Sunday, March 26, 2006

Mega Churches, Small Churches

One of the main reasons I prefer small churches over mega churches was made ever more clear this week.

Last Sunday, I visited (alone) a small church that is meeting in the gym of the downtown YMCA in Orlando. Immediately, the pastor came up to me and introduced himself--he could tell that I was a newcomer to the congregation and wanted to welcome me in.

Then on Wednesday, I was attending an event at work, and was sitting with the pastor of one of the largest churches in Orlando (about 10,000 people on a Sunday). The situation was reversed. People were coming up to him and introducing themselves, informing him that they were members of his church.

This is a concept that I still struggle with. I don't think either way of "doing" church is right or wrong, but one just fits me so much better than the other. In case you're wondering where I went this week, I was back at the church at the YMCA--and received an invitation to dinner at the pastor's house tonight. :-) Click here for a little background on the church.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Tackling Tough Issues

My good friend Ryan, a former roommate from San Francisco who now lives in Iowa, has always had keen insights into tough topics, especially homosexuality. His story is powerful, but his friendship is priceless. This blog posting by Ryan is controversial (as he mentions), but I wanted you to read some of his thoughts.

The thing I appreciate about Ryan is that he often relies solely on his own experience--while people can argue theories all day, you can't debate one's own story. Check out the rest of his blog for the complete story.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

World Baseball Classic

Nate and Chris, WBC
Originally uploaded by Chris Winkler.
A few months ago, I blogged over my excitement of getting tickets to the World Baseball Classic. The game finally came, and it was well worth it! This picture is of my roommate Nate and myself at the game.

The thing that struck me was the national pride. We watched the Dominican Republic (DR) beat Australia 6-4, and the Domincan crowd was large and vocal. It almost felt like being at a soccer match. Large groups of Dominican supporters paraded through the crowd, chanting (in Spanish), singing, and draping themselves in the DR flag.

The best was near the end of the game, when a group of about 50 Dominican fans marched on top of Nate and I...literally. I've got video to prove it.

On the flip side of that, the U.S. was knocked out of the tournament early, and most observers are saying that it was due to a lack of passion. Though the DR didn't make it to the finals, it certainly wasn't because of that!

Monday, March 13, 2006


Originally uploaded by Chris Winkler.
Those of you who know me, know that I don't like dogs. REALLY don't like dogs. But this has to be one of the most beautiful dogs I've ever seen in my life, and wanted to post this picture, which I thought was pretty cool. Her name is Zoe and it belongs to my friends Brian and Krisha.

This past week was one of those where I didn't blog because so much happened that I couldn't choose what to write about. How about ultimate...

As many of you know, I try and play ultimate wherever I go. If I'm in DC for a few days, I'll hook up with a game on the mall. When I lived in Vienna, I played with a team for the duration of my time there. Seattle, Houston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Cameroon...I've picked up with ultimate games everywhere I go. It's my connecting point with an area.

So of course, the first thing to do in Orlando was find ultimate. I joined a league team, and signed up for a hat tournament (so named because the players' names are thrown into a hat and selected pseudo-randomly).

Then the losing started. My league team lost our first game. My team at the tourney went 0-5 in one day. My league team proceeded to lose their next four games. Now I am officially 0-10 in ultimate in the state of Florida.

At least it keeps me humble. :-)