Wednesday, September 24, 2008

a picture of what's ahead

Jon Hall just put together a cool little new video of Project Mexico, a ministry he has nurtured and led for years and one we hope to help build on and advance through our new little community in San Diego. Check it out...

Project Mexico_Margaret from Jon Hall on Vimeo.

You can read the complete post on Jon's blog here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

terranova heads to the border

The Russian Novelist Leo Tolstoy once wrote, “Everybody wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Maybe we're a little over ambitious, but we want it all. We want to change our world and become a changed people.

NieuCommunities are unique missional communities scattered around the world that are developing a new generation of leaders to follow God in the way of Jesus. Each year we invite a bunch of young, emerging leaders to come and spend time with us as we pursue our God and engage our world. Some come for a few weeks, some for a few months, and others for a few years. But no one leaves unchanged.

Through an integrated mentoring and missional experience our apprentices and staff are challenged to make God the center of their lives. They are shaped in the crucible of community, and they are formed for mission through real-time ministry in the neighborhoods around us. The trajectories of our lives are changed as we reimagine what it means to follow a missionary God, and along the way, so is our world.

Since the birth of NieuCommunities in 2002, our approach to missional formation has been both holistic and rigorous. We meet almost daily for training, coaching, worship, prayer, common meals and shared ministry in our neighborhoods and beyond. We’ve met in barns, homes, B&Bs, church buildings, and coffee shops. We’ve lived under one roof and we’ve been scattered across town. Through these diverse experiences we’ve learned how powerful it is to be submerged in a place that will help stimulate an environment of discovery and transformation, and to create a hub that serves as a place of hospitality for our neighbors. And this month we are setting out to establish NieuCommunities in another new city.

Many of us know San Diego as “America’s Finest City” with its great beaches, the zoo, the Gaslamp District, and Balboa Park. But there’s another side to the city that we sometimes miss. San Diego is a border city. Its economy, its social structure, and its politics are inextricably linked with its sister city—Tijuana—just to the south. These two diverse mega cities straddling the most trafficked border in the world create a very complex, and unique metropolis.

The city’s majority population is non-white, non-middle class. They often work 2 to 3 jobs a day to survive, and rarely visit the places that tourists enjoy every day. San Diego is also one of the United States’ designated “sanctuary” cities. There are significant refugee populations from Africa and Southeast Asia sprinkled throughout the city’s downtown neighborhoods, and these groups all face significant challenges.

The legal border between the United States and Mexico lies 15 miles south of the city center, but the real border lies about 1500 yards south of downtown where cultures from around the world collide. These are the neighborhoods we believe God is calling us to move into, to serve, and from within to develop young missional leaders to send all over the world.

And this month both the Halls and Yackleys are packing up and moving south to help create and form the leadership team of this new missional community and extend the global reach of Terranova Church.

Monday, September 8, 2008

farmers markets

It's good to be home! Saturday morning I was unwinding at Krakatoa after a long week of moving and I got into a conversation with a couple of locals who were on their way to one of the farmers' markets in the area. They said there were 3 markets worth visiting: 1) Every Saturday morning from 9a-1p in East Village; 2) Every Thursday after 3p in Northpark; and 3) "the biggest and by far the best" is every Sunday morning from 9a-1p in the DMV parking lot in Hillcrest. I can think of at least a couple folks in our community who will be eager to check them out!

Monday, September 1, 2008

A residents view of Golden Hill

Seen on the Reader website
by Subliminelle

Traffic. Sirens. Police. Firetrucks. Ambulances. Jet Planes. These are the noises of my neighborhood. It is no wonder the wealthy families who first settled in Golden Hill during the late 1880's eventually got tired of the racket and headed east, leaving behind large, elegant homes and wide open boulevards. Sadly, over time, the neighborhood fell into despair. A century later, Golden Hill had become a haven for street gangs, junkies, and transients- people who had bigger problems to worry about than decibel levels.

Today, the neighborhood is as noisy as ever. Although the gangs have been replaced by musicians and artists, a criminal element still exists, and the sirens of police cars never let you forget it. Although the homeless have been pushed to the outskirts of town, the clatter of shopping carts still echoes from the alleys.

The trendy East Village at the bottom of the slope is exploding with new sounds as well. Construction. Sports bars. Night clubs. Bowling alleys. The noise climbs further up the hill every day, creating a non-stop symphony of sounds...a chorus of commotion. Airplanes scream by, one after another, and conversations must pause for them to pass, like pedestrians waiting for the light to change. Freeways rush through town like rivers. Traffic ebbs and flows, not unlike the tides of the ocean.

Local residents know that if you live here long enough, you'll stop noticing the noise after a while. What you will begin to notice, however, are the more subtle sounds of life on the hill, sounds that can only be heard by those who are really listening.

Golden Hill is a musical place. Its southern boundary is a bridge which crosses over the 94 freeway. Built by a local artist, the bridge plays a tune if its rungs are struck while crossing. On the north side of the bridge is Golden Hill's bustling commercial district, which consists of a handful of food markets, restaurants, liquor stores, and one very stylish fire station.

Walking down 25th Street, you'll hear street merchants selling flowers. You'll hear a cacophony of birds and people perched on the patio of Krakatoa, our local coffee shop. You'll hear the sound of pizza dough being tossed and pounded over at Luigi's Pizzeria, and you'll hear rowdy laughter escaping the infamous Turf Club anytime its heavy wooden door swings open.

After dark, you'll hear the comforting hum of neon lights, the crackle of electricity, and the hoots of the night owls, awake and alive. When traffic dies down at dusk, you'll hear the whisper of the wind down the wide, empty streets, the seductive songs of the crickets, and the rustle of the palm trees swaying high above. These are the sounds that I listen for. These are the sounds of life on the hill.

Summer brings new noises to town as well. The ka-boom! of fireworks and the subsequent barking of dogs. The bittersweet wail of mariachi bands singing songs of amor! off in the distance. The angry hiss of sprinklers watering freshly mowed lawns. The ting-a-ling of the ice cream man's silver bell as he pushes his frozen goods across the street makes my mouth water in a Pavlovian sort of way.

During baseball season, I can hear the thrill and excitement of a home run. Just listening to the roar of the crowds gives me a craving for peanuts and crackerjacks. I can always tell whether the Padres won or lost simply by following the soundtrack of the game.

From my bedroom, I hear the approaching rattle of skateboard wheels, the whiz of a ten-speed bike flying past my house, or the slap of sneakers on the sidewalk as little kids run home from school. On Sunday mornings, I am awakened by church bells resonating from down the street.

On Wednesday afternoons, I hear the chip! chip! chip! of my father, carving marble sculptures in the backyard. On Friday evenings I hear the crash! boom! bang! of the rock band that practices in our garage. And on Saturday nights, I fall asleep to the steady thump! of hip hop bass coming from the people upstairs. We are musicians and artists, and we are people in motion.

When the air is thick and heavy, I can hear the voices of transportation- the far-off moan of a foghorn blowing in from the bay, or the last call of a cruise ship before it sets off on another bon voyage. I can hear the clang! clang! of a passing trolley or the whistle of a train pulling into the station, as if to announce, “I'm home!”. Whenever I hear these familiar sounds, I know that I'm home, too. For some folks, the noise of the city is too much to bear. But to me, the sound of the hill is “golden”.