Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Creating a Space of Safety and Refuge for Today's Homeless Youth


HQ contains open welcoming spaces, food, showers, laundry, computer labs, conference and consulting areas to introduce street kids from as young as 7 and 8 to early 20s to area youth resources and help facilities for runaway and homeless youth. HQ's drop-in center is located on the NE corner behind St. Mary's Hospital (kiddy-korner across the intersection) and east of the Cherry Street Medical offices. Initial hours of operation will be from 3-6 pm as HQ ramps up with staff and volunteer helpers. Intentions will be to provide temporary bedding, education, and placement services with area social agencies.

"Since no one wants these kids, we do.... These are our kids now."
                                                                   - HQ Motto

Mars Hill | HQ Runaway and Homeless Youth Drop-in Center
Grand Rapids, MI

on November 10, 2014 at 6:30 AM, updated November 10, 2014 at 1:56 PM

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Shandra Steininger isn’t sure how many teenagers and young people will use HQ, the area’s first drop-in center for runaway and homeless youth between downtown and the Heritage Hill neighborhood.

But the director of the new program at 320 State St. SE is confident they will be busy when the doors open later this month. About 40 percent of all homeless persons are minors under age 18, Steininger said.

“We want this to be a safe place where kids want to be and can truly be who they are,” Steininger said Friday, Nov. 7, as carpenters completed their work and movers installed furniture in the 93-year-old brick building on the eastern edge of downtown.

Before they open the doors, the sponsors of HQ are planning an open house for the community and its neighbors from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov 14. A ribbon cutting ceremony with representatives from the Chamber of Commerce will be at 1 p.m.

HQ was created by Mars Hill Bible Church in partnership with Arbor Circle, a social service agency that operates The Bridge, a shelter for kids and teenagers aged 10-17. The new drop-in center will be open from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays.

The new center, which will operate independently as its own nonprofit agency, is aimed at serving an estimated 2,000 teenagers and young persons who experience homelessness in the Grand Rapids area each year.

“Every night in Grand Rapids, 200 youth don’t have a safe place to sleep,” said Andy Soper, Director of Mobilization at Mars Hill Bible Church and Founder of the Manasseh Project, a shelter for minor victims of human trafficking.

“Right now, we know these kids are slipping through the cracks,” Soper said in a statement. “HQ will provide a transformative space and connect these youth who are experiencing the crisis of homelessness to the services they need.”

Although the center was created with more than $600,000 in gifts from Mars Hill Bible Church, Steininger said visitors will not be required to attend worship services nor will they be proselytized.

After checking in, visitors will have an opportunity to make a sandwich, charge up their cell phones, do laundry and take a shower. The center also includes rooms for counseling, computer access and job-finding tools.

Steininger said the staff will attempt to plug its visitors into existing services rather than develop new programs. Hence, Arbor Circle will have staff on hand to offer help if it requested.

Which services, if any, the kids use will be up to them, Steininger said. “We’re going to help them move from a state of crisis. We’re going to meet them where they’re at.”

Some teenagers who have been victims of abuse may be distrustful, Steininger said. “I imagine some people will walk in and won’t trust us – and that’s a healthy response.” She also expects to welcome LGBT teens who make up about 40 percent of all homeless youth.

"HQ's unique philosophy of empowering youth as the experts in their own lives creates a space where they want to be connected and where the entire community can truly come together to support them in their struggles, successes and everything in between,” she said.

HQ was intentionally located several blocks away from other missions and shelters that serve older adults, where young people don't feel as safe, Steininger said. But it is near several bus lines so that kids from suburban communities can use the facility, too.

The single-story brick and cement block building was last used as a call center by Mercy Health Saint Mary's. It was originally built in 1921 by Paul Nissen Corp., a distributor of automotive shock absorbers. The building served as the home of Central Auto Glass and Mirror Co. in the 1960s.

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