Sunday, May 31, 2009

James Brainerd Taylor in the Sequim Gazette

"Author plans 10-book series on 19th-century evangelist" is the title of journalist Matthew Nash's article in the May 20, 2009 issue of the weekly Sequim Gazette (Sequim, Washington). Click here to read the online version of the article.

This local article is in addition to other local media coverage on the recently rediscoverd James Brainerd Taylor (1801-1829) in the Peninsula Daily News and on "The Todd Ortloff Show" on KONP Newsradio (both based in Port Angeles, Washington). The two J. B. Taylor books (January 2008 and June 2008, University Press of America) have also received regional and national attention--see various blog posts below.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Uncommon Christianity in Israel? . . . farewell Port Angeles, Washington

Is there Uncommon Christianity in Israel? I'll soon find out as I leave for Israel tomorrow (Thursday, May 7, 2009) to participate in two volunteer endeavors. This is my second visit to The Holy Land, the first being for 10 days in late December 2005/early January 2006.

Click here for my contact information in Israel. And click here to see the recommended links for Israel on UCM's web site.

From May 10-28, I'll be volunteering with the Jewish-based Sar-El (est. 1982, called Volunteers For Israel [VFI] in the U.S.). VFI's mission “is to connect Americans to Israel through volunteer service. They achieve this goal by partnering with military and civilian organizations that enable volunteers to work side-by-side with Israelis. They promote solidarity and good will among Israelis, American Jews and other friends of Israel.”

Then, after a 10-day vacation to roam the land and beginning around June 8, I'll be volunteering for 1-2 years at Christ Church Guest House in Jerusalem's Old City. Completed in 1849, the Anglican-run Christ Church is the oldest Protestant Church in the Middle East. It was formed by The Church's Ministry among the Jews (CMJ, est. 1809), originally called the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews. "Started in London by visionaries such as William Wilberforce (1759-1833), Charles Simeon (1759-1836) and [later] Lord Shaftesbury to share the Gospel with Jewish people, CMJ now has a worldwide ministry to share with Jewish people our belief that not only is Jesus (Yeshua) the Saviour of the world, he is the Jewish Messiah. Today [their] main work is in Israel but [they] retain a vibrant ministry in the U.K." So states the CMJ-U.K. website.
--> NOTE: CMJ is celebrating its bicentennial with events throughout 2009 in the U.K., U.S. and Israel. For the celebrations in the U.K., click here. Kelvin Crombie's latest book entitled Restoring Israel: 200 Years of the CMJ Story (Nicolayson's Ltd., Christ Church Jersualem, 2008) is highly recommended.

Also while in Israel--and as time allows--I'll be participating in the cultural exchange and hospitality-based Servas International (est. 1949, originally called Peacebuilders). I'm one of the over 20,000 Servas members who come from over 125 countries. Servas Israel has more than 300 individuals, couples and families willing to host Servas members for free. Click here to view a map of Israel that shows the areas with Servas hosts.
--> NOTE: Servas International has consultative status as a non-governmental organization (NGO) with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, currently with representation at many of the UN's hubs of activity.

Among other options, the "uncommon Christian" James Brainerd Taylor (1801-1829) considered ministry among the Jewish people in Palestine before his untimely death while a student at Yale Seminary in 1829. Taylor's reading of the Memoir of Levi Parsons (1824) no doubt inspired his interest.

Before settling down in Israel, a special THANKS to those in Port Angeles, Washington, who extended to me their kind farewell wishes and gifts during the weeks and days prior to my departure (today/May 6). Among other entities, it was sad to say goodbye to the Peninsula College Christian Student Fellowship. I served as the founding advisor for PCCSF, 2002-09.