We hope you enjoy enCompass for October 2011.
The Compass Team
WELCOME ANDREW DWIGHT!
We are excited that next week Andrew Dwight begins work with Compass Foundation (Australia), based at the Gold Coast office. Andrew's role will include the development of regular focused Compass alumni gatherings across the country, as well as the training and development of group facilitators through the establishment of a residential internship program that will begin in January 2012.
Andrew will continue to be one of our speakers at the Summer conferences, as well as lecturing at the Compass Schools' conferences and teacher professional development days in Australia.
Andrew graduated from Regent College in Vancouver with a Masters in Christian Studies in 2010, where he was also part of a Templeton Foundation funded group considering the interaction and application of issues of Science and Faith. With further background in education and medical science, Andrew fits right in with the deep interest Compass has concerning the role of our Christian imagination in the marketplace.
We welcome Andrew to the Compass team. He can be contacted at email@example.com
THE COMPASS TEAM
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COMPASS SUMMER CONFERENCES, 2012
Registrations and nominations for our 2012 summer conferences are open. We are excited with how the schedule is shaping up and the local and international speakers committed to contributing. Last year spaces filled up fast, so let us know if you are interested in coming. Perhaps start thinking about who in your life would really benefit from the conference and get the word out.
The New Zealand conference will be held from 7 - 14 January, at Lifeway campus, Snells Beach (about an hour north of Auckland).
Click here for more information
The Australian conference will be held from 15 - 22 January, at the St Lucia campus, University of Queensland, Brisbane.
Click here for more information
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ALUMNI INTERVIEW WITH STEPHEN MORGAN
Last month marked the one-year anniversary of the first Christchurch earthquake – which was, of course, followed by the more devastating earthquake of February 22nd. One of the remarkable things New Zealand has witnessed throughout the tragedy has been the central role that some churches have played in co-ordinating support efforts – often in conjuction with government and community groups. This month we interviewed Compass alumnus Stephen Morgan about his involvement in a significant project that was largely initiated and co-ordinated by volunteers from their church community at Grace Vineyard in Brighton. (Stephen is pictured above in the centre wearing the lanyard, he is surrounded by a YWAM team from Norway).
Tell us a bit about your initial experience of the February 22nd earthquake, and how you initially got involved in the Grace Vineyard support effort.
I was at a meeting on the second floor of a modern industrial building in Sockburn. There were 14 of us round the table when the quake hit. I remember watching the glass in the doors to the deck moving in a wave thinking it surely must shatter. It is bizarre to reflect now that none of us even left our seats - though standing would have been very difficult. The drive home was surreal, the sense of deja-vu with the roads already beginning to crawl, listening to the initial radio reports and passing a school where water and silt flowed over the damaged road in front with parents, calm yet ashen faced, collecting their children.
On Facebook I saw that Grace Beach Campus was calling for volunteers. The earthquake had caused massive destruction, and the suburbs in the east had been hit harder than in September. A few people from one of the home groups had started up BBQ’s out the front of the church, and people in the community were arriving, finding relief in there being somewhere to come to. The next day, Feb 25th, after silt shovelling in the morning, I went to help out. Many of the eastern roads were either covered in silt or completely flooded, many houses had roofs open, and some houses had collapsed entirely.
At the request of one of our Pastors, I took on sorting the early requests for help out in the community - silt, weather proofing, someone to talk to, hot food (the power was down in most of the Eastern suburbs for 10 days).
How did the needs and the project evolve in those initial few days?
The Government Welfare Centre at Cowles Stadium was shut down due to concerns of a rapidly spreading gastro infection. Eastern suburbs, worst hit by the quake, now had no official centres. In conjunction with the New Brighton Police, Grace ramped up its efforts. By the afternoon of day two the nearby community hall had been set up as a Distribution Centre. By day three structures emerged, with a team leading the overall operation and the Distribution Centre (that dealt with handing out free groceries and clean water), while a friend and I shared leading the Support Centre.
We found ourselves managing an operation that at any given point in time required 120 people minimum between the two centres to function. Among my favourite memories of this first phase is that of working with great friends in a project that grew so fast, we regularly quipped that we had a “tiger by the tail!”
Who else did you partner with in delivering services to your area?
Many organisations – the list is very long. An example - by day six the Support Centre was distributing hot meals to 75 elderly households each night. A visiting Buddhist organisation was one of my most consistent sources of hot meals for this, with the Chinese Church arriving in time to cover once the Buddhist’s time in Christchurch finished. God provided some interesting cooperative combinations. This was certainly not just a “Christian” response.
And as the days turned into weeks, how did the Support Centre change?
