Wednesday, November 01, 2006

OK, back to more important stuff

Here are some links I've been getting from my fellow BUILD participants.

Joyce sent me a link to a CBS news video called "Preparing for Life" about a program in DC that is preparing inmates for community reentry. About 3,000 men and women are released from prison back into our neighborhood every year. Those with felons, (ie. crimes such as aggravated assault and drug possession), are not allowed to live in public housing, vote, or work any job that involves knives or weapons such as security, cooking, barbering or lawn care. Most employers will not hire them so they have very limited opportunities. We are anxious to get our facility open at 402 N. St. Louis in order to welcome these men back home with housing, recovery counseling and employment training. Everyone deserves a second chance.

Thank you, Keith, for this link to an article by Jim Wallis that made it into the Chicago Sun Times last Sunday, entitled, Is religious right looking left. Wallis describes the reaction of Bethel College students to his chapel speech and says there is a new generation of Jesus followers who "care deeply about poverty, global warming, sex trafficking, human rights, genocide in Darfur and the ethics of war in Iraq. And they are eager for an agenda that will call forth their best gifts, energies and the commitment of their lives."

Anita Lustrea had Randy White on MidDay Connection today. Randy graduated from the same program I did at Bakke Graduate University , so I read his book, Encounter God in the City: Onramps to Personal And Community Transformation with great interest. On the show he described the process of the transformation in his life that led him to urban community development in inner city Fresno. he expressed the power of experience in the city, which leads to joy and spiritual growth. It reminded me of a comment I heard recently from Bill Shereos, pastor of First Free in Chicago, who remarked that cross-cultural experiences should become one of our spiritual disciplines.

Finally, my friend and co-worker, Marcie Curry, let me know today she felt slighted because I haven't blogged about Derek Webb, a musician she turned me on to, who is writing and recording heroic songs about faith and justice. Here is a quote from his song "Rich Young Ruler".
(vs. 1)
poverty is so hard to see
when it’s only on your tv and twenty miles across town
where we’re all living so good
that we moved out of Jesus’ neighborhood
where he’s hungry and not feeling so good
from going through our trash
he says, more than just your cash and coin
i want your time, i want your voice
i want the things you just can’t give me

(vs. 2)
so what must we do
here in the west we want to follow you
we speak the language and we keep all the rules
even a few we made up
come on and follow me
but sell your house, sell your suv
sell your stocks, sell your security
and give it to the poor
what is this, hey what’s the deal
i don’t sleep around and i don’t steal
i want the things you just can’t give me

(bridge)
because what you do to the least of these
my brother’s, you have done it to me
because i want the things you just can’t give me

1 comment:

Marcie Curry said...

Thanks for FINALLY talking about Derek Webb....His songs are so convicting. I feel like he is passionate about many of the same things we at Breakthrough are. Personally, my fav is "A King and a Kingdom".