Archive for January, 2010

Studying the World from Arkansas
January 25, 2010

We are in northwest Arkansas in the city of Fayetteville from January 19 through 27 to attend a course called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. It is a survey of the church and its mission activity from four perspectives: biblical, historical, cultural and strategic.

The course is sponsored by the U. S. Center for World Mission of Pasadena, CA, but the Perspectives office is right here in Fayetteville.

You can learn about this course at the web site:

We are staying and meeting at Mount Sequoyah (yes, that’s how they spell it), a conference and retreat center of the United Methodist Church. Because of my involvement in Roxbury Holiness Camp and Retreat Center, I am interested in the stated purpose of such ministries. The mission statement here is: “a Christian ministry of hospitality, a holy gathering place for revitalization, revelation, and restoration for transforming the world.” How do you like that for a comprehensive statement with a worldwide view?!

The center is located on a semi-wooded hill overlooking the city of Fayetteville. At night the lights in the valley below are a lovely sight.

Thirty-two people are attending this course.

We have lectures every morning and afternoon. Then in the evenings we read dozens of articles in a massive reader and fill out homework assignments.

The presenters are from a broad range of backgrounds and missions organizations. All of them are good, and some of them are especially dynamic. God is teaching us all kinds of things, all growing out of the biblical truth that Jesus has given the church the assignment to take the gospel to every people group on earth.

Two of the class members are friends of ours whom we have known for many years, which was a delight. We are also making many new friends; several of these connections are relevant to the work we are doing.

My friends the birds are here, too. This is a bird sanctuary. Every day we meet up with bluebirds, nuthatches, chickadees and juncos.