Coming over two months after the end of the CCDA conference in Cincinatti, I fear that my memory is a little bit rusty. However, I think that I owe myself and my readers a summary of what I took away from this event. Even more so because of the way that I quickly wrote a blog post asking for help, in the middle of the conference (in the middle of the night, no less)!
The Christian Community Development Association is an organization made up of thousands of committed Christians in the United States who are working with America’s poor. This past conference was the second that I attended, the first being in the fall of 2007.
My experience was a little different this time around. I am now a college graduate. As many of you know, I am currently working as an AmeriCorps intern volunteer with the Christian organization, TechMission. TechMission is located in Boston, and is an organization that is committed to connecting volunteers with Christian organizations (you can learn more at 1 of their 3 websites, techmission.org, urbanministry.org, or christianvolunteering.org. I travelled with several of my coworkers to the conference and even helped represent TechMission throughout the event.
In addition, I am now actively involved on Twitter and have slowly begun over the past few months to rebrand myself and my presence on the internet. Throughout the conference, I was aware that people were following me on Twitter, and that I had the opportunity to literally impart “words of wisdom” (later, I will highlight some of my favorite tweets from the conference).
For me, I left Cincinatti feeling very encouraged and energized. Having studied Community Development at Covenant College under the authors of When Helping Hurts, I am used to a lot of the same rhetoric that was talked about at CCDA. But hearing personal stories, fresh perspectives and new ideas was a huge encouragement.
Here are some of my favorite quotes, which I tweeted, during the conference:
Shane Claiborne: God didn’t create rich and poor, he created brothers and sisters.
John Perkins, CCDA Founder: How can we love God but NOT love others? We are called to simply love God, and love others.
Aaron Graham: People are the most critical resource in advocacy. We have the power of faith.
Bart Campolo: There are some people you can’t fix, some people you can’t help, but there is NO ONE you can’t love.
Alexia Salvatierra: When we move into compassion we move into truth.
Jim Wallis: We are in the mountain moving business… We have to be wind changers and not just address symptoms.
Shane Claiborne: There is a danger to see people as clients rather than friends.
Wayne Gordon: The Key component of the CCDA is to listen. The people with the problem probably have a solution to the problem.
Wayne Gordon: We are all together and need each other. Don’t run away because you disagree with something someone says.
As can be seen, there several key leaders in Christian community development who spoke at the CCDA. The words that I quoted are only very small snippets of the broader conference.
If you want to actually listen to some of these talks, you can go to TechMission’s UrbanMinistry.org website and listen to talks from past CCDA conferences. The talks from this past October have not been added yet, but soon will be.