Archives For Portland

This Thursday I head to Portland for the 9th Church 2.0 Local Forum. This will be the last one for ’08. I ask for your prayers as I’ve been not feeling well lately. I’m really looking forward to the gathering and am excited about the registrations so far. If you’re near Portland, I hope you’ll join us. Here’s the info:
Friday, Nov. 7: Church 2.0 Local Forum – Portland
PERSONAL:
Yes, I’m voting today. I hope you do, too. More thoughts on that later. 

Are you orange? ORANGE IS THE COLOR OF FREEDOM. Wearing orange shows you’re a part of the movement to stop slavery. 

Also, I had a great phone conversation with Charles Lee from JustOne this week. They are working on some wonderful initiatives to raise awareness and support for some causes that the Church should take seriously. We’re meeting where they headquarter for the Church 2.0 Local Forum in Portland on Nov. 7th. I look forward to hearing more about their ministry as they share at this gathering.

Here are some facts that were printed in my church’s bulletin this past Sunday: The modern practice of human trafficking enslaves 27 million people around the world. This is more than at any other time in history. UNICEF says that most children who are trafficked are “sold” by unsuspecting parents who honestly believe that the children they have just “sold” (most for under $5) will be educated, learn a trade, and be carefully looked after by their new “caretaker” (human trafficker).

Little do the impoverished parents know that their child is likely to be sold several times, moved to other countries, and will become virtually untraceable. The United Nations office on drugs and crime has estimated that the total market value of illicit human trafficking is more than $30 billion dollars per year – a third of this profit coming directly from the sale of individuals.

This is not simply a problem on a foreign shore: there are more slaves in the United States today than ever, including the era of American slavery and the Civil War. The Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) reported that every ten minutes, a woman or child is trafficked into the United States and forced into labor. The CIA recently reported that as many as 50,000 women and children are brought into this country every year under false pretenses and then forced unwillingly into roles as abused laborers, servants, and prostitutes.

*** I blog about this because this is a huge part of Church 2.0. Church leaders in the 21st Century have to be aware of and battle against social justice issues. What can you do?

  • Donate: I listed some great organizations in my last blog on slavery
  • Get Educated: Check out the links HERE
  • Pray: for the victims of human trafficking
  • Write: Send a letter to your local and state officials asking them to approve stiffer laws against human trafficking.
(Most of the info about trafficking came from the October issue of Relevant magazine, pages 55-56)
 
*** Not For Sale reports that “last week, 150 Abolitionists from across the country gathered in Washington, DC to advocate on behalf of the 27 million people in slavery around the world… To close out this fantastic event, Abolitionists held a candlelight vigil before attending a premier screening of Call + Response, the new independent film that features the work of Not For Sale and its president David Batstone alongside critically acclaimed artists and prominent cultural figures.”
I saw Call + Response earlier this week. WOW>such a good film. Very well done. Amazing music. Very informative. Very moving. A must-see!

1. Friday, Oct. 17: Church 2.0 Local Forum – Boston

2. Friday , Oct. 24: Church 2.0 Local Forum – Tulsa
3. Friday, Nov. 7: Church 2.0 Local Forum – Portland
* I write this post for several reasons:
  • One – To encourage you to register (if you’re in the area I’m coming to) or pass the word on to a friend and peer in ministry that is in the area. 
  • Two – To thank, praise and make you aware of the fine sponsors that not only support my ministry, but are relevant, valid and solid options for you to consider in your ministry context. 
  • Three – I’d like to ask YOU to do something that I’ve never done before. Please blog about this Fall tour. Email your friends and peers. INVITE. INVITE. INVITE. These times together (I’ve done 6 so far) are special and powerful. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about these 3 cities coming up this Fall. God is stirring and moving in my heart and I know He has something special in store for these gatherings coming up. 
  • Four – Pray for wisdom, discernment, vision, protection, provision, and God’s blessing. I feel strongly that God is allowing me to meet with these Church leaders in these 3 cities, making 9 in total since May. After Portland, I will end these for ’08. In 2009 I’ve got several great cities on my heart that I’ll share later. 
  • Five – If your city, and particularly your church, would be interested in hosting a Church 2.0 Local Forum, email me and let me know. Many wonderful, innovative and growing churches have hosted these gatherings for ALL Church leaders. You and your church may be an answer to a prayer. 
I simply want to acknowledge that this is all a God-thing and I’m humbled to just be a part of it.

 

I’ll leave today to go to California with Matt and Lance from Pursuant Group/Unifyer. We’ll be meeting with Brad Abare from ChurchMarketingSucks, Robert Yang from Kindle, visiting the Dream Center, Mosaic LA and other churches, as well as speaking at the ChurchTechCamp at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena on Friday.

Here’s what the Fall looks like:

That’s me with Chris and LV from Catalyst. They and Jesse (from the Catalyst blog) were at the Church 2.0 Local Forum – Atlanta. Behind us is the infamous “Vanagon” that LV has been driving around the country. It’s pimped out on the inside – don’t let the outside fool you. Jesse blogged about Church 2.0 a week ago HERE. I’m trying my best to be at Catalyst this year, like I have the last 3 years. Are you going to be there?

I had an amazing time in Atlanta. I heard of what the Church there is dealing with – good and bad. My heart was encouraged to hear of Unite and how churches are working together on various issues in the ATL area. My eyes were opened and I was stunned to hear of the child sex trafficking going on there (Atlanta is #1 in the nation). I had no idea. There are some great stories that I believe will find their way into the book (Church 2.0).

Like always, I met some new friends and some people I knew online face-to-face for the first time. It was a joy to connect with them. The host church, Perimeter, was awesome. They are doing some amazing ministry to their local community that was exciting to hear. They also have staff dedicated to just reaching out to other churches to work together – that’s cool and THAT’S a Church 2.0 Church!

PERSONAL:
Though my heart was full and I was encouraged by my time in Atlanta, I came back exhausted and desperately missing my family. I’ll blog more about them tomorrow. For now, I have decided to take the month of September off from traveling. I’m still coming to Boston in October, but have moved Portland to November – November 7th to be exact. For the next month, I’m going to rest, write and be with my family.