Monthly Archives: April 2012

Four tips to improve your listening skills

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Editor’s note: The view of this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Inside The Pew staff.

By Karen Jordan
Special to Inside The Pew

“Are you listening to me?” Has someone ever asked you that question? Or maybe that thought pierced your heart and mind, as you felt the sting of someone else ignoring or rejecting you?

Consider these four ways to improve your listening skills.

  1. Resolve to be quick to listen.Many times, people who come to us for help, just need for us to listen. James 1:19

    Karen Jordan

    offers this advice, “Understand this … You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (NLT).

  2. Decide to be available. Jesus gives us an example of a wise counselor who made Himself available to listen. “The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught” (Matthew 6:30).
  3. Desire a discerning heart. Not only does Jesus listen, He discerned the needs of others. When His disciples came to Him after their ministry tour, Jesus observes their need for solitude and rest: “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile” (ibid.).
  4. Choose to be quiet. Jesus also taught His disciples the importance of being quiet. In Matthew 11:15, Jesus asks his disciples, “Are you listening to me? Really listening? (MSG)

At times our failure to listen before responding can provoke a negative, emotional response from our loved ones or friends, who we may need our help. In fact, Proverbs 18:13 warns us, “Answering before listening is both stupid and rude” (MSG)

What can we offer others with our response, after we listen to their needs?

  • Grace, not criticism or judgment. Romans 2:4 reminds us, “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (NLT)
  • Companionship. We must encourage others to be dependent upon Jesus, not co-dependent upon us. Jesus promised His followers, “I’ll be with you … day after day after day, right up to the end of this age” (Matthew 28:20 MSG).

So, the next time someone comes to you for help, I hope you ask yourself this question first: “Are you listening … Really listening?” (Matthew 11:15)

Karen Jordanauthor, speaker, and writing instructor, writes creative nonfiction about her faith, family, and writing. She also encourages others to “tell the stories that matter most” in her writing workshops, her blog, BLESSED Legacy Stories (, and her website ( A native Texan, Karen now resides in Hot Springs Village, Ark., with her husband, Dan, near their two children and seven grandchildren.

The imploding Don Draper

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Editor’s note: The view of this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Inside The Pew staff.

By Paul Hughes
Special to Inside The Pew

It took me the better part of two seasons to realize the story of “Mad Men” was the story of the self-destructive Don Draper.

A scene from AMC's "Mad Men."

Then again, it took Draper himself at least three.

And as the bright and shining lie he’d crafted, arced and crashed at his feet — represented in real-time by his shattered marriage and the shuttering of Sterling Cooper, the ad agency where Draper had just signed a sweet employment deal — we all started to see exactly what was at stake.

It was, and is, his soul.

The 1960s kindling around him — the death of a president, race riots and Vietnam, all, in the textile of the show — Draper began to ask, especially moving into season four, Will I make it?

In the show’s fifth and final season, we will have his answer.

For more than half of the show, one couldn’t help but look at Draper (real name, Dick Whitman), and think, dude’s going down. Prideful and priapic, he bedded whomever he liked, or merely noticed, and enjoyed status as a top New York City ad man, at the birth of that industry.

But midway on his false life’s journey, Draper grew a conscience.

He began to ask questions — specifically by returning to his small post-divorce apartment to journal, instead of sleeping with the coed who, he remarked to himself, had no idea that she had no idea.

He began to let others ask questions — specifically by taking up with an educated, tough, attractive, business consultant, who encouraged his growth and refused to let him wallow in self-pity.

He began to tell the truth in advertising — for instance, by challenging the tobacco company money that helped build, and then destroy, his career to that point.

We began to think, dude might just make it.

He launched the new agency, asserted himself with his ex-wife Betty and began to build relationship with his children, culminating in an end-of-season-four trip to Southern California.

Specifically, he went to Disneyland.

In the episode called “Tomorrowland” intersected all that had come before, good and ill: the settling of accounts with Don Draper’s life there with the cartoonish view of reality, the resolution and honesty … culminating in sex with, and a hasty marriage proposal to, his secretary Megan.

