been emailed out and may be forwarded to others. If you did not receive an invitation, please contact us to request to be added to our list. Please include your full name, city/state, and email address: add to email list.
Note:Photographs may be taken during WCM gatherings. By registering you are agreeing to allow any photos to be used for promotional purposes.
Check out our Spring 2013 edition of Western Magazine online!
Click here to request a print copy.
Acts 17 is one of those chapters in the Bible that Christians love. Our reasons are various. I suspect the main reason is we wish we could be like Paul in this passage. His reasonable approach in presenting the gospel message was both careful and direct. We love that. He pulled no punches, kept it clear and concise, offended some and reaped a harvest of others who were saved. And if the message of the passage misses, the action of the passage doesn’t. There is bold proclamation, persecution, and a daring escape under the cover of night.
By mid chapter, however, the action slows down a bit. The scene is set with Paul waiting in Athens for his traveling buddies. I have imagined him kicking rocks around the bright stone streets of the big city, taking in the sights – The Parthenon, The Acropolis, Olympia Stadium, the ornamental palaces, and countless temples and shrines to Zeus, Athena, Hera, and how many other gods and goddesses of money and sex and power. And just about the time boredom would set in for most folks, the Bible says Paul’s “spirit was provoked.”
What did that mean? I can’t say for sure, but it must have been close to what’s happening for those four emerging adults who sat in my office. Their spirit has been provoked…to do something; to engage the cultural ethos, to approach the idolaters, to reconcile them to God. Paul had just brought the presence of the Kingdom of God; the world in which he was a citizen, into proximity with another world just by showing up and these worlds were on a collision course. Same with these four in my office. The question is “what then?”
Never one to miss an opportunity, Paul strikes up conversations – who of us strike up conversations anymore? We live life in our personal space, wirelessly connected to iEverything, while missing out on everyone. Well, Paul strikes up conversations in the synagogues and in the marketplace, with both Jews and Greeks. All really smart people. And the eventual outcome was an audience with the Areopagus. This was a council, or to use church-person terms, a committee, who oversaw matters of religious philosophy and ethics in Athens. All really smarter people. And Paul, once there, proceeds to tell them all about the God whom they had enshrined as “unknown.”
Now when we come here, to this part of the passage, we usually begin by reading verse 22 and 23 as mere background; informal commentary that speeds us along to Paul’s brief and bold homily in verse 24 and following. But it occurs to me now, it’s not commentary. It’s Paul’s introduction. And any good speaker will tell you – because they’ve told me plenty – an introduction is vital to the health of the message. It either breathes life into it or sucks the life out of it. Paul’s breathes life into it.
Paul takes a minute to establish credibility. How often do we forget this part when we talk to people? Paul’s the real deal. Verse 22 and 23 tell us he wasn’t just kicking rocks around the city waiting for his friends as I have imagined. He spent time looking and watching, exploring their land, their people, their religious trends and habits. Do we do this anymore? Do we care enough about people to actually explore who they are and what they’re about before we open our mouths? …Read the rest of this post at Andrew’s blog, branchtown.
An Occasional Lecture Series by Western Seminary International Students
One Mile Wide and One Inch Deep:
How can the Ugandan Church translate ‘numbers’ into real cultural influence?
Given by Julius Twongyeirwe, graduating Doctor of Missiology student
Tuesday April 2, 2013
Western Seminary Chapel
Ugandan worship to precede and a dessert reception to follow the lecture
Uganda is thought to be a Christianized nation with 85% of the people identifying themselves as Christians. Yet in spite of this, it is also ranked as the one of the most corrupt countries in the world. How can this paradox be rectified? The true Church of Uganda is called to be a voice in the culture, but this is hard when many already believe they are Christian and yet the truth of what that should mean in their lives does not penetrate more than this surface cultural identification. Come hear as Julius relates this current condition and how the gospel can truly transform hearts in the churches of not only Uganda, but the other nations of Africa.
Julius Twongyeirwe has been a pastor in Uganda since 1994. In 1999 he founded Proclamation Task (PT) which reaches all regions of Uganda to help equip pastors. PT organizes, supervises and coordinates training for pastoral leadership. Julius earned an M.Div. from Western in 2006 and is completing his studies for the DMiss program. Julius is married to Grace and has 4 children
Global Voices is a free lecture series at the Western Seminary Portland campus, featuring our international students. We’ll hear from at least one international student each semester on topics of interest to the Christian community around the world. We invite you to bring friends and family who may also enjoy learning about God’s work in other countries.
