Loving the San Francisco Bay Area... Community development, urban ministry, trying to defeat poverty, faith, religion, politics, good music, the quest for the perfect pizza, the Yankees, motorcycles... All in a 'day's life'

Monday, April 28, 2008

CCDA Institute Recap

What a great weekend!

Last Friday and Saturday we were honored to co-host the Christian Community Development Association's (CCDA) Institute at our church (St. Samuel's). On Friday Noel Castellanos taught the class, "The Church's Role in Community Development" and on Saturday Bob Lupton taught on "Empowerment". Both classes seemed appropiate for what God is doing in East Palo Alto and the Bay Area. 

We had an intimate group for both days which made the class interactive and fun. On Thursday night Melissa and I got to spend some time with Noel, and had a great dinner at Palace Barbaque in Sunnyvale. Noel is on a no-carb diet - and there is no better place to eat meat than Palace!

I had a major grant application due Friday, so I was in and out for Noel's class - but the couple of hours I spent there were rich. I was able to attend all of Bob's teaching on Saturday. This is my second time through this class - and it seems to get better each time. Bob has been a major influence on us as we've crafted the vision for NCUD.

One thing that particularly stuck me about Bob's words is his "Principles for Helpers". In his section on "lending is better than giving" he states:
Give once and you elicit appreciation;
Give twice and you create anticipation;
Give three times and you create expectation;
Give four times and it becomes entitlement;
Give five times and you establish dependency.
Lending, on the other hand, establishes a mutually beneficial relationship characterized by responsibility, accountability, and respect. It is legitimate exchange that requires the lender to be responsible for assessing the risk while leaving the dignity of the borrower intact. Lending, done well, builds mutual trust and respect.
Bob is advocating that we look at a different paradigm for urban mininstry - one that builds dignity and capacity and in the communites we serve, other than creating dependancy through simply giving goods and services away. Good stuff!

I encourage you to pick up Bob's book Compassion Justice and the Christian Life. It's an amazing book that's been challenging my thoughts about ministry to the poor.

Thanks to Noel, Bob and CCDA for an excellent two days of training.

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