Dreams

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Today I’ve been reading through all the dreams our church community shared for our immigrant sisters and brothers. We collected almost 100 dreams since our Camino de Sueños event in support of the Dream Act. These dreams will be taken to D.C. along with thousands of others from across the nation.

I’m not feeling optimistic about the fate of these young people being in the hands of our nation’s “leaders.” Though as a follower of Jesus I am holding on to hope. I am encouraged that my church cares more about the Kingdom of God than about wealth and power. Perhaps our work in North Lexington can be a mustard seed, something small that eventually grows into something larger.

 

I want folks to hear what our DACAmented youth wrote on their yellow cards:

 

“I have lived in the United States with my mom and sisters for 12 years now. I am thankful for the life I was given by my mother’s strength and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I may be deprived from many opportunities in the United States, and even more so now. I am trying my best to take advantage of the opportunities that are thrown at me and I know my sisters will do the same. I am a dreamer and I want my dream to become a physical therapist to come true. I want for my mother to be happy and proud for the decision of escaping the domestic violence and bringing us with her and fighting not only for her, but for us. I want to make her proud. I know what I am capable of. I am happy with the life that was provided for me and my sisters.”

 

“My dream...let me stay.”

 

“My hope is that my family, my friends, and other undocumented immigrants are seen as human beings. Are seen with dignity.  That overall we can have an immigration reform for all undocumented families.”

 

“Being a dreamer is something amazing, knowing that one day my dream will come true.  My dream is to be able to provide for my family financially and be able to provide a great future and be able to live a good life.”

 

“Right now being a senior in high school I worry that I may not even go to college, get a license, or get the help I need. Everyone deserves a chance, anywhere. My dream is to have a dream and that DACA hopefully won’t need.”

 

#caminodesueños

 

-Pastor John

Camino de Sueños (Path of Dreams): An Event in Support of the Dream Act

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Join us for an evening of art, stories, worship, and action as we stand in solidarity with DACAmented youth affected by the president’s ending of the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Come hear the stories of resilient young people and their families and be inspired to take action on their behalf. At our event we will take time to write down our dreams for the these young people and their families on cards that will be delivered to Congress on December 5th.

Camino de Sueños events are being organized across the nation as part of an initiative being led by the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). Noel Castellanos, the President of CCDA, will be our guest speaker! Other speakers include DACA-recipient Brenda Diaz, the Common Good Elementary Program Director, and Steve Pavey, photographer, anthropologist, and activist. The event time is 6:00-8:00pm on Thursday, October 26th.

Childcare and Spanish interpretation will be provided.

This event is being hosted by Embrace Church and Common Good.

 

LOCATION: Embrace Church 1015 N. Limestone St. Lexington, KY 40505

 

To stay up to date check out the FB event page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1491458564234770??ti=ia

 

Above art: Steve Pavey and Marco Saavedra

Unete  a una noche de arte, historias, adoración y acción mientras nos solidarizamos con los jóvenes de DACA que fueron afectados por la decisión del presidente para terminar el programa DACA(Acción diferida personas que llagaron  de niños). Venga a escuchar las historias de los jóvenes resilientes y de sus familias y que se inspiren para tomar medidas en su nombre.

En nuestro evento nos tomaremos un tiempo para escribir nuestros sueños para estos jóvenes y sus familias en tarjetas que se entregarán al Congreso el 5 de Diciembre.

 

Los eventos de Camino de Sueños se están organizando en todo el país como parte de una iniciativa liderada por la Asociación Cristiana de Desarrollo Comunitario (CCDA). Noel Castellanos, el presidente de CCDA, será nuestro presentador invitado! Otros presentadores incluyen Brenda Diaz, receptora de DACA, directora del programa de Common Good Elementary, y Steve Pavey, fotógrafo, antropólogo y activista.

La hora del evento es de 6:00 a 8:00 pm el jueves 26 de Octubre.

 

Se proporcionará cuidado de niños y interpretación en español.

 

Este evento es organizado por Embrace Church y Common Good.

BIG Announcement!

We have a BIG announcement to share!

On October 8th we are starting a new worship service on Sunday evenings in Spanish! Pastor Guillermo will be coming on board as a pastor on our ministry team. Along with his family and friends, Guillermo will work with us to further expand our ministry among Spanish-speakers in our community.

This is wonderful opportunity for Embrace to go deeper into ministry and loving our neighbors. Our diverse family is growing! Know that this will not be a separate church – we will be one church on the same mission to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our community. We can't wait to see what God does through Iglesia Abrazo de Dios (Embrace of God Church)!

Stay tuned for more details over the upcoming weeks!

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Declining Church Membership in America

As I walked through Spain on the Camino de Santiago last year I saw many beautiful churches. In every city, town, and village we found a church right in the center. I got the sense that these churches were more like museums showing off artifacts from the past rather than Spirit-filled communities seeking to follow Jesus. The overwhelming majority of Spaniards claim to be "Christian," yet from the outside it appears that following Jesus isn't top priority.

In America, our churches may be a bit more crowded with people, but we are on a similar path. Church membership is declining in America, churches are closing, and people are searching for answers. Many people may be in church on Sundays, but following Jesus doesn't seem to be a top-priority.

Tomorrow I'm preaching on the Parable of the Sower found in Matthew 13:1-23. There may be some answers in this challenging story told by Jesus.

 

Stanley Hauweras writes:

"Why we are dying seems very simple. It is hard to be a disciple and be rich...The lure of wealth and the cares of this world produced by wealth quite simply darken and choke our imaginations."

"Too often those who propose strategies to recover the lost status and/or membership of the church do so hoping that people can be attracted to become members of the church without facing the demands of being a disciple of Jesus."

"The church in America simply is not a soil capable of growing deep roots."

"A church that is shrinking in membership may actually be a church in which the soil of the gospel is being prepared in which deeper roots are possible."

 

The church gained power, status, and wealth in this nation, but I'm not convinced it did us much good.Perhaps these things produced some bad soil incapable of growing deep roots?

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