You wanted to believe him, even as the clichés rolled on.

He returned to New York City surprising all but shocking none by announcing he would wed.

It’s not without reason that we think marriage can save.

But in the proposed union with a girl half his age (who looks eerily like Liv Tyler would, if she’d been born 30 years earlier) he abandoned his tough and lovely muse, Dr. Faye Miller, and crashed in esteem with his colleagues and underlings at Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce.

The one who valued him as a person, and the many who lauded him as a performer, now can’t care less.

After rising from the depths of his lies, Draper is crashing again to earth.

The brief fling with honest living seems ended.

He hasn’t journaled in ages.

So as season five begins, we still ask, Will he make it?

It’s not so much that he’s everyman. If he were, we could safely set him aside as symbol.

It’s that he could be any man, meaning the enemy could be us.

Black Americans are on the march, Southeast Asia will likely take Joan’s husband Greg and, surprisingly for television, this is not just a soap opera based at an ad agency instead of a hospital or law firm.

In this final season, Betty may stay bitter and new accounts will come and go. What we really care about, what we really want to know, is whether Don Draper will die. Or perhaps he already is and doesn’t know.

His sufferings and his salvations so far have all been of his own making.

Will it be enough?

Based on the first episode, we’d have to say no. Everyone seemed so adrift — everyone, not just Don Draper. Each shows a pettiness, a predilection, a kink, a sin.

Yet each also showed a humanity. Not that this was always entirely good, but it was … potentially hopeful.

It’s the kind of excellence in story that stands out not only for being excellent but for being so rare. “Mad Men” does this a lot. It gets us wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and maybe even prayin’.

That’s the battle, and it is ours.

That’s the story we’re to watch.

If he falls, How great will it be?

And will anyone notice?

Paul Hughes is a writer in Southern California. He edited Think and Live for, and prepared love every day from the work of a 13th century Roman Catholic Spanish mystic. Yes, really. His other books include Tebow: Throwing Stones, Burning and Bleeding, and Your Mom’s a Hypocrite. Interact with him at, through LinkedIn, on Facebook, or via Twitter.

NFL wide receiver launches clothing line to give glory to God

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Editor’s note: This story originally ran April 8, 2010. At the time, Mark Clayton was a wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens. As of April 25, 2012, Clayton is a receiver for the St. Louis Rams.

By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Mark Clayton has found faith in fashion.

With the creation of MyChristianT, Clayton said the line is here to set a new standard in the fashion world by displaying the

St. Louis Rams wide receiver Mark Clayton launched MyChristianT two years ago.

word of God through apparel. It will hopefully serve a ministering tool to nonbelievers and a daily reminder of God’s grace to believers.

The line was launched last month, the Dallas-area native and 2005 first-round draft pick of the Ravens said.

“Wear the shirt or hoodie and it allows you to be true to yourself and not be afraid to proclaim Christ,” Clayton told Inside The Pew while on location in Norman, Okla., watching a pre-NFL Draft practice held by fellow Oklahoma Sooner, quarterback Sam Bradford. “MyChristianT speak to my identity and my purpose, why I am breathing and who I am in Christ. Being a Christian is not just a list of beliefs, it’s a way of life. We understand what Christ has done for us, and we should not be ashamed of it.”

Youth and young adults (men and women) can adorn trending t-shirts, with slogans such as “Property of Jesus” and “Team A and Ω” (Alpha and Omega). The clothing, he said, allows people to look and feel good at the same time while showcasing their faith.

Clayton said he describes MCT is a cross between Ed Hardy, Affliction and Aeropostale but definitely carries its own identity and purpose.

“We are not here to sell God or conform to traditions or customs,” he said. “Nonbelievers think that being a believer is boring.

Mark Clayton

Actually, we have peace, love and joy.”

MyChristianT has a non-profit branch, MCT Ministries. Some of MCT Ministries programs include the college scholarship fund, Missionary Rewards program, Performing Arts League and the Outreach Activities Group.