A couple months ago now, four bright young emerging adults; two guys and two gals, sat in my office with more questions than answers. A defining point of emerging adulthood is just that: the prevalence of questions and scarcity of answer. And the questions are often really good ones. Frankly, they’re questions we all ought to be asking. They make us stop and think…As really good questions often go, one of their specific questions was stated in less than specific terms. The verbiage tumbled out into the room like Yahtzee dice on a table; phrased and rephrased by each of the four present, hoping that one of them would get the combination just right. Eventually the idea of the question settled into a perceived feeling of being caught between the Church and the world around them.
With all four of them living in or having experienced at some point a cultural context other than that of rural north Whatcom County, Washington, they have all seen and heard the positions of the world around them on issues such as social reform or gender-based morality or prenatal euthanasia. As well, with each of them being Christians from solid Christian families, they have all seen and heard the positions of the Church on the same issues. Issues, mind you, which appear reserved for spheres of political discourse and debate between Democrats and Republicans, but really, at root, transcend all manner of legislation as they are issues born on a much higher plane. These are issues with emotion and strident concern connected to them. These types of issues reach way down deep into us personally and touch the part of us where beliefs are held and convictions are formed. And at the end of it, the positions held by Christians on these issues and those held by the world around us are often polar opposites.
These four young people are feeling the tension of the divide that is present: Being a Christian presumably associated with particular positions, and living in a world that is presumably associated with other and often opposing positions. It has to do with that middle ground where two worlds collide. And the tension is not what we mean when we say, “be in the world, but not of the world.” Rather, for these four, the tension is in their honest desiring to bring these opposing positions together or harmonize the individuals associated with them in evangelism; to actually leverage the middle ground instead of skirt it…..
Several people I know have taken up the pursuit of reading through the Bible in a year…chronologically.Most of the time people attend to this endeavor with little fanfare. Goals like this don’t need to be worn on the outside. Boasting in spiritual disciplines always feels a little slimy anyway. Plus, keeping it on the down-low leaves for some wiggle room in the event one falls behind. But this time of year people get to talking. Whether reading through the Bible chronologically or otherwise, when February and March hit, enthusiasm can fade, tedium can bulge, and stall out can loom.
Not because this is the season most of us throw in the towel on our first-of-the-year resolutions (be honest, how is that exercise resolve working for you). Rather, by February or March the reading plan generally lands the reader in Leviticus…then Numbers, a minimally compelling title…then Deuteronomy, which means “a copy of the law”. All three are often viewed as yawners, full of laws and regulations and meticulous details about clothes and buildings and diet and relationships and countless other apparently time trapped and culturally distant facts and figures. And then let’s go around again with Deuteronomy.
I know. It’s hard. It feels like hitting the wall in a road race and you’re only a mile in. You’re probably missing days and skimming to catch up. Audio Bible apps sound pretty good right now. Well, maybe I can bless you with this. Maybe not. I don’t know. But below are a few things I learned from smarter guys then me that have encouraged me in the past when I have come to Lev-umber-onomy (I had to do something to make them sound fun, right?). So put down the towel. Read through these points. Then pick up that Bible and press on. Who knows, you may even favor this section of Hebrew Scripture when all is said and done?
- These were the sacred writings of the Jewish people…and still are! Jesus read these Scriptures! In fact, He probably memorized them when he was younger than some of our kids. Isn’t there something in you that wants to read the same books as Jesus?
- The meticulous detail and legislation is not without rich and deep meaning. You don’t have to catch it all. That’s not the point of a Bible read through. But, like the narrative, slow down and zoom in a bit, and just soak in the remembrance that these words are meaning-full.
- This is a privileged peak into history. Google some of the stuff described on the pages. Learn a bit more about them. Try searching online for a timeline of world history. What else was going on in the world that may have hit the headlines? Maybe there was a reason God insisted on certain cloths and garments and diets and cleanliness?
- God has preserved His Bible for millennia on end. Primarily because it is His Word. It lives and breathes in a sense. As well, though, the Bible is just good literature. I know it doesn’t feel like it when you’re reading about how to arrange the camp and the retirement plan for priests. But you’re holding the bestselling book in history.
- Try looking for Jesus, Messiah. I don’t think He’s in every word or phrase on the page. But much of what you’ll read in Lev-umber-onomy points to Messiah, or at least captures characteristic glimpses of who the people of Israel would be looking for as God’s chosen One; the promised Redeemer.I’ll leave it there. I don’t want to take too much of your time. Off you go. You’ll make it…
Andrew Weeda is a graduate of Western Seminary. Read more of his writing at his blog, branchtown.
From beanies and polo shirts, to backpacks and iPad cases, show your Western spirit! Select a product, then have fun customizing it; choose from a variety of graphics to specify your campus location, announce you’re an alumnus, or sport a collegiate block letter version of our logo for a more vintage feel. A portion of each purchase will be paid back to the seminary. As time goes on, we may add or remove designs to better serve our branding purposes.