Crossroads Church's Youth Director Kyle Lake leading the Summer Lights summer youth outreach

Crossroads Church’s Youth Director Kyle Lake leading the Summer Lights summer youth outreach

Kyle Lake is our Youth Director at Crossroads Church.  He does an awesome job leading our youth group of around 30 teens, most of whom are from the inner city and whose parents don’t attend church with them.  He also leads our summer park ministries.  There are two of these each week, at two different parks, with each park bringing in around 40-70 youth per week (over 350 unique youth over the summer).  (Check out photos here)

Kyle is called to go to seminary.  He’s found an awesome program at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary called the Urban Cohort.  It is a once-a-week program for urban ministers only, with a majority of the tuition coming from a GRTS scholarship.  It takes 3 years, doing one class per semester and you graduate with a master’s degree.  Kyle never finished his bachelor’s degree at Wayne State University, but GRTS/Cornerstone has made arrangements for him to get his bachelor’s equivalency through their adult degree program on the undergrad side so he can be official for his accredited master’s degree!  Kyle can start these classes in October and begin seminary course work in January, but here’s the hang-up:

It will cost $3367.74 to get Kyle’s transcripts from Wayne State.  This is tuition and fee bills from Kyle’s time there.  Did I mention that Kyle took a HUGE pay cut to work as Youth Director at Crossroads?  He was making a great salary with benefits working for Apple and now makes $30,000/year with no benefits at Crossroads.  (We’d pay him more if we could!)

Will you help us raise the $3367.74 needed to get Kyle’s transcripts from Wayne State so he can start seminary???

Blog Nation, we can do this!  Rather than using GoFundMe, which takes a large percentage of your gift, you can give directly to Crossroads Church on our PayPal button below.  Write “Kyle’s seminary” in the “Add special instructions to the seller” line (this will appear after you log in).  We will mail you a year-end tax deductible receipt (PayPal takes a 2.4 – 2.8% fee out of your gift, vs. GoFundMe’s 5% fee).  You can use the PayPal button below OR you can do it the old fashioned way and mail a check to Crossroads Church, 105 W. Allegan St., Lansing MI 48912.  Write your check out to Crossroads Church and write Kyle’s seminary in the memo line.

Update:

$750 has come in so far!  Thank you to those who have given.  Here’s an important update about the need for this money that I didn’t know before–which is why Kyle has these fees in the first place.  Kyle enrolled for the winter 2014 semester then had a severe fire accident where he was out from work and had a lengthy hospital stay.  When Wayne State was sending him bills to pay for the 4 classes he enrolled in, he appealed it with doctor documentation.  Wayne State took away some of the tuition (around $6000) but kept on the administration fees, kept $1500 of tuition on, and other fees (late payment, fitness center, registration fee, and collection fee).  We still have $2600 more to raise!

Let’s get this Ninja Turtle into seminary!
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Crossroads Church's Kyle Lake teaching the youth group

Crossroads Church’s Kyle Lake teaching the youth group

 

Crossroads Church Youth Director Kyle Lake thinking he is Brett Favre at the Summer Lights summer youth program

Crossroads Church Youth Director Kyle Lake thinking he is Brett Favre at the Summer Lights summer youth outreach

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This is the most direct I’ve been about race while preaching in a while.  I’ve been really hit hard about the real ramifications of Romans 12:1-16 as it relates to the Church as the Body of Christ (as well as the many other passages that use this metaphor).  My heart was to effectively communicate what the Bible is saying in a way gracious enough that shows both how far away we’ve gotten, and also how it’s okay for us to come back.
Video:

8.14.16 Romans 12 (Body of Christ Part 2) ~ Pastor Noah Filipiak from Lansing Crossroads Church on Vimeo.

Audio Only:

 

You can also subscribe to the Crossroads Church sermon podcast on iTunes here. 