“MCT believes such opportunities will not only be instrumental in helping people on their journey but will also create a divine movement of Christ followers and Christ-like leaders.”

To learn more about MyChristianT, visit

20 signs that he/she is NOT the one

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Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from “Reality Check: Relationships” by Aimee Colbert.

By Aimee Colbert
Special to Inside The Pew

Many times after a relationship is over, people wonder where things went wrong. Sometimes they wonder why they didn’t see

Aimee Colbert

the signs that their ex was not the right one for them. These thoughts can go round and round a person’s mind but without real answers, they won’t be able to avoid the same thing happening to them in the future. It’s not hard to read people. The issue here is that when someone is overtaken by the excitement of feeling in love, they often times are too distracted to notice red flags.

1. They don’t laugh at your jokes.

What you find humorous is the authentic you. When someone doesn’t laugh at what you do, it shows that you have a major difference in reasoning on a neurological level. In short, they don’t get you and when someone doesn’t get you, it’s hard for them to like you.
2. They are annoyed by what you enjoy.

You’re not going to be exactly alike and you shouldn’t be but when the person you’re with doesn’t understand what makes you happy, they won’t be able to make you happy or show support when you need it.
3. They don’t like talking to you for a long time.

Someone who isn’t really into you will not be able to endure you long term. After a while, they’ll become less and less interested in having talks with you. This is an indicator that you’re on two different pages.
4. They ignore you unless you’re doing something that they like or want you to do.

If your mate ignores you unless you’re doing what they want, giving them something they want, they’re using you. Whether they’re using you emotionally, sexually or financially, they’re using you and you’ll know by a feeling that you are being used. A person that uses you isn’t interested in your happiness and doesn’t respect you.

5. They don’t show concern when you’re hurt.

When you’re with someone who doesn’t really love you, it’s easy to see. Love is obvious. When someone loves you, they share your pain. When you hurt, they hurt. They sense when you’re hurting and they react to your pain. The rest of the signs are outlined in my book “Reality Check: Relationships.” In it, I cover many topics, ranging from questions that every person should ask before getting married to neuropsychological reasons why people enter into and endure bad relationships.

Aimee Colbert of Fort Worth is an ordained minister, author and public speaker. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @AimeeTweets4U. For more relationship content from Colbert, visit

Life is so brief, eternity is forever

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Editor’s note: The views in this column are of the author.

By Bill Ellis
Special to Inside The Pew

SCOTT DEPOT, W.V. – The biggest surprise of my life is that all of it is so very brief. The Rev. Billy Graham, speaking of

Bill Ellis

his latest book, “Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well,” is quoted as saying, “All my life I was taught how to die as a Christian, but no one ever taught me how I ought to live in the years before I die.”

We all have an appointment with death. There is an uncertainty about life, but none about death. I regularly read the obituary columns.

Some obituaries speak of hope and eternal life. Others seem to offer no hope. Abner was King Saul’s cousin and a commander in his army. At the death of Abner, King David, sang a lament in which he asked, “Should Abner die as a fool dies?” (2 Samuel 3:33).

Brief sadness comes when I read of all the things a person has done, but not one mention of that person’s relationship to God. Most discouraging are the words that come from a writer who has taken poetic license to an extreme and has a person walking heaven’s streets who left no testimony of ever having a desire to walk with God.

Many years ago, I heard a discussion among mountain men about death. One of them concluded, “As a tree falls, so shall it lie.” A person’s testimony cannot accurately be changed after death.

In the midst of the bereavement at death, there is also bright and abundant hope when a Christian dies. The Christian has hope beyond the grave. Jesus said to Martha, whose brother Lazarus had died four days earlier, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26).

A short time later there was rejoicing. Death had been conquered. Read to the end of that 11th chapter and note these events. Jesus went to the grave of Lazarus and said, “Take away the stone.” Then He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” and then Jesus said, “Loose him, and let him go.”

On March 2, Kitty and I were in Sullivan, Ill., to celebrate the life and death of Don F. Pedigo. Celebrate death? Of course, for “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” and that is the hope of every believer in Jesus Christ.

