Oct 242012

Are you a pastor or do you know pastors and church leaders? You know we all need to enlarge our hearts for the next generation and for the world, and the best place to do that is at Urbana 12, December 26-31, in St. Louis!

Get the best of both worlds: the inspiring energy of being at a large conference with 20,000+ college students and young adults of the next generation, plus get fed and fueled through a cozier group of pastors and church leaders at Urbana 12‘s special track exclusively designed for Pastors and Church Leaders.

During this special Pastors track, you’ll get to interact with key global church leaders (some you’ve heard of and some you haven’t) from all over the world:

Andy Crouch (author of Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling) says this about Urbana: “No event has changed more about how I see the world, and God’s mission in the world, than Urbana.

To help get you there and to get the word out, I’ve got 3 free passes for you to attend Urbana 12! To win a free pass, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Write a blog post about what your church or ministry is currently doing for God’s global mission, and why Urbana 12 will help your efforts,
  2. Add a comment here with a link to your blog post,
  3. Get out the vote! Encourage all your friends and colleagues to vote for you on the poll below by Election Day (Tuesday, November 6th, 2012)

The poll will close on 11/6/2012 11:59pm (Eastern Time), and the top 3 vote-getters will win a free pass to attend Urbana 12! That’s democratic, right?

My people at Urbana 12 say that they want your input for forming the Pastors Track’s ad hoc discussion groups via the Facebook page for Urbana 12 Pastors & Church Leaders Track – so get over there to chime in. And vote below by clicking on the green thumb :: Thanks to all of your votes – Jeff Liou and Amanda Camacho won free passes to attend Urbana 12! Register before 11/12 for $50!

[disclosure: I'm a member of the Social Media Squad for Urbana 12]

Oct 162012

The world is much bigger than America, and according to what’s reported in books like The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, people are responding to the Christian Gospel message in far larger numbers in Africa and Asia than America. While the marketing platforms aren’t being used as actively in the non-Western world to get their message out to the masses, their impact is quite notable on the ground in their spheres of influence.

We’d do well as church and ministry leaders to listen and heed the wisdom from their experiences — starting today 10/16 through Thursday 10/18, Resource: Global is hosting the global:church forum in Chicago so that we can hear from church leaders from the Global South (South America, Africa) and Global East (Asia, Middle East). And, Christianity Today is providing a livestream of the entire event. Tune in. Listen. Hear the voices that must be hear and heeded.

Catch the notes via event bloggers ::

Follow the conversation on twitter using hashtag #gcf2012

Nov 302010

The first reason we need Asian Americans to be Asian Americans is globalization. It doesn’t get any bigger than that. The world needs Asian Americans and America needs Asian Americans.

When I was growing up, lots of things were “Made in Taiwan.” Now, almost everything we use in America is “Made in China” — electronics, clothes, dinnerware, appliances, furniture, what have you. Case in point = Lenovo buying out IBM’s PC division. One conversation overheard around the Thanksgiving table was the speed of building modules and how much more modern the cities in China are compared to that of the United States. Simultaneously, the pace of innovative products from Japan is declining while more innovation is increasing from Korea, i.e. Samsung, Hyundai, LG, Kia, et al.

With the economy and cash flow of manufacturing flowing so quickly into China, and with the knowledge industry fast emerging in India, the epicenter of world commerce and the global shift of power is already under way, and the decline of the American empire is around the corner. With 1/3 of the world’s population already in China and India, all that people power over the long-haul will outdo any industrial machinery power, especially in the knowledge economy of the digital information age.

I’ll jump to my conclusion and then list a few supporting references. While there’s been good activist advocacy since the 60s and historical studies (albeit some may argue that it’s not yet sufficient), Asian Americans have much more to say now, as Asian Americans, for the present & future of America and the world, by working out and articulating the interplay of their identity and cultures and societies. We need these conversations in the open and not just confined in the silo of academia (as in Asian American studies). Asian Americans have the innate raw materials from their social-ethnic context that can navigate the bicultural dynamics (what Dave Gibbons calls “third culture“). Asian Americans have the potential to bridge and keep America connected with the evolution of a global village. Better than being left behind and disconnected into demise. This certainly includes Asian Americans who aspire into leadership roles and lead in a way that differs from the American constructs of leadership, yielding to more risk and uncertainty and unpredictability.

Let me refer you to the thoughts of a friend, a seminary professor who’s a 4th-generation Chinese American. Dr. Jeff Jue‘s talk, The Asian American Church: History, Racialization and Globalization, at the 2010 Korean Pastors Conference (Mission to North America) reiterates this compelling need and the contribution of Asian Americans in the church and, thus, American society:

Books like Claiming Diaspora: Music, Transnationalism, and Cultural Politics in Asian/Chinese America (Zheng), Chinese American Transnational Politics (Lai and Hsu) point to how globalized and transnational the world in general and American society in particular have become… the lives and identities of Asians and Asian Americans also reflect these cross-national formations.

And, Simon Tay rightly noted in Forbe’s America’s Call To Globalization: The U.S. must respond proactively to Asia’s rise — “… while the Asian presence in the United States has grown beyond the confines of Chinatown, it is still not part of Main Street culture. Asia is still a specialty store. Global-as-Asian is just beginning and needs more engines to drive it forward.”

Mar 042010

The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization is taking place in South Africa this October. While most of us won’t be able to travel to Cape Town, South Africa, to attend this Congress (which seems to be a much weightier word than “conference”), there are 2 ways for people to participate: (1) the Conversation Gatherings, (2) the GlobalLink. Looks like an impressive list of church leaders are meeting up.

