I took a young person named James down to Centrelink which for those of you that don’t know is the Australian equivalent of the Social security office in the US. A place of much waiting but once you get through all the paperwork and waiting, there will surely be more waiting and paperwork. I often think of the people who receive welfare as deserving just for having the patience to get through the system but this is a story for another day.
While with James we eventually got through to talk to the social worker on duty. On her wall she had a poster of the different kinds of families. Something similar to what I’ve attached above. I cant remember much of the conversation because I was transfixed on the poster. I’m so ADHD sorry James.
In all my years of youth work, youth ministry and pastoring, so much of my online feeds have been filled with Christians talking about what a family “should” look like and never do we ask what do our youth’s families actually look like.
What world are they born into? What does that mean for them engaging our paradigm? What does it mean for us engaging them?
When Jesus told the people to love their neighbour as we love ourselves. The crowd went wild, it sounded so cool and being under 140 characters it could easily fit into a retweetable tweet maybe with a picture of your neighbour mowing the lawn. Sadly the actual response at the time was “but who is my neighbour?”
A couple of thousand years later we’re still asking that question. Who is my neighbour? This poster still has me thinking a year later. Sometimes I want to send one in the mail to every pastor I know. I want them to put it on their wall. Somewhere between the songs and the sermons, I want them to think about what their neighbours family looks like and what that means for that song or sermon they are preparing.
Will you consider this this week as you prepare to serve?
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And then add Mum and Dad don’t speak English so the children learn pretty early to ” be embarrassed “in front of everyone who meets their parents or parent…
Encouraging children to keep their parent language is so important.
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That’s a great point Mary. This is something to be particularly careful of. I was recently in a meeting where there was a presentation of some new domestic violence information, flyers, help guides etc. A question was asked about translation, particularly is this information being translated into Chinese. The presenter said it was, the girl asking the question who is Australian born but from Chinese desent asked whether the cultural implications had been considered in the translation. For example her parents who grew up in a different culture don’t trust the police so a flyer telling them to call the police is likely to be ignored. This was news to the presenter who admitted they had only completed a literal translation.
Ever wonder if an English sermon or song should just be translated verbatim live during the service? and if so what is actually being communicated when we do. Fun questions to wrestle with.