Lloyd Larson, Frank Mathis, and Mark Ellis recalled fond memories of their association with Don at Peoples Church of God in Decatur, Ill., and remembered him as I do, “a man’s man who dressed well and always wore a smile.”

As a churchman, he was involved with the music and missions of the church as was his family and as a church leader he often served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees and was able to get more done than any board chairman I have ever known. His work and service for the church was highlighted by always taking on any task as a committed, knowledgeable, concerned, and determined leader who stayed with every assignment until it was successfully completed.

Our churches and country need more men like Don Pedigo. I will always be grateful for what this good, gracious and godly man meant to me and my family and thousands of others in our nation and abroad.

Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist, and convention and conference speaker on every continent. He is the writer of more than 2,000 newspaper and magazine columns, articles and contributions to books.

A survivor’s story

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By Trenika Batiste
Special to Inside The Pew

My biggest fear is dying before I have even had the chance to live. To me, living life is not about the amount of years one ages

on Earth but about how you live each day. Did I leave my mark…did I pierce someone’s heart?  How would I be remembered and how soon will I be forgotten; those are my worrywarts.  I am seeking opportunity and not waiting for it to knock. I dream that one day my passion will provide the way for me to get paid to do what my soul desires; to write.

Stage plays, poetry, short stories, children’s books…wherever the road leads me.  The writing ability that I possess is God-given. Sometimes I impress myself.  There are moments when I read something that I have written and am in complete awe just thinking, “Where did those words come from?”  And at the same time, I’m answering… “Those words came from God.”  For He has shown me a tremendous amount of favor, in my heart I am forever grateful.  I strive to live in His presence for He knows what lies ahead of me.  He is the head of my life. I put Him first so that I am able to walk confidently, blindly without knowing what tomorrow holds.  I trust God with my life, I trust Him with my soul.  Life Goes On is a poetry book that was written to awaken today’s generation.  From a mirror’s reflection stands our only excuse.  Not everyone is the same, but if we can get everyone on the same page…it will be like the day of Pentecost in the Bible days, Life Goes On.  The following piece A Survivor’s Story is based on my aunt’s victory with breast cancer and how, with God on her side, Satan was defeated.

A Survivor’s Story

The thought came,

Call your aunty and have her to explain.

Give her an interview.


Write about what she went through.


Being obedient I picked up my phone,

Called my aunty, who happened to be at home,

Made arrangements to hear her story,

Speaking to me, there was no hurry.


The interview begins…

As she converse

From the beginning to the end.

She speaks:


I had no symptoms

And it was not a bump.

But what I felt was a lump.

Inflammation right across my chest

And here goes my test.


I was worried and stressed,

Tensed and completely distressed.

The devil attempted to instill in my mind

Not to worry because I was doing fine.

However being strong minded,

I still scheduled a doctor’s appointment.


October 31st was the analysis,

To find out the mysterious,

The unknown,

And the nameless.

The doctor had completed the biopsy, my examination.


Scared…shaking as a leaf on the tree.

It was November 2nd when he revealed the outcome to  me.


My heart was racing.

My emotions ran wild.

Doc says it’s cancerous

And it was a river that I cried.


I could’ve hit the floor.

I couldn’t take it any more.

Though my husband was with me,

I still needed spiritual support.


Stating my options,

Like a cop reading Miranda rights.

Bumpy, bump, bump, bump…my heart dropped.

Option #1

Was to remove the lump,

Option #2

Was to take the entire breast out,

Option #3

Was Chemotherapy,

My heart yet beating

Bumpy, bump, bump, bump.


Departing the hospital,

I looked up to God.

I placed this cancer in his hands.

I had to give Him my all.

I arrived at work.

I had plans to tell my boss.

I walked into his office.

But not a word came out.


For I was in denial about my state:

Me, I, Bobbie have cancer?

Words I never thought I’d say.



I just stood there…

Crying and weeping, I stood there.

Traumatized and disturbed, I stood there.

Lost and broken, I stayed there

Just emotional.


Finally I settled down

And told them what I had just found out.