The Conversation Gatherings are local FREE 2-hour events and anyone is welcomed to participate. Please do register online so they can know you’re coming. These are 5 dates scheduled in Southern California (see the list for all 12 locations):

18 March 2010: Azusa Pacific University (Azusa)
Topics: Future of the Global Church; Race, Power, and Evangelism
Panelists: Brenda Salter McNeil, Brad Lomenick, Nikki Toyama-Szeto, Wes Stafford, Joni Eareckson Tada

30 March 2010: Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena)
Topics: Culture Making — The Role of Christians in the World
Panelists: Jim Belcher, Doug Birdsall, Margaret Feinberg, Michael S. Horton, Richard Mouw, Kara Eckmann Powell, Rich Van Pelt

14 April 2010: Generate at Crossroads Church (Corona)
Topics: Christians and Their Impact on Culture, The Future of the Global Church
Panelists: Charles Lee (moderator), Tony Wood, Jeff Shinabarger, Margaret Feinberg, Rich Van Pelt

14 April 2010: NewSong Community Church (Irvine)
10 June 2010: Saddleback Community Church (Lake Forest)

The second way to get engaged in these global issues is thru GlobalLink. Each GlobaLink site will have some live-streaming video of Cape Town events and additional conference materials. No locations have been announced yet, far as I can tell.

[update] Also see Charles Lee’s 12 Cities 12 Conversations (A New World Church Conversation) which points to a whole website & blog www.12cities12conversations.com

Oct 072008

So there’s this new movie out about the ridiculousness of religions and faith by Bill Maher. No link love, but he sure gets quite the mainstream media attention. Both rationalists (aka atheists and/or agonostics) and religious folks say there is media bias for the “other” side.

The thing is, everyone has their own explanation for what the things of the world means, and the stuff that our disciplines of learning have not fully exhaustively addressed. And the thing is, they haven’t, and I think that’s why they’re called fields of inquiries.

Here’s my napkin sketch for how the stuff of life and faith fit together: science, money, relationships, tasks, people, nature, things, arts, etc. Or, to use labels of academic disciplines: Fine Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematics. [aside: so much faster & easier to draw on paper than to use Photoshop, after wasting 15 minutes trying]

Faith assumptions are the answers we have to the question of things we don’t know concretely. (cf. “What don’t you know and how will you learn it?”) And I think this is a good way to think about it, that faith gives perspective and insights into the rest of the world and how the world of learning is figuring out how all the stuff of the world works. And faith definitely colors how we place value on the stuff of life.

[update] Dan Kimball saw that one Religulous movie and commented at length. Not having seen the movie, what I don’t like is people being ridiculed, even if some people are kinda different.

Aug 072008

The world will be tuned in on the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the coming weeks, and the televised coverage will be a mix of tape-delayed and live video.

[update 8/9] NBC‘s exclusive videos for Opening Ceremony (52:03) + Parade of Nations (90 min) // Opening Ceremony fireworks and highlights (9:53)

Exclusive Summer Olympics news & widgets at NBC Olympics.com!

[update 8/8] 186 photos on Yahoo + 28 photos at LA Times’ Olympics blog [MSIE only] + 27 photos from the opening ceremony + Opening Ceremony video on YouTube (8:28 min) pt.2 (8:51) pt.3 (6:03) + Opening Ceremony video (9:08) from Dutch station via Huffingtonpost + 8-part video of entire Opening Ceremony (via German TV) + 1-minute highlight video of opening ceremony on YouTube + Olympic photos via digg + NBC photo galleries for Opening Ceremony: The Parade (41) + Opening Ceremony: The Pyrotechnics (12) + Opening Ceremony: The Pageantry (48) + Wired had Great wiki with many ways to watch Olympics online + there’s a country Djibouti [nb: YouTube has removed most Olympics videos due to copyright violation]

TV Coverage of the 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony on NBC @ 7:30pm Eastern / 6:30pm Central / 6:30pm Mountain / 7:30pm Pacific; Canadians already saw Opening Ceremony live via CBC

What I’d been trying to figure out is when does the opening ceremony start? In local time, the officials set it at a lucky time of August 8th, 2008, 8:08pm. But what does that convert into in different parts of the world? I couldn’t do it in my head.

Here’s when the 2008 Olympics opening ceremony actually starts at my home, Pacific time zone — 5:00 am! Ugh. [via the World Clock Time Zone Converter]

2008 OlympicsI’m not an Olympics fanatic, so I will not be watching it live via whatever streaming feed I could scramble to find. But, there is something about watching events live.

And, here’s the Olympics TV coverage schedule on NBC.

[update] great tips for watching Olympics in HD and online at engadget >>

The deal is that LIVE streaming of the Olympics is controlled-access. Only one specific website has the rights to live stream in each country. For the USA, that’s nbcolympics.com .

Full live coverage on the official english.cctv.com network is only viewable in China and Macau.

CCTV.com to broadcast live show of Olympic opening ceremony

Live Coverage:

Aug 8 at BJT 20:00 – CCTV.com will broadcast live show of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony *

* Due to IOC’s broadcasting regulations, a RHB can only broadcast video programs covering Olympic events in certain territories. Therefore, only viewers and netizens in China mainland and Macau can access videos related to Beijing 2008 Olympic Games via CCTV and CCTV.com.