The Distribution Centre shut after 12 days, but the Support Centre carried on. At the time of the February quake I was weighing up a job offer in Australia. In the end I turned it down, and stayed on to manage the Support Centre on a short term contract.
In the 6 months that followed, teams from around the country and around the world worked at the centre. The needs shifted with the phases, from Food Parcels, to blankets as shovelling silt moved to shovelling snow. In small steps, the transition to Community Development began, with seminars run by professional organisations in areas such as debt management, parenting, and community resilience.
What have been the significant outcomes for the project and for you personally?
As of August and the close of the current phase of the Support Centre, over 650 jobs have been completed through the Action Teams, over 6000 hot meals distributed by various organisations, along with 850 food parcels, thousands of bottles of water, 200 Winter Care Packs for school children, and hundreds of blankets. All of this accomplished with the help of over 700 volunteers, representing a dozen nations, and many generous donations. Recently, we were donated a generator capable of powering the entire building for days, and a rain water filtration system is in progress.
Within the volunteers, many have had large life changes that are still unfolding. The adventure has cost me financially, yet has value I cannot measure in my life. The next chapter is now in formation. I completed the draft structure for the various spin-off ministries only last week, and the steps toward the hope of a permanent Community Support Centre capable of both developing people and responding rapidly to disaster situations are progressing forward. The challenge remains in handing the project back to God each day, as it was - and always will be - his.
I hope this has given some small taste of this adventure, of this little frontier of the “now, but not fully” tension lived-out.
THE COMPASS TEAM
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STEVE JOBS AND THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
Steve Jobs, technological visionary and co-founder of Apple, passed away last week after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56 years old. Tributes to Jobs have been many and effusive, but it’s not my purpose to eulogize him here. Instead, I want to encourage us to take pause and consider a question: “How are our lives different because of Steve Jobs?”
Sometime in the early 1980s, Jobs recruited John Scully to work at Apple, from a previous role at Pepsi, with the words "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?" Scully may or may not have lived up to this challenge, but it is certainly true that Jobs himself did. We live in a different world because of him.
In his excellent book Culture Making: recovering our creative calling, Andy Crouch encourages us to consider the role of cultural goods (things we make) in transforming the world we live in. He argues while it is true ideas and worldviews shape our lives, it is equally true - if not more so - that the things we make shape the world, and do so by creating the horizons of what is possible and impossible.
Crouch considers the example of the American highway system. It has spawned new businesses and industries; books, movies and songs; it has made possible greater diversity in what we eat, wear, and the products we use; it has made possible suburbs and downtowns; and has even changed the way we see the landscape (most Americans a hundred years ago could have pointed out on a map the major rivers crossing the continent, now the highways have taken this place in their imagination). It has also made certain things less likely: living close to work or family, economic growth without cheap oil, thriving small towns. The cultural good of the highway has changed human life forever.
So as we consider the life of Jobs this week, it worth considering in what ways Apple products have changed the way we live. Crouch gives a series of useful questions to help us unpack the impact cultural goods have. Take some time to consider the following in light of your favourite Apple product:
1) What does this cultural artifact assume about the way the world is?
2) What does this cultural artifact assume about the way the world should be?
3) What does this cultural artifact make possible?
4) What does this cultural artifact make impossible (or at least very difficult)?
5) What new forms of culture are created in response to this artifact?
The point here is not to criticize Jobs, but to recognize the incredible impact he has had. Indeed, to learn from him. Crouch argues that if Christians want to have a positive impact in the world, they can’t just critique and analyze culture. They need to learn to create culture. That is, we need to stop selling the sugared water of a disembodied gospel, and seek to embody the gospel in what we create.
Steve Jobs (1955-2011)
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Compass Calendar: October
October’s Calendar is about Jesus and his resurrection and the spiritual discipline of worship.
In Jesus we have a glimpse of where the whole story of the Bible had always been heading. Exodus, Zion and Exile were pointers to something bigger, a new Creation with a new Adam at its centre. Astonishingly, Jesus is revealed by the Resurrection to be new Adam, new Creation and God the Creator himself, in one person. He is a glimpse of the future brought forward into history – a bit like spring gives us glimpses of the summer to come.
This month, in response to those glimpses, we introduce the spiritual discipline of Worship. Like most spiritual disciplines, worship needs to be practiced over long periods of time. It is not an attempt to get instant results and payoffs in feelings or spiritual growth.
As you read the Scripture readings and practice worship this month, plan to build habits of intentional worship into your life over the long term.
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Go to October Calendar
Posts from our Conversations blog this past month include:
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