A Brief Introduction

Endeavoring to define myself outside of a "job title." I'm a nomad of sorts who fell in love with technology, activism, and helping others. I run a web & media consulting firm, have a blog specifically for activists & non-profits, and travel often. I love talking about theology, politics, and social change. I love doing something about it even more. I also like to be a well-rounded and fully present person. That's why I write here. Connect with me on twitter

Monday, April 16, 2007

Catching Up

A lot has happened since my last blog and I apologize for that. We've already been to Portland. Seattle, and Nampa and are now situated in Rexburg, ID. I visited George Fox in Oregon, Seattle Pacific in Seattle, and Northwest Nazarene in Nampa, ID.

Before our arrival at George Fox, Kelsey's YoungLife leader from high school, Steve Sherwood, contacted her--he now teaches there. Before our stop at Seattle Pacific, Stef Shaffer, one of my YL leaders did too--she now works at SPU part-time while going to grad school nearby. It was encouraging to have their support and encouragement. I was one of the visitors to Steve's class and was able to speak with his wife afterwards. "God is already using you in amazing ways, we'll continue to pray for you." I don't think I ever would have imagined hearing those words in high school. I am supremely encouraged to know that there are supportive voices out there interacting with young people at such an important time in their personal and spiritual development.

Stef took Emil and I out to coffee on our first day in Seattle and we had a terrific time catching up on everything that has happened in the past few years. Stef has been thinking of me a lot as she has been following the ride, hoping that it isn't taking a tool on me and praying for my continued strength. She also made a point to come out to the presentations on campus.

Out time at Seattle Pacific University exceeded my wildest expectations. Haven and I gave a presentation on Genesis at 10am that was attended by well over 200 students. They filled every chair, sat in the aisles, perched on the window ledges, and crammed into the doorways. I was told by a reporter that an estimated 100 students had gathered outside, just listening since there was no room inside. After our presentation and a short response from an Old Testament scholar the questions began. "When did you become gay?" "How do you reconcile your sexual orientation with Scripture?" "Are you more at risk medically?" "Where do you find yourself in Scripture?" I believe we had positive answers for all of them and the presentation concluded with a standing ovation. I was nearly mobbed afterwards by students who wanted to hear more, who had new questions, who wanted to follow-up. There is a thirst for this conversation. I am so thankful that SPU decided to host it and I am hopeful that other universities on out route will do the same thing. These students are well equipped to wrestle with important theological issues...especially when the consequences are nothing short of a person's humanity.

Northwest Nazarene presented its own challenges. The administration there also allowed us on campus, and they made sure to remind us of that. I think they were surprised at the turn-out to both of our presentations. I was told that at least one remarked "we weren't expecting this many students to come." During our meals and in between presentations I again found students eager for this conversation. Some had never thought about it, some believed to be gay was a sin, some were GLBT-affirming but didn't quite know how to put those beliefs into action. I had mutually enriching conversations with everyone.

I hear that this conversation cannot happen, but time and time again it does. I hear that it must be an argument, but it never is. I hear that I am only looking to convert and not to learn, but I have walked away from every conversation enriched. The body of Christ is divided and at every stop I see people from both sides of the issue coming together to heal it. These conversations can happen, mutually understanding can be attained, discourse happen, graciousness can be maintained, new truths on both sides can be found. And most importantly, a greater understanding of what it means to be human can be learned. I feel imensely blessed to be a part of this ride, to share my story and my faith, and to interact with every one of the students and administrators that I have met to date.

Too bad there's only two more weeks left...

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