NEWS END OF OCTOBER 2010
16th October had me travelling to the USA from Canada to join the graduate school of leadership and development at Eastern University in Philadelphia for a week. Being other than at a missionary training or theological school was a change from the normal. Their interest in development, economics etc. of course parallels a lot of my background and training. Interacting mostly with 40 or so graduate students was a fascinating exercise. I was invited into their classes time and time again to answer never ending questions. These were very challenging and very critical questions. It was encouraging to find people engaging seriously with important concerns regarding ministry in the Third World. I got the impression that the seeds I left planted would form an ongoing part of the curriculum. Click here ---> to see me in action lecturing.
From there I moved to Ambridge near Pittsburg. Suddenly I was enveloped in one of the most serious and divisive issues the church has ever known - the ordination of gay clergy. This, combined with other extremely liberal sentiments I was told, had resulted in the formation of the Anglican Church of North America as a breakaway from the gay-ordaining Episcopal. Most people at the seminary were coming from churches that had split. In many cases, they had to give up facilities to the Episcopal church and were worshipping in temporary accommodation, school classrooms etc. I pray with them that these painful experiences will result in new life and a new awakening of God's Spirit.
Tomorrow (Friday) I am to present to the whole college - all who can come. Pray for people I have met who are making a stand in the face of difficult issues that are polarising the church. Give thanks that in last few years average age of students at this seminary has dropped from 40 to 30 and new attendance has risen from 13 to 50.
Saturday 30th I am to go to the home of Church of God (that I work with in Kenya) in Anderson, Indiana. Then from the 6th November I am to be attending a large missions' conference before speaking at some of the theological colleges in the city of Chicago.