Thursday, December 14, 2006

Quote of the Week

There was a time when the church was very powerful in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society....

Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent and often even vocal sanction of things as they are.

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.

- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "Letter from Birmingham Jail" April 16, 1963

Is this still true today? How?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Mexico Every Morning

Every morning when I drop my son off at school I am reminded of why we love living right where we are. Our son attends a public school in a community that must be around 90% Mexican. The program he attends at his school is a Spanish Immersion program that teaches in 80% Spanish and 20% English. In theory his class consists of 50% English Speakers and 50% Spanish but the reality is that only 4 kids in his class come from English only homes.
All this to say that everyday when I walk with my son to his class I am amused at how different his school is from most in this area. Instead of the kids filling the ball fields with American football games, the fields are filled with kids playing “futbol” (soccer). Instead of every kids arriving at school in brand new mini-vans and SUV’s, the majority of kids arrive walking with their mothers and grandmothers. Instead of English, all that can be heard is parents, students, and faculty conversing in Spanish. The styles of clothing clearly have a Latino flair and are obviously different than all other schools in the area.
We have actually had many people in this area ask why we don’t put our kids in a “nicer” school. How could we find a nicer school than this? Our kids learn two languages, they learn to exist within a culture different than their own, they learn that money and image are not the most important thing, and they don’t have to put up with the arrogant parents who believe that this world exists to serve them only. It is a little piece of paradise every morning and one that I wish all families could experience.