Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Few Things to Consider...

Ready, set, DISCUSS! :)

- PURPOSE: collaboration & global engagement --- blend together?
> Collaborate with other groups on campus?
- Present TSO philosophy
- Minimal focus on TSO
> Slides with head shots and positions
- Incorporate the idea of global engagement throughout
- List of proverbs?
> http://circleofhope.net/blog/about/#proverbs
- Focus on relationships through campus, outside campus, outside continent
- “Who is your neighbor?”
- Band (Gospel choir?)

and be thinking about TOWN HALL MEETINGS for next week's meeting... (look over the papers that Jess created and handed out in the meeting Sept. 15 to get the thought juices flowing)


  1. Global engagement!! Global engagement!! Global engagement!! that was for you, Caleb.

    Seriously, I think we should go big like I mentioned last night (i.e. who is my neighbor and what does that mean?). The broader, the more applicable to many people.

  2. If one of our goals for the chapel is to hit home the idea of collaboration, I think that it would be really cool if we did a lot of collaboration in terms of how we plan the chapel. Involve TWO? Possibly talk about how TWO is global engagement because they have ministries that go across the world as well as go into our own backyard. Just a thought. I am sure there are many other groups we could collaborate with that are not coming to mind

  3. Dave, i think the idea of involving another student organization is money in the bank.

    The focal point of global engagement is fine with me.

    What are some of the things that we can do/say/let the student body hear to freshen this up?

    (I'll admit... the mister rogers thing is good...)


  4. You just want to wear the much coveted gray cardigan stored in my closet don't you...JB...!

    Anyway...few things...

    1) What are we looking to do if we collaborate with another group outside of TSO chapel other than simply collaborating. I love the idea, but I think we have to iron our for sure the concepts we want discussed before asking another group to jump on board.

    2) Are we planning on having a speaker? Will the format look like most chapels? From what I understand we're steering away from just imformative like the TWO chaps (not that that was bad)...

    3)...I don't want to rush this cuz I have to go to my one on one with steve-o!

    love...be back in a few

  5. Whatever we do, I think it is crucial that Jordan wears something... well...flattering to his fine figure. Perhaps a cardigan, or maybe a superhero outfit. Or even better, he could just periodically walk on stage wearing an outfit from a different culture represented at Taylor. Uganda, India, the Bahamas, and S. Korea could all happily adorn our lovely SBP. Yep. Now we have some serious G&ob@l Eng*ge%ent (that was for you Steve).

    But I've been trying to think about this, and I'm having a hard time feeling that GE should be the focus of the chapel. I think it could be and in a very positive way, but TSO is a lot more than GE. I really like the idea of "Who is your neighbor" (not just because Bolte gets to dress up) but because when I boil GE down in my mind it basically has to do with loving the people that are not immediately easy to love. It requires some movement and desire...some engagement if you will. Yet when I do this, GE begins to lose its shape and becomes so broad and undefined that it no longer possesses any tangible quality. I could be the co-president of "Love your neighbor", but that would just be reinventing the Church into a TSO organization.
    But GE and all of TSO does fit well into the "Who's your neighbor/love your neighbor" theme because we are all called to seek that out, and it's something we could challenge our fellow students with. (sorry this is getting long) So we put flesh and blood on GE and TSO by possibly having different people share what they are most excited about/most passionate about and how that ties into loving our neighbors. I'm just throwing out examples, but say we had Katie Westrate or one of the other Community Outreach co-directors share what they are passionate about this year in our local community and why those neighbors need to be loved. Then say Laura Bobbett gets to share about the goodness of ICC and how we get opportunities to love our fellow classmates this year, and Britani Nestle gets to share about how IFC is a chance for us to understand our own culture (and others) better so that we love those within them. And then a PA from Wengatz, say Jake Bourdon, gets to talk about why loving our neighbor in the hall is so important and difficult. We get to demonstrate our own enthusiasm for loving our neighbor (through these different organizations), and we are communicating the goal of TSO by giving student leaders a chance to speak and drawing attention to what is being done through our campus.
    So throughout we are demonstrating collaboration without mentioning collaboration. And we are speaking Global Engagement into the minds of the students without having to mention it. Not like they're lab rats, but something like that.
    Hope that makes an ounce of sense. Feel free to dismantle and poke all through that.

  6. I think I am resonating a little bit with what Mark said about figuring out what, exactly, we are even doing before we drag others into this.

