Tag Archive: future plans


brettandvalandpaint

well i thought everyone who was interested had an idea of what we are doing next but having explained our next moves three times to people in the last few days i figured it wouldn’t hurt having another explanation up – for those of you who have heard this, you can skip this one…

from June 2011 to Dec 2012 the beautiful Val [tbV] and i were working and living with the Simple Way in Kensington, Philadelphia, Americaland as part of their residency program – living in the local community and working full-time for the non-profit. i was involved with Hospitality and email communications and Val dealt with special projects [food distribution, after-school program, scholarships for students etc] and emergency services [people arriving at the door about to be evicted from their home, people in need of drug counselling or legal aid etc]. our boss was a man named Darin Petersen, hence the term ‘bossman’.

we arrived back in South Africa 1 Jan for a time of refreshment and recovery and also connection with family and friends [and improv stage and hockey field and beach!] with the idea of staying for about a month and a half to two months and then moving on to Oakland, California [just across from San Francisco] where we will be working with Darin again, but with a different non-profit which has been called Relational Tithe and which is in the future going to be called Common Change. This is a collaborative giving program looking at trying to emulate the church of Acts 2 in terms of economics and really focus on connecting resources to those in need through the avenue of relationship.

‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.’ [Acts 2.42-47]

Val and i have been part of Relational Tithe as group members for eight to ten months now and have seen it have such a transformative and life-changing effect in many peoples lives and so when we were invited to be a part of it for the next 18 months it was something we seriously considered and then jumped at.

How it works is that if you join you become part of a group of 12 to 15 people who all tithe into the group general fund. Then at any point anyone in the group can advocate a need for someone who is in one degree of separation from themselves [so someone you know personally who has a need] and the group is invited to ask questions and try to collectively figure out the best way to meet the need well and then after some time the need is met [this might be with money or resources or through someone having a connection or other creative means]. What we really enjoy about RT is that the need is met through relationship – so we are not just throwing money at something but empowering someone within the group to walk alongside a friend of theirs and connect them with some resources as they do so.

So that is what we are going to be joining. tbV has left already as there is a Justice Conference that she is attending in Philly first and then she will be heading to Oakland where i will be looking to meet up with her later. One of the realities of the next journey for us, is that while CC will be providing accommodation for us, we have had to find money to get there and also for our month to month living expenses and so we have been inviting people to journey with us in different ways – following our journey and staying in contact, praying for us, contributing towards the roughly $1000 or R9000 we think we will be needing to live month to month for 18 months.

if you’d like to hear more or want to be connected in any way simply email me at brettfish@hotmail.com and we can chat or i can add you to our newsletter list.

[what Brett and Val are going to be doing within Relational Tithe/Common Change as they head to Oakland]

anyone who knows me even slightly well will know that one of my top three life-changing books is “The Irresistible Revolution” by shane claiborne who is one of my real life heroes – i met him briefly a couple of years ago when he was in J Bay speaking at an international Christian surf conference and got to chat to him for a bit and interview him for two magazine articles i was writing. i have visited ‘the simple way’ which is the community that he started in Philadelphia and his writing was partly responsible for my decision to move into Kayamandi township for a year and a half before i married the beautiful Val. In fact we are currently looking at a possible opportunity of hanging out in that community (now called ‘Village House’) as the next thing we do…

so we were looking around on the simple way site [thesimpleway.org] and came across this article where shane speaks out on the ’emerging church’ – i have generally had issues with people who speak against the emerging church as i believe it is such a broad definition that covers such a range of different ideas and ideologies but i really think shane nails it here in definition and response… and of course i loved the metaphor – here is that paragraph but go and read the rest of the article as well:

from ‘The Emerging Church Brand: The Good, the Bad, and the Messy’ by shane claiborne

“Eventually, books and brands began identifying as “emerging church” or “emergent.” So it got a little messy. In my opinion, “the movement” became a bit narcissistic, and often became little more than theological masturbation: feels good but doesn’t give birth to much. It’s one thing to talk about theology. It’s another thing to talk about talking about theology. There is some sloppy theology out there. Some “emerging church” folks have repeated some of the mistakes of fundamentalism (only with more tattoos), and others have repeated the mistakes of liberalism (only with more wit). Meanwhile, there are many folks who seem to know exactly what “emerging church” is and think it is the anti-Christ. However, neither of these, I am convinced, represents the silent majority of young evangelicals of all colors of skin who love Jesus with all that they are and are not willing to use our faith as simply a ticket to heaven and ignore the hells of the world around us. There is a new evangelicalism that loves Jesus and wants to change the world.”

you can read the rest of his article here

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