Understanding, Sympathetic,

Concerned and Compassionate,

To leave or to stay…it was my alternative.


Not giving Satan the victory,

I decided to stay.

And everyone I saw…I told them to pray.


Pray for me…regardless of your age.

Pray for me…I don’t care about your race.

Pray for me… if you can pray.

Pray for me…because I need your prayers.


November 8,

Marked my surgery date.

Family and friends filled the hospital with their presents.

Under the knife,

I knew they were praying.


Hours later…

The doctor gave an update.

My lymph nodes were fine;

The cancer did not spread.


Taking Chemotherapy every 3 weeks for 3 months,

I lost my hair.

I craved certain things;

Other things I couldn’t eat… all apart of Chemotherapy.


But through it all God kept me.

I made it through.

Now I can tell it.


Small things are worth losing

In order to maintain

Or to remain living.

Which is the big picture!

So take my hair!

Take my breast!


I don’t care!

I’m still here!


This clock has not stopped clicking.

Ima still a ticking.

I ain’t worried about Duracell

Because I have Jesus cells in me.

My husband didn’t leave me

In spite of what chemo did me.

I’m still blessed.

And I’m still among the living.

I’m a survivor !

I’m a survivor!

I’m a survivor!

Do you hear me?


Trenika L. Batiste is a motivational speaker and author of “Life Goes On: Collected Book of Poems.” The Amite, La., resident is founder of Trenika Batiste Productions. Contact her at

Watergate figure, Christian leader Chuck Colson dies

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By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

LANDSDOWNE, Va.Evangelical Christianity has lost one of its most eloquent and influential voices with the death of

Charles W. “Chuck” Colson. The Prison Fellowship and Colson Center for Christian Worldview founder died April 21 from complications resulting from a brain hemorrhage. Colson was 80.

According to a statement on the Prison Fellowship website, Colson was a “Watergate figure who emerged from the country’s worst political scandal, a vocal Christian leader and a champion for prison ministry.”

Colson spent the last years of his life in the dual role of leading Prison Fellowship, the world’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families, and the Colson Center, a teaching and training center focused on Christian worldview thought and application.

Colson was speaking at a Colson Center conference when he was overcome by dizziness. Quickly surrounded by friends and staff, Colson was sent to the Fairfax Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia. On March 31, he underwent two hours of surgery to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain.

At times, Chuck showed encouraging indicators of a possible recovery, but his health took a decided turn, and he went to be with the Lord.

“His wife, Patty, and the family were with him in the last moments before he entered eternity,” said the Prison Fellowship statement.

Revered by his friends and supporters, Colson won the respect of those who disagreed with his religious and political views thanks to his tireless work on behalf of prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families. Colson maintained that the greatest joy in life for him was to see those “living monuments” to God’s grace: Prisoners transformed by the love of Jesus Christ.

And thanks to the work of Colson and Prison Fellowship volunteers across the country, there are thousands of those living monuments among us today.

Colson’s autobiography, “Born Again,” first published in 1976, sold millions of copies over the years and in 1978 was later made into a movie starring Dean Jones as Colson.

In 1993, he was awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize, worth more than $1 million, which is given each year to the person who has done the most to advance the cause of religion.

The Colson family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Charles Colson Legacy Fund. Condolence cards may be sent to Prison Fellowship Ministries, 44180 Riverside Parkway, Lansdowne, VA 20176.

For more information, and to offer thoughts and condolences to the Colson family, please visit

‘A Community Cooks’ slated for April 19 at Paul Quinn College

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Special to Inside The Pew

DALLAS – As the sun sets on April 19, a selection of Dallas’ top executive chefs will step away from the kitchen to prepare their signature culinary creations between the rows of strawberries, mint and arugula on Paul Quinn College’s organic farm. Feast between the budding sprouts of cantaloupe and sweet potatoes as live music sets the stage for a great night of partying beneath the stars.