    Maybe it is because I am in the middle of trying to collaborate with a lot of people on a lot of different programs, or maybe its because the more I hear about other people's ideas, the more it seems like we are all saying the same thing (so we might as well cut out 2/3 of the organizations that exist on campus.) But when I am thinking about collaboration these days, it just feels... noisy to me. Not that it is a noise-generating thing in itself. But that it is unfortunately falling prey to the campus buzz word phenomenon that makes me want to immediately plug up my ears and react against whatever is being spoken. Like that thing that rhymes with hobel enhagement.

    All that to say...simplicity! Let's champion that again in our considerations of this chapel.

    My other thought is this. And by thought I guess I mean extended series of questions:
    Why do we care about collaboration? Why do we care about GE? Can someone please define what that even means? Are we even in accord about it, before we start spewing it all over campus? Do we need to be in accord? Are we secretly being lazy about the term even after we talked a long time about not being lazy but doing the hard work? Does GE really fit the purpose of TSO? What did TSO look like two years ago before it even existed? Why was it created? Which cabinets represented on our team are potentially left out as a result of all of our GE talk? Why is GE seemingly more important than IFC, or SAC?

    Not to add to the noise. Also it's definitely bedtime and should never be allowed to speak when I'm tired. But I don't want us to get too far ahead of ourselves here. It's easy to get caught up in something without stopping to consider other options. Hence the questions. It's not that I don't feel like we've already answered a lot of these things. It might just be good to remember. Or it could completely derail us and we won't even plan this chapel.

    Anyway. I support collaboration. and Hobel Enhagement. I just needed to poke holes in everything in order for me to trust that things are solid if they are built back up again.

  7. Based on the last few comments I can see that most of us have one thing in common: Bolte's wearing a sweater. Decided!

    I resonate with Britani's appeal to seek out the purpose of what we're doing and ADD ON to this idea of Gobble (Engage!) and collaboration. Nobody needs new buzz words and I fear that ramming such Gobble down students throats could cause them to regurgitate it mindlessly.

    So who is your neighbor? Caleb, I like what you said about the idea of us sharing what it looks like to love our neighbors...whether on campus or off, we all have the opportunity to do that. We don't necessarily have to pull too many others into the program. What's important is that the students are walking away with a challenge. It doesn't need to be that they know more about what TSO does and who does what, but rather where will they go from here. What action can now be taken by the students? You're right, TSO is more than just Go-Go-Gadget Enterprise but rather how we are using our cabinets to further the kingdom in whatever manner. Which should be driven by love I believe. And yes, GE is about loving our neighbors and can be included in all aspects of what TSO's mission is.

    This may seem like an awkward place to stop but I'm afraid anything else I say is either going to be useless or just an excuse to see my own words on a website. So, until tomorrow...

    Globetrotters (Engage!)

  8. I think this is all opening a can of worms that I think will go much farther than just the TSO chapel...And I think that we will need to discuss after this in more depth what GE really is. We definitely had agreed on the retreat and in our training that we all wanted this to be a focus in our efforts as a whole cabinet for this year. Now if we are one month into the year and we as a cabinet are already confuzzled and fed up with simply saying Global Engagement than I think we need to be looking deeper. Something that we were all very passionate about 4-5 short weeks ago should not be fading. And maybe I'm misunderstanding the conversation, but that is what it seems...

    Granted, we kind of have the responsibility to plan this chapel, so we kind of have to worry about that. But I definitely do have the tendency to be a skeptic, which you all kind of know already after the spiritual renewal last week, and my attitude I guess is something that I need to work on, but I am very hesitant (kind of like brit) to jump on all these things just because...right? And maybe this is the time for me to be slapped in the face and told to suck it up and do the work needed that the group has agreed on.

    And honestly I am really speaking a lot of nonsense right now, but I can't say that I completely agree with the idea of having a bunch of other people joining in...cuz I'm not sure of the purpose, but then at the same time I do see the potential, so I guess I'm really the one that is confuzzled with my own intentions, and I'm probably not spurring this conversation on to bigger and greater things, and if that is the case please let me know, cuz I just really want this chapel to be real, authentic, and non-manipulative and rooted in our understanding of our purpose...right?

    I don't know, thoughts?

  9. After reading everyone’s thoughts, I’m feeling better knowing that I’m not the only one who is hesitant about the ideas of GE and collaboration as the central focus of the TSO chapel. I resonate with what Britani and Caleb had to say, and I don’t want to be completely reiterating what was already said. However I think that the way we approach these two concepts can drastically change the way they are viewed. I’ll admit that I’m starting to stop listening whenever I hear someone mention GE or collaboration, because it seems that they are becoming the new campus trend just like social justice, going green, or 2016. Now obviously these are all great things, and I don’t want to come across as the hater of GE, collaboration, and social justice (…you can draw your own conclusions on 2016). But the issue is that we, as a Taylor body, have let them all become nothing more than trends that, like Britani said, can just add to the noise. If we were to ask students why they are concerned about these issues, I don’t think that we would get too many solid answers.

