6 07, 2015

July Update

By | July 6th, 2015|Update|

Dear Love INC Community, This past Spring I had the privilege of participating in a Lead for Equity conference with some educators from our town.  I was so impressed with the incredible commitment to students I saw demonstrated by the teachers, administrators and parents who attended. At one point in the two-day long conference, a group of educators from Chehalem Valley Middle School (CVMS) sat together to brainstorm ways to close the achievement gap that exists between low income and ethnic minority students and their better resourced classmates. [pullquote align="right" cite="" link="" color="" class="" size=""]Two significant barriers to equity in our schools: lack of supplies, and the need for after school assistance with homework[/pullquote] Principal Karen Pugsley asked a simple question of the group, “What are the barriers to equity in our school?”  I listened intently as the teachers shared their experience with students who struggled to do well in school. The list of barriers was long, but there were two things in particular that stood out to me – lack of supplies, and the need for after school assistance with homework for those students whose parents worked long hours or lacked the education and language skills to help their children succeed. Shortly after this conference, I was reading The Externally Focused Quest by Eric Swanson and Rick Rusaw. This book is all about shifting our thinking as pastors and church members from “How can we be the best church in the community?” to asking instead, “How can we be [...]

28 05, 2015

June Update

By | May 28th, 2015|Update|

When confronted by the Pharisees about which commandment was the most important, Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the greatest and first commandment.  And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40) In Luke’s account of this question and answer game, one smarty pants teacher of the law tries to test Jesus and justify himself by asking, “Who is my neighbor?” This got me thinking, if Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves in our day (and the Word of God does just that) would we have to ask, “Who is my neighbor?” If loving our neighbors is second only to loving God, we had better know who those people are, right? This all sounds pretty basic, but we live in a culture of hyper mobility, consumerism and fierce independence. Quite frankly, it seems much easier to simply wave at the guy in the yard next door as we pull into the garage. image courtesy http://artofneighboring.com/ However, the easy way out is never easy.  This way of life is killing us!  Our culture is full of social problems that are caused or fueled by this kind of isolation and all the stuff on Amazon.com can’t meet our deep need for connection and community.  It seems that Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as we love ourselves [...]

29 04, 2015

May Update

By | April 29th, 2015|Update|

Last summer when I became the director here at Love INC Newberg, the Lord gave me a word – sustainability. This word came up in times of listening, prayer, in times of reading the scripture, in conversations with friends and in all sorts of other ways.  I couldn’t ignore it. It was as if God was saying, “Jodi, make sure you learn the ropes at Love INC through the lens of what is sustainable.”  I didn’t know what that meant exactly, but it was something I knew I was supposed to pay attention to and act upon. Lately, this word is coming up again, but in a slightly different way. I was recently reading a book about sustainable leadership and it occurred to me to ask, “So what makes the Church of Jesus Christ sustainable?”  I mean the church has lasted now for over 2,000 years stretching onto every continent of this planet and impacting culture in every corner of the earth.  How did a tiny little band of social outcasts, fishermen and a few undercover elite numbering about 1,000 on the day of ascension become a 2 billion person force for goodness in the world? The answer… discipleship! Think about it; if Jesus had lived a long life, say into his 70’s, and spent his days healing the sick, casting out demons and teaching about the coming Kingdom all by himself it is likely that the whole enterprise would have died with him.  But, Jesus knew that the best [...]