Submitted by WRF member and Board Member Dr. Peter Jones
For four years, TruthXchange has sponsored an annual think tank. Next year (2010) we are branching out to offer a large, national conference, which (God willing) will take place every other year here in San Diego. Save the dates - February 11-12, 2010, and the location will be The Rock Church in San Diego, California. The conference is called "The Xchange" and the theme in 2010 is "Silence is Not a Virtue." Peter Jones and Mark Driscoll will be plenary speakers, with a “biker & bowtie” approach, showing the unity of the gospel across generational lines. We are hoping to have about 2000 in attendance. This is a HUGE undertaking for a group with as little personnel as we have, so we trust the Lord to provide the right venue and all the necessary volunteer help we need.
We have just completed an excellent think tank entitled: The Sexual Body: Epicenter of the Worldview Battle. The audio should soon be on our website: www.truthxchange.com (Go to seminars/think tank.) While you're waiting for this year's audio, you can enjoy the new look to our website and write something on our blog, or download articles. The audio from previous think tanks is also available.
2008: Varieties of Pagan Spiritual Techniques and a Christian Response
2007: Preaching, Teaching and Discipling in a Context of Neo-Paganism
2006: Being a Good Minister of Jesus Christ in the 21st Century (audio links will soon be working again)
These lectures are from quality speakers, such as James Herrick, Jeffrey Ventrella, Vishal Mangalwadi, Yusufu Turaki, Frank Stootman, Pam Frost (an excellent researcher), Ted Hamilton, Peter Jones, and many others. You are free to use these lectures in your own ministries without cost.
Other aspects of our ministry
Lectures for University Students:
We’ve been working hard (and it is hard work!) to get in front of university students. So far, we have sponsored five University truthXchange conferences. We try to adapt to each situation - whether it is to take place in a church with a large college ministry, or in a Christian college (within the class structure or chapel structure). We are finding that the students are eager to understand how to think about the culture they are in, which is certainly different than the one that met my generation at the university doors! The need to conform and the pressure of politically correct attitudes about a multifaith world have silenced many Christians, who are beginning to think that living for Christ is only a matter of a social gospel. Part of the reason they are forced to silence is that they are faced with questions and issues that their parents and their church did not prepare them to analyze and counter. Peter has spent so much time studying the leaders of the new spiritual movement, that he is well-equipped to help students understand it and formulate a biblical response.
We have a half-time college coordinator, Jay Wegter, who has been working hard to develop our outreach to the students.
Developing a local base:
We are delighted to have a strong local steering committee, and we hope to strengthen our base here in California by sponsoring a few dinner/evening meetings. Our home church, New Life Presbyterian Church, pastured by Ted Hamilton, has been most supportive and because families have hosted our think tank speakers, many people in the congregation are getting excited about helping us out. This is a rich blessing.
New Executive Assistant:
Mary Eady has come on board to replace Alicia Gutierrez, who is fostering children and now expecting a child of her own. Mary has had extensive experience in planning large conferences, so she comes to us at exactly the right moment! She and Ryan Stoddard, a Westminster California student who is acting as webmaster, have loads of fresh ideas for animating our website and stimulating interest among their generation.
We are working on publishing a compendium volume of the lectures from last year's think tank, as well as some smaller booklets on specific topics related to the new spirituality, such as the labyrinth, centering prayer, homosexuality, spiritual formation, the Enneagram, Madam Blavatsky, Carl Jung and loads of other obscure but highly influential subjects!
US speaking included Seattle, Pennsylvania, Texas, North Carolina, Connecticut, California, Arizona, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Washington State. Overseas speaking in 2008 included Seoul, Indonesia, and Canada. Peter is available, depending on schedule, to come speak for your church or ministry or to do an intensive, week-long seminary course in his field of expertise. His material is surprisingly relevant to a huge variety of cultural settings.
On a personal level, 2008 was an eventful year, both negatively and positively. I lost my dear mother on June 7, 2008, but was able to be with her for the last weeks of her life, and although death is a certain and vicious enemy, Jean Clowney went to heaven at peace with her Savior, saying, "I am his little lamb and he will carry me through."
We welcomed two new grandsons in November. Finnan McChesney Jones was born to Julien and Christina on November 24th, and Lewis Peter Hertzog was born to Andy and Myriam Hertzog on November 30th. We welcome these two with great joy into the large, but scattered family!
A sadder event was the diagnosis on December 24th of cancer in our 2 yr. old granddaughter Maya Jones (daughter of Julien and Christina). She has an "adult" type fibrosarcoma in her upper right arm and shoulder and is under treatment (which in the symptoms it produces is more distressing than the immediate effects of the disease). Chemo, radiation, and an operation (slated for April 1) will leave her arm impaired. We pray that there will be no local recurrence or metastasis. If you would like to know more about her, and see some pictures, you can go to www.caringbridge.org/visit/mayajones