    Like mentioned before, I think that this chapel would be a great place for us to address that, to address the why. Why have we as not only TSO, but as a university, decided to focus on GE? Why is this idea of collaboration so important? What is the ultimate why behind what we’ve decided to do (Laura—yes, I did just bring it back to Frankena)? If we can somehow look at answering these questions and addressing the ultimate why, I think then we are on the right track. When we start there, there’s so many different ways that we can run this. I’m a fan of addressing this idea of ‘who is my neighbor’ (who doesn’t love Mr. Rogers?). But again I think we could take a step back even further and ask the question why was Jesus concerned about his neighbor? Between Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy the word neighbor is mentioned 38 times (yes, I’m a CE/Bible nerd)—that’s significant, but why?

    Okay, I’m making myself stop here, because I could go on about how it all fits into the vision for the kingdom of God and the God-given, cultural mandate to extend not only a saving grace, but a common grace as well. I don’t want to bore anyone…

  10. Hi!
    I really like the who is your neighbor idea. I think it would be something that could really catch everyones attention and also add a little humor--if thats what we want! Butttt I think it could do a good job of summing up what we are really trying to do in tso. Love our neighbors-on campus, off campus, wayyy off campus, and then create ways for other people to love their neighbors too!
    This kind of goes back to traveling mercies, but I remember lammott saying that love always DID conquer all, even when she thought it was not going to. So in the midst of everything going on at taylor, upland, marion, the world- we are supposed to love each other and I think that is what all of our cabinets are doing-but in very different ways.
    also, i really liked britani's idea about those proverbs-- im not quite sure i understood it completely, but I think I really liked what it sounded like. It would be a good way to leave US out of the chapel in a sense- but still let the student body know what we are doing- or let them know what God is doing through us and what tso is all about.
    - julie

  11. wow. I just read ALOT. It's good stuff though. I completely understand everyone's concerns with having GE as our driving force behind TSO chaps. However, if this is what we want to be our strong focus for the year as an Executive Cabinent then I think it is important for us to find a way to just face it in TSO chapel. We will not be able to engage the student body over this topic at all this year if we are "confuzzled" (as mark says) or think it is too big for us to tackle. If this is what we are truly passionate about this year then lets find a way to convey that. With that being said, if GE is not what we want to do for TSO chaps, we should start throwin out other ideas.

    I personally like the idea of "love your neighbor." It leaves the door wide open to invite other groups in the hope that every student in that chapel will be able to connect with something that someone says. It also takes the focus away from us. I think we can affectively mix GE with this topic without forcing it down student's throats which I think is a concern we all have right now.

    Ok here's my last thought. I'm not sure if this is what the idea is right now or not but just hang with me. I feel like we are attempting to have GE and collaboration as themes of the chapel. I don't think the idea of collaboration is strong enough to stand alone as a "theme." It's important for sure but I think it's more affective to have one major theme and try to incorporate as many aspects and goals of TSO as we can within that theme. Example: GE be the theme and collaboration be displayed within that theme.

    Oh man. I hope this makes sense. My brain hurts.


  12. I'm pumped about tonight. I just mapped out these thoughts and am excited to have a good discussion...


  13. Whazzzzuuuppp!

    First of all, I am not even sure if this blog is continuing since I was not at the meeting on tuesday but here it goes....

    In my opinion, it seems to me as if we are a little bit too concerned about sharing with the campus something that they have already heard. If GE is really something that we think is vitally important, then I think we should talk about it, regardless of what the reactions of some students might be. To compare it to my own spiritual life, I find that I can be afraid of sharing with others something from the Bible that they have heard before out of fear of sounding "Cliche". Things are cliche because they often are the most important things that we continually forget about and need to be reminded of. I love how Randy takes the first chapel with the freshmen and only talks about reading the bible, praying, and going to church. I bet half the freshmen are thinking "are you kidding me....I have heard this a million times. Give me something more relevant". But the thing is...that is what its ALL about. In the same way, if we are all about GE and that is what we are passionate about, let's not be afraid to proclaim that trash! I think we would agree that even though our campus has heard it before, there is a long way to go in living it out in our actions. Just some personal thoughts....