Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Beautiful Baby and Jealousy

Five days after Roxy and Chris had their baby I got to visit them and hold their baby. Nervous about holding a newborn in my arms I was surprised by the warmth of “Lance Mark’s” little body resting in my arms. Jude and I have waited years for this day. In fact 9 years ago we bought a special piece of cartoon cell art depicting Sylvester and his son depicting the anticipated day that Chris would become a father.

What caught me off guard was the surprising detail of Lance Mark’s hands, feet, eyebrows, and eyes. Then it happened, Lance Mark reached out with his hand and grabbed my index finger. I was lost in a whirlwind of amazement, desire, and emotions. The surprising thing is that the strongest emotion was a kind of jealousy; I longed to have a baby of my very own that would reflect in some way the heritage of Jude and I.

Not knowing exactly what to do with these feelings and the power of them, I have been staying up late at night either thinking about these things or trying not to think about these things. I also have found myself withdrawing from young children. The void here unless there is some kind of miracle is probably permanent. The question is whether good or evil will fill that void in my heart. I am still glad for Chris and Roxy. I do not want their child, nor would I want to diminish their joy. It is just the denial of my own feelings regarding having a child of my own was forced to the surface with a lot more force than I anticipated.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Before March Madness... March 1-5.. My trip to Minneapolis

Sue, One of the Executive directors of Innerchange, asked me to go to Minneapolis and get a first-hand look at some of the ministry of InnerChange Minneapolis.

It was quite a gift for me to be able to lend myself out to this part of the IC community? with the hope that I might help deepen the work there. As always, I found God challenging my own heart to grow. What is first striking about Minneapolis was the wide range of cultures.

I witnessed signs of the presence of these cultures:
African Americans, Americans (German decent, Scandinavian decent, others) / Divided also by many subcultures and self-identifications,Ethiopians,First Peoples/ Native Americans, Guatemalan, Mexicans, Hmong, Salvadoran, Somalis, and others...

I witnessed the challenge and the strain it is to constantly be shifting to relate to different people with such a wide variety of world-views. It also seemed to me that people had less experience in Minneapolis of purposely relating cross-culturally than what we see in LA. (Not that in LA we do a good job of it.)

My primary role was to see if I could add additional insights into what was happening in terms of ministry through some of the InnerChange Minneapolis staff so that they might be more effective in this challenging context. What I found most striking was the number of different peoples and different places they were interacting in and with... This they were doing with an incredible energy and creativity. The work ahead of them is how to sharpen their focus meaningfully and recruit more volunteers and staff so that the impact of what they are doing will have more depth. I felt this deeply because I actually have the same challenges in my own work and ministry.

My suggestions were:
  • To dream up as many job descriptions as possible and to seek to give away any ministry that is not core to their own sense of calling / and to work on clarifying their core callings.
  • To let the IC Main office know of their recruiting needs.
  • To carve out time for recruiting new team members and volunteers.
  • To network more with existing churches and agencies.
  • To make sacred a whole day for Sabbath rest and reflection.
  • To acknowledge that they may need to let go of some ministries to be effective in others.

My only regret about the trip was the necessary time we spent in the ?Mall of America? buying a few gifts for friends and that we didn?t have more time just to be together and some time to share doing art together.

I made some of the typical errors of those just learning to share in the work of oversight and accountability.

  • I did not listen twice as much as I talked... Part of this is the excitement of a new task... And some of this is just plain old being lax with my listening skills.
  • I could have asked more questions and checked my perceptions with those who hosted me.
  • The funniest and biggest mistake... I forgot to check in and make sure that we had the same goals for the visit... And that the purposes were clear and upfront for all involved...

All is well that ends well... Some of the goals were met and we all have an opportunity to grow...

Thanks to all who hosted me... I love the people I met and the city of Minneapolis.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

My sister Sunday has had a Baby boy!!!

  1. this is an audio post - click to play
  2. Very big baby 8lbs. 11oz.
  3. Long Labor and then C-section
  4. Welcome baby Justin into the world at 1:14am March 7, 2005

Thursday, March 03, 2005


Announcing the arrival of
Who: Lance Mark Albisurez,
Son of the proud parents, Chris and Roxy Albisurez
When: March 1, 2005, 1:30 AM by c-section.
Weight: 6 pounds
Where: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
All are doing well, tired but happy.

Birth Trivia:
Anesthesiologist — Indian
OB/GYN — Japanese American
Dr. -- Philippina
RN — Mexican American
Nurse’s aide — Russian
RN — Caucasian
Technician — African American

With a heart of gratitude,
Jude Tiersma Watson (Oma — DUTCH/grandma)
John Tiersma Watson (JAW1 -- African American/Brother/Uncle/Homeboy)