DCC News

 

Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church

 

June 22, 2007

                                                           

                                      

“We are Located Just East of Plain City ”

Laura and I were on the afternoon/evening train from Chenai ( Madras ) to Bangalore in India . Actually the train began in Chenai, the SE seaboard city on the Bay of Bengal and headed sort of west into the interior of Southern India . We had spent the last couple days in Vellore at a Medical College about 100 miles from Chenai and so by the time we got to our assigned seats the train was long since full from its beginnings in Chenai.

After a couple hours of a very pleasant but crowded train ride, I noticed that folks would go to the standing room in the middle of the passenger cars. It gave us a chance to stretch our legs, use the restroom and talk to folks as others leaned out the open door of the train watching the Indian countryside pass by.

I think Laura and I were about the only Americans around and of course we are always easy to spot even though most people in the world dress alike these days. But I found myself talking with a number of Indian men. Most were in their 20’s and 30’s (they looked like any American college kid). The better dressed were men in their 40’s and 50’s, clearly businessmen on their way to the hi-tech city of Bangalore . Almost all of the train passengers were residents of Chennai who were traveling 6 hours west to Bangalore to their jobs for the coming week. This being Sunday afternoon, the train was full of folks who were commuting for the week.

It struck me as odd, that men were literally waiting in line just to chat with me. Their English was as polished as mine and they were genuinely interested in where I was from and going and why. I spoke to many who were going back to Bangalore and worked for Dell Computers and other global companies. You know when your computer freezes up and you call tech support or you have a credit card problem with VISA or someone…often you are speaking to these young men in Bangalore who are on the night shift so that they can answer questions of Americans in Iowa in the middle of the day.

While I’d like to think that these Indian businessmen were talking to me because of my natural charisma…I now realize that the were talking to me to get their English-language- speaking brain back up to speed after spending the weekend with family and friends and speaking in their native tongue. For the next 5 days, they would be speaking English 12 hours a day. Speaking with Americans in Dubuque and Seattle and Columbus . I was their transition guy as they warmed up their English language skills.

Small world. Very little difference between Bangalore , India and say, St. Louis , Missouri .

Here is a similar small-world story from Thomas Friedman in his book, The World is Flat, which I read about recently in “Time” Magazine.

Here’s postmodern, globalized irony for you. In 2003 the state of Indiana needed to upgrade the computer system that handled its unemployment claims. The contractor that won the job: Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., an Indian firm. “In other words…(the state of) Indiana was outsourcing the very department that would cushion the people of Indiana from the effects of outsourcing.”

I have read some other articles about Friedman’s book and the basic thesis is that the world is flat and companies and thus people all over the world are now competing with one another.

 I’ve often joked that my ministry will be over when we can find a way to outsource my job from Bombay . We are in a global economy and global marketplace and people over there are competing with us over here. It is fascinating and quite serious as I have friends who have been outsourced. It is not a laughing matter.

 

 

 

But the reality of this “flat world” where everyone is a part of the global village hit home the other day when we received and email from someone whom I will call “Aileen”.

“Aileen” found our church web site and she wanted to know where in Dublin we were. Mary Lynn in the office emailed her back that we meet Sunday Mornings at 10 am in the sanctuary of the church and then she asked “Aileen” if she lived nearby.

“Aileen” emailed us back that she lived in “ Galway ” (not the city she actually mentioned). She went on to say that she was not satisfied with her church upbringing and longed for a community such as ours and wanted to try us out.

Galway ”. I couldn’t figure that one out as I searched my brain and the I-270 beltway for places like Gahanna , Hilliard, Obetz and Powell. I just could not understand where “ Galway ” was.

But Mary Lynn got it. “Aileen” was emailing from Ireland . She had googled on her computer and found Dublin Community Church and read what we had to say on our web site about who we are and decided she wanted to see for herself this church that we call home.

I am certainly not making light of “Aileen’s” request. Her email contained some other personal thoughts that are fairly common discussion with ministers and people who are church shopping. But, I was struck by two things. The first being this notion of a “Flat World” where all things are accessible, whether in Chennai, “Galway” or Dublin , Ohio .

The second thing that struck me is that this woman found something in our web site; something that she was searching for; hoping for. It points out the importance of our web site and what we put there. But more importantly, it points out that people the world over are searching for community. So am I, for that matter. We may not be able to help “Aileen” or ever meet her, but I imagine she will be checking out our web site and what it says about us. If she looks carefully, she will find this particular E-gram, which you are now reading because Ellen Morse always posts my weekly message.

“Aileen,” you may be half a world away, but you are not alone in your quest. Let me know, I’ll be glad to make a pastoral visit. We’ll see what happens when I claim mileage on that one.

Peace,   Bob

 

 

Other Items:

Food Pantry Update from Julie Schofield
The Church of the Redeemer that was scheduled to volunteer in the Food Pantry for the month of July, but are now unable to help.  So there is an IMMEDIATE need for coverage in July. The pantry has volunteer opportunities on every Tuesday morning for July and September.  We have 2 shifts made up of 5 people per shift.  The first starting at 9:00-11:30 and the second starting from 11:30-1:30.  The other 10 churches are aware of our need.  So, sign up early to reserve your date/time preference.  Please send a note to Rev. Tussing at rctuss@sbcglobal.net and he’ll forward this to Julie.

Baby Dresser Needed

There is a family having a baby in August and they are looking for one last item to complete the baby’s room via donations.  They are hoping to get a baby dresser where the top is a changing table. Contact Scott Jackson via email at scott.Jackson@alliancedata.com if you can help.