“A Community Cooks” celebrates the farm’s accomplishments and raises resources to help expand the farm’s ability to combat the food desert surrounding Paul Quinn College. The farm brings healthy food to the neighborhood by donating a minimum of 10 percent of all items grown to those in need.

At 5 p.m., join the college for a special ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the farm’s expansion. Thanks to the contributions of the Associate Leadership Council of the Real Estate Council of Dallas, the farm will now feature a greenhouse, solar lights, and an irrigation system. Those attending “A Community Cooks” will be among the first to witness the improvements.

Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, the former commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services and current vice president and chief medical officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, will be the slated guest speaker. Sanchez is a leader in the fight to reduce food deserts and also stresses the link between the lack of access to healthy, affordable foods, and chronic diseases.

Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at

Participating chefs include Jeff Harris from Bolsa; Matt Balke from Bolsa Mercado; Janice Provost and Chad Houser from Parigi; Tim Bevins from Craft;  Tre Wilcox of Marquee; Jason Maddy from Oak; Matt McCallister from FT33; Jon Stevens from Nosh; Randall Copeland from Ava; Central 214’s Graham Dodds; the Dallas Cowboys’  Orazio La Manna; and Brent Hammer from Hibiscus.

Dan Reeves to receive Tom Landry Award at FCA benefit dinner

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By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

Former NFL head coach and NFL player Dan Reeves will receive the Tom Landry Excellence of Character Award during a dinner benefiting Greater Dallas Fellowship of Christian Athletes on April 22.

The dinner and program are slated to begin at 6 p.m. at the Westin Stonebriar Resort, 1549 Legacy Drive, in Frisco.

Dan Reeves

Reeves, who played and coached under Landry’s Cowboys, coached the Denver Broncos for 12 seasons, the New York Giants for three, and the Atlanta Falcons for seven. As head coach of the Broncos, Reeves took the team to six post-season appearances, five divisional titles, three AFC championships, and Super Bowls XXI, XXII, and XXIV. He led the Falcons to Super Bowl XXXIII where Atlanta lost to his former team, the Broncos, 34-19.

“This special evening will include a Q&A panel with Dallas Cowboy tight end, Jason Witten, as well as Cowboys tight ends coach John Garrett,” said Rick Bowles, FCA executive director, Dallas. “Also, Benjamin Utecht, formerly of the Indianapolis Colts, will provide the music. This is a favorite of many athletes and one of Dallas’ best events of the year.”

Former past recipients of the honor include Bobby Bowden, Pat Williams, S. Truett Cathy, Roger Staubach, Kenneth Cooper, James and Shirley Dobson, Howard Hendricks, coach Grant Teaff, the Rev. Billy Graham, and coach Jim Myers.

A silent and live auction with one-of-a-kind items up for bid include a cruise with Michael W. Smith, major trips, sports packages and autographed memorabilia.

To purchase tickets for the event, visit or call 214-739-8003.

Dallas pastor makes difference in immigrants’ lives

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Editor’s note: Archive story from August 3, 2009

By Alejandra Suarez
Inside The Pew

DALLAS – Pastor Owen K. Ross preaches at the Spanish-speaking Christ’s Foundry of the United Methodist Church, a

ministry determined to help immigrants from their everyday lives from politics to spirituality.

With a background in the areas of Latin American studies and political science, Ross said he combines his seminary training

Owen Ross, right, is pastor of Christ's Foundry in Dallas.

with his educational experience to lead Christ’s Foundry.

He said the ministry explores political and economic ramifications that can have an impact on the lives of immigrants who are new to the United States. Christ’s Foundry also tries to educate former U.S. immigrants of the importance of their voting rights and voting participation.

Ross said he learned Spanish through his travels and studying in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. He also served on Peace Corps in Ecuador where he really got exposure to the culture and language which has helped him in his pastoral duties at the Foundry of the United Methodist Church.

Ross said he recalls how a recent trip to Africa motivated him to think about immigration as an ancient and global issue. This idea triggered the theme for his next service which was the association of human immigration and forgiveness.

The ministry holds an all-Spanish worship service Sunday morning 11:30 at Walnut Hill United Methodist Church, north of