Merry Christmas 2005
By the McCluggages, Dec 20, 2005
© 2006 by McCluggage.org
Merry Christmas 2005 from the McCluggages!
Bruce (with puppy Tucker), Cameron, Jonas, Paige, Mary Ellen and Carmelle
Prayer Requests for our ministry and family this month:
- Bruce was the host for a special kind of missions conference last week in CO Springs, attended by over 50 missions leaders and executives. Please pray for us as we strategically follow-up this event. See the Transforming Mission page.
- Please pray for the possible opportunities Bruce already has to advise the leadership teams at some CO Springs churches that seem already in tune with the unchurched youth culture today.
- The dean at our nearby Community College has hired Bruce to teach an introductory philosophy class starting in January!! Please pray this unique opportunity allows Bruce to become an insider not only with this local institution but also many of the other colleges/universities in the region. This will allow him to move forward more on his Worldviews Forum idea (written about in past newsletters…email us if you would like this info).
- Please pray for our End-of-the-Year financial needs. Our move four months ago has generated extra expenses and we also had to buy another used car (got a great deal from a friend though! -thanks, Rob H.). We are now at 67% of our 100% full support goal. Given this gap, our year-end need is $5,000. If God has blessed you this year, please consider making a end-of-the-year gift by December 31st to our ministry. All gifts of any size can help us move strong into 2006, whether $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000. Click below to give online to our "Christian Futures" support account via credit card using Pay Pal, (even if you don't have an account). You will receive back a full tax-deductible receipt via postal mail.
CLICK HERE TO GIVE ONLINE
Bruce & Mary Ellen McCluggage, 1229 Beacon Hill Way,
Colorado Springs, CO 80906, (719) 578-0373, firstname.lastname@example.org
CHANGE is a tricky thing. For those who feel most comfortable with routine and a predictable schedule, change is one scary proposition. For those of us bored with routine and who operate best with a lot of flexibility, change is usually a welcome sign. Experiencing the changing seasons in Colorado in the summer, through autumn, and now starting the winter constantly reminds me of the changes we have gone through as a family. As the fluctuating weather and looming Rockies provide a welcome change from the constant balminess of CA breezes swaying the palm trees, so our work, school, friends and play are all different now too. Driving is different too-just yesterday I made an out-of-control half-loop circle on the icy road with a van full of kids!
I really miss Fuller Seminary (Pasadena, CA)--the intellectually stimulating environment and interactions with fellow students from around the globe. My last class gave reflective assignments to prep us as graduates for the journey ahead. One asked for our personal mission statement. Here is what I wrote:
I desire to continue what I have started with the first half of my life by drawing attention to the world's greatest spiritual needs, particularly those millions/billions of people currently beyond the reach of a local ethnocentric church as it now stands. My passion is to help wake up such a church with a prophetic voice as well as to provide new creative models of contextualized, missional engagement along with a futures-driven development of its leadership.
Essentially what I'm saying is that my heart has not changed in terms of pursuing God's heart for all people groups to know and experience Him. But what has changed is my part in helping to stimulate and awaken the church to its missionary calling…especially to those right underneath our nose in the very culture we live in. Reaching China for Jesus has not changed; how to reach America (and other parts of the Western world) is changing and we need new ways and thinking to take the gospel to those interested in spiritual concerns, but turned off by traditional church outreach or practices.
Ethnocentric means solely focused on one particular kind or group of people according to their unique cultural characteristics/customs. For example, in the Christmas story account the wise men (from the East) would probably have NOT been invited to the religious meetings or practices that Mary and Joseph or their families/friends participated in. Although they were viewed as outsiders culturally and religiously, the wise men, however, understood more than the average Jewish leader of the day the importance of Jesus' birth! God wants us to move beyond our ethnocentric thinking and ways.
Contextualized means in tune with the context or the surrounding environment. The incarnation of God into the human race at a particular place, time and culture could be our best example as Christians of trying to connect with people right where they live and work and play. Missional in essence means it is up to us to initiate... to make the first move toward others and to do it lovingly, consistently... all the while knowing that God has been 'on a mission' with us throughout the process. Examples of how my work is fostering this kind of contextualized missional ministry will come in future newsletters!
Change is all around us ... and it's pretty neat to know that God has planned for it and wants it to happen both in our lives and the world. Words are not enough to express Mary Ellen's and my appreciation for you and the interest and support you have been to us over the years and in our changes as we have co-labored together for the Good News to be experienced by all of God's creation. We pray that this Christmas season will spark something new in your relationship with the One who loves us most. Maybe even change us along the way.
Bruce & Mary Ellen McCluggage
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