Sunday, December 11, 2005

"Angel Alert" Provokes Ethnic Thoughts

I just returned from "Angel Alert," our children's Christmas program (and I forgot my camera!), and thought it would make interesting reading for DD readers who think that I expound conservative evangelical Baptist theology from the confines of suburban sanctity.

I couldn't help but notice the ethnic composition of the kids. I jotted it down: 15 Asian kids, 14 Euros and 2 Hispanics--a close match to the community I serve. The San Gabriel Valley, just east of Los Angeles, is becoming an increasingly Asian community. (Our church is located 13 miles from downtown Los Angeles.) One of the great challenges we face is learning how to "do church" in such an environment. Currently, we have two "side-car" churches we share the church campus with--one is Chinese/Mandarin-speaking; the other is Kachin Burmese.

So we're developing new programming to meet the challenge: for 2006, a new Sunday morning Bible study done ESL style (we currently have about 75 people enrolled in two ESL classes) plus simutaneous translation available for at least one of our morning worship services.

The message of Christ is international. That's why Magi came to see the Messiah Child--from the beginning, the Gospel is for all nations.

And, by the way: all our wise men really were from the East. And I don't mean Pittsburgh.

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