 

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Matthew Soerens is the US Director of Church Mobilization for World Relief.  Noah Filipiak interview Matthew about a biblical response to undocumented immigrants, the Mexican border, Syrian and other Muslim refugees, and much more.  The episode closes with a poem called “Home” by World Relief’s Jacob Mau (www.jacobmaumusic.com) Continue Reading…

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Noah Filipiak interviews Grace Fox on the pressure a Christian author faces to have to make themselves well-known, despite the Bible’s emphasis that “Jesus must increase, and we must decrease” (John 3:28-30).  Noah and Grace discuss the challenge to do this in the Christian book marketplace where names must be known and books must be sold, and the damage that can be done to our souls when we get our priorities in the wrong place. Continue Reading…

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Congratulations to Simone Manuel on becoming the first African American to win an Olympic Gold Medal in an individual swimming event!  Manuel won gold in the 100m freestyle competition on Thursday, August 11th.

With all the racial controversy that’s been in the news over the past few years, many (typically whites) will say, “I don’t see color,” “I’m color blind,” or “there’s only one race,” followed with a statement about “stop being divisive.”

While yes, biologically we are all one race, and there’s a lot of unity that needs to be found in that fact, somehow Jackie Robinson’s experience in baseball was a quite different than Joe DiMaggio’s.  To be “color blind” not only disrespects Jackie by minimizing all the oppression he had to go through, it disrespects all people of color who go through micro and macro oppression on a regular basis.  By “disrespect”, I mean that it ignores it, it acts like it’s not there, when it is very “there” for people of color.  If I convince myself people of color get treated exactly like white people, then I don’t have to deal with all the ways they are mistreated.  I don’t need to advocate, protest or bring justice because I’m convinced everyone is treated the same.  A very convenient position for a white person who doesn’t face oppression and who isn’t in close relationship with people of color who do.

If everyone were treated the same, it wouldn’t be a big deal that in 2016, Simone Manuel became the first African American to win an individual Olympic gold medal.

Manuel said in an interview with NBC. “It means a lot. This medal is not just for me, it’s for a whole bunch of people who have came before me and been an inspiration to me,” she said. “It’s for all the people who come after me who believe they can’t do it. And I just want to be inspiration to others that you can do it.”

Who are all these “other people” who came before her and who will come after her, people who might not think they can do it?

Did you know the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 70 percent of black children and 60 percent of Latino children don’t know how to swim?  Compared to 31 percent of white children.

Did know for most of the 1900’s, black kids were not allowed in white pools or on white beaches?  (So that’s pretty much every pool and beach in existence)

Jeff Wiltse says in his Journal of Sport and Social Issues article (Vol. 38(4), 2014) entitled, “The Black-White Swimming Disparity in America: A Deadly Legacy of Swimming Pool Discrimination,”

During much of the 20th century, Black Americans faced widespread discrimination that severely limited their access to swimming pools and swim lessons. The most consequential discrimination occurred at public swimming pools and took three basic forms. Public officials and White swimmers denied Black Americans access to pools earmarked for Whites. Cities provided relatively few pools for Black residents, and the pools they did provide were typically small and dilapidated. And, third, cities closed
many public pools in the wake of desegregation, just as they became accessible to Black Americans. Black Americans also faced restricted access to Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) pools and YMCA swim lessons—especially during the critical period of 1920 to 1940, when swimming first became popularized in the United States. Finally, Black Americans were systematically denied access to the tens of thousands of suburban swim clubs opened during the 1950s and 1960s. These pools
spurred a second great leap forward in the popularity of swimming, but only for the millions of White families that were able to join.
This past discrimination casts a long shadow.

So when Simone Manuel stands on the podium receiving her Olympic gold medal, we must see color.  We must see color so we can celebrate and congratulate Simone on the incredible accomplishment of overcoming generations of discrimination that have kept black people away from swimming pools.  We must also see color because it forces us to see discrimination and oppression.  It forces us too look at its ugly face and decide what we are going to do about it.  To choose to be “color blind” or to say “we’re all one race, so let’s stop talking about race” is to allow the ugly beast of discrimination and oppression to continue.  We are better than this.  Love and unity are better than this.  We must acknowledge what people of color have had to go through and what they continue to go through so that we can truly love and be in community, and so we can get on the front lines of stopping the injustices people of color face.

Congratulations Simone!

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