Random Thoughts on My Canadian Friend Don Posterski – May God Rest Him in Peace!

Don Posterski

UPDATE: On Wednesday, June 13th, at 2pm, Toronto time, my dear friend Don Posterski went to be in glory with Christ and the saints. May he rest in peace!

I met Don for the first time in early 2000, just a few months after I joined World Vision, to work in the Middle East and Eastern Europe Region (MEER), as Director for Faith & Development (F&D – the sector of which Don was in charge in WVI, earlier called Christian Impact – CI, and then Christian Commitments – CC)). Soon after that, he invited me to join him in the WVI Commission on the Church, which, due to Don’s wisdom and his ability to lead a team of very diverse and hard headed members, was the most significant initiative in which I was involved in my 20 years in WV. I wish I had a picture from any of those significant meetings, but I do not. Therefore, I will try to compensate (over)illustrating other events.

Later that year, in October, I invited Don to join my team in Sinaia, Romania, for the first regional event of our sector, called the Christian Life Conference. There, the main speaker was Jim Houston, who taught on Christian Discipleship, while Don taught on building church partnerships, Tim Dearborn taught on witness to Jesus Christ and I taught on spiritual formation. It was a great event, which participants remember fondly, almost 18 years later. Again, Don gave the measure of his unique leadership style, by keeping himself in the background and encouraging others to serve with their gifts. (Again, sadly, I lost all pictures from that event.) Continue reading “Random Thoughts on My Canadian Friend Don Posterski – May God Rest Him in Peace!”

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Conflictul din Orientul Mijlociu – O serata Strajerul – 8

Haideți, fraților, o întrebare, o remarcă, o replică!

Mergem acasă nesatisfăcuți. Înseamnă că fie n-am priceput nimic, fie că am fost foarte clari, ceea ce mă îndoiesc… Te rog!

(O interlocutoare din sală) Vă întreb în legătură cu această toleranță de care vorbiți, cu privire la islam. Dacă toții creștinii au politica iertării și-a iubirii, asta nu ar putea fi ceva de care să profite islamismul în politica sa expansionistă?

Da, da! Întrebarea este absolut legitimă și este, de fapt, complexă. De fapt, aș putea-o traduce în termenii următori: ceea ce Cristos ne-a propovăduit în „Predica de pe munte” poate fi sursa unei teologii politice? Atunci când America este lovită, așa cum a fost lovită la 9/11, ar trebui ea să le ofere teroriștilor încă vreo două turnuri, eventual Sears Tower sau mai știu eu ce altceva? Cu siguranță că nu la asta se gândea Cristos! Cu siguranță că nu la asta! Într-un fel operează principiile eticii în relațiile dintre indivizi, dintre persoane umane și altfel operează ele la nivelul comunităților și la nivelul entităților naționale. Lucrurile sunt, în mod evident, mult mai complexe, la acel nivel. Nu putem transfera mecanic principiile de la un nivel la celălalt. Trebuie să operăm cu nuanțe. Teologia politică nu este specialitatea mea și nu intenționez să intru în detalii, într-un domeniu în care nu mă simt competent, dar în același timp, oricât de diferite ar fi principiile cu care operăm la nivelul relațiilor între state sau între comunități, nu cred că militarismul, că agresivitatea, că acceptarea cu seninătate a ideii de „victime colaterale”, când este vorba de oameni absolut nevinovați, cu zecile și sutele, este acceptabilă din perspectiva Împărăției, a valorilor Împărăției, a „Predicii de pe munte”, în sensul ei aplicat la comunitate, dar cred că adevărurile „Predicii de pe munte” pot fi aplicate în mod direct la relația dintre indivizi. Eu nu prea cred în predici, dar dați-mi voie să predic puțin în seara asta și să vă spun: haideți să încercăm să ne analizăm atitudinile! Ce anume se întâmplă în noi înșine, ce anume se stârnește în inima noastră, atunci când auzim cuvântul „musulman”? Ce imagini se nasc în mintea voastră? 9/11, fanaticul care se aruncă în aer în piață, Osama bin Laden? Oare v-ar plăcea dacă credința creștină ar evoca în mintea unui necreștin, islamic sau nu, doar Holocaustul, pornografia, căci doar de așa-zis creștini au fost ele inventate, nu-i așa? Țările zise creștine (orice va fi însemnând asta – eu cred că doar oamenii pot fi creștini, nu și țările) sunt cele care au promovat cruciadele; într-un oraș zis creștin, condus de un mare reformator, Calvin, a fost ars pe rug Miguel Servet, pentru erezia de a nu crede în Sfânta Treime; țările pretins creștine au instituit inchiziția, intoleranța, ori antisemitismul. Continue reading “Conflictul din Orientul Mijlociu – O serata Strajerul – 8”

World Vision – A Prayer for Refugees

World Vision has just made public this little clip containing a prayer for the Middle East uttered by my friend and former colleague Dr . Chawkat Moucarry, a Syrian Christian born in Aleppo.

Lord, hear our prayers!

What’s really behind Israel’s attack on Christian charity World Vision? | The Electronic Intifada

Aid group says funds sent to Gaza amount to far less than Israel claims was diverted.

Source: What’s really behind Israel’s attack on Christian charity World Vision? | The Electronic Intifada

In care you REALLY want to know.

It’s Official – I Am Leaving World Vision

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Note: Today, my World Vision supervisor, Conny Lenneberg, the leaders of our region, made the official announcement about my leaving the organisation. Here is what she wrote.

* * *

Dear colleagues,

It is with great regret that we advise that, due to funding challenges in F[inancial] Y[ear] [20]16, we will not be able to maintain our Faith in Development Director Position held by Danut Manastireanu beyond February 2015.

Danut has played an instrumental part in the development of the Christian Witness and Spiritual Formation of our leadership and staff over the past 17 years. We are most appreciative of the dedication and passion he has brought to FnD throughout the entire MEER [Middle East & Eastern Europe] region.

Danut started his relationship with WV as a member of WV Romania’s advisory board in 1995, later joining as WV staff in the position of MEER Christian Commitments Director in 1999.  During his service with WV Danut has contributed in so many ways, developing FnD [Faith in Development] staff across the region, supporting the N[ational] O[ffice]s,  advocating on behalf of the region to ensure good understanding of both the unique inter-denominational sensitivities and complex inter-faith context.   Some of the highlights of his contribution include:   Continue reading “It’s Official – I Am Leaving World Vision”

My World Vision Story – 2 – Joining World Vision Regional Team

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Joining World Vision Regional Team

Four years later, in the summer of 1999, Chris Shore sent me the job description for a new position in World Vision called, at the time, Regional Director for Christian Witness and Spiritual Formation. He told me: ‘I think this is really for you. I suggest you should apply.’ When I read it I had the definite impression that it was really written with me in mind. The Regional Leader, Philip Hunt, who initiated and applied for funding for this position, turned to the National Directors in his team and asked for suggestions. Since Philip knew me already, as we were involved together in Advisory Board of WV Romania, Chris Shore told him that I could be a potential solution for this position. With Philip’s permission, he sent me the job description.

My feeling, reading that document, was as if all the various strings in my life – my theological interests and expertise, especially in Orthodoxy, my interest in ecclesiology, my ecumenical commitment, my cultural interests, my passion for travel – came together in this position. My wife and my closest friends had the same clear feeling. However, things were not simple at all, as applying for this position would have had major implications on my previous involvements. Continue reading “My World Vision Story – 2 – Joining World Vision Regional Team”

#PrayForTheWorld

Our hearts break for children and families affected by indiscriminate violence across the world each and every day. Pain is real but so is hope and so is love. Join us @worldvision and #PrayForTheWorld