In My Orbit…

1 06 2010

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti /

Christianity and Census corruption in the crosshairs.

Starting with the dirty business of governance (or lack thereof), is James O’Keefe, intrepid citizen reporter.  After the Landrieu/Louisiana kerfuffle, he is bloodied, but unbowed, now focusing his hidden camera on the New Jersey Census Bureau.   It’s the same bad news coming from the New York Post that I blogged about in “Illustrating Absurdity” last week: the same workers being fired and rehired to pad job numbers, and posting hours that they didn’t work.  In his own words:

“I was told to take a 70 minute lunch break, was given an hour of travel time to drive 10 minutes, and was told to leave work at 3:30pm. I resigned prior to doing any data collection but confronted Census supervisors who assured me, ‘no one is going to be auditing that that level,’ and ‘nobody is going to be questioning it except for you.’ Another Census supervisor only said he’d adjust my pay after I gave him a letter recanting my hours.”

He has some choice words to say about the dinosaur media and their lack of interest in real news.  I say, go James–the gift that keeps on giving.  Undercover Census Fraud Investigation–New Jersey.

The New Life in Christ Church in Los Angeles, California is leading the way in multicultural outreach, as well as reflecting unity between two racial groups that are sometimes in conflict.

Pastor Elwood Carson began opening his church’s doors to the growing Latino community in its midst two years ago, and it is transforming the neighborhood, as well as birthing new ministry opportunities.  And Pastor Carson is not a young man–he’s 63, reflecting that a life led by the Spirit will always be the ones to usher in fresh works:

“Carson, 63, said most of the church’s longtime African-American parishioners support his focus on Hispanic outreach because it’s part of the church’s evangelical mission. But some complained and left.

‘They told me they have to deal with this at their jobs and they don’t want to deal with it at church,’ Carson said. ‘Some people don’t realize how prejudiced they are. So when they’re confronted with people from other cultures, they’re uncomfortable.'”

Blacks, Latinos worship in changing neighborhood.

My sister and brother-in-law began this type of multi-cultural work in Chicago years ago, as pastors of Evangel World Outreach Center.  It is beautiful to see the growing fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer in John 17:21: “that they will all be one, just as you and I are one….”

Rev. Susan Sparks, a Baptist preacher and stand up comic, no less, encouraged her fellow members of the cloth to incorporate humor in their sermons.  Humor abounded at the Baptist church I grew up in–most of it unintentional–so her message is long overdue.  A pull quote:

“‘We are preaching to people raised on sound bytes,’ she said. ‘You have to ask, is this relevant to the message and will they remember it?'”

Can I get an Amen?  Pastors urged to put the “Ha” in Hallelujah.



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