Our faith-community had a wonderful blessing for our Sunday night gathering. We were visited by JR Rozko and Maria Bjordal — two new friends of our community who are endeavoring to live in an organic missional community in the Pasadena area. Both are students at Fuller Theological Seminary. Their faith-community began in January ’06.
JR hails from Ohio and Maria is from Norway. In about a week, both will be traveling to Norway for about three months. During that time, Maria will be involved in a field education portion of her degree, researching and participating in missional activity for at-risk youth in Oslo. Simultaneously, JR will be finishing up his master’s thesis. I was so glad that they were able to take the time to join us Sunday and share their experiences about living in a missional community. Both are intelligent and winsome individuals, who have a passion to see God’s people engage the world in authentic and transformative service.
Meeting with them reminded me of something Andrew Jones once said, “Our mission is what gives us purpose, which is what attracts others to us. If we are not bringing justice and transformation to the world, we should ask if we have a right to exist.”
When JR and Maria return from their three months abroad, I will have a further blessing in that Maria has asked me to be her supervisor for six more months of field education within her missional community. I’m very excited about this opportunity for a couple of reasons. First, I get to hang out with JR and Maria on a regular basis for six months and I’m looking forward to what we will learn together. Second, I hope this is the first of many internships through Fuller into the realm of organic/missional/emerging churches. I love the work that Ryan Bolger, who teaches at Fuller, has done in this area and it would be wonderful for Fuller to pioneer some great internship programs in conjunction with the teaching that is taking place.
I would encourage you to jump over to JR’s blog. He’s a great thinker and has some wonderful insights. You can also check out Maria’s blog. Unfortunately, if you can’t read Norwegian, you probably won’t understand what she’s writing. However, she told me that she hopes to have an English blog while she’s in Norway. I’ll post the link when it comes online. It will definitely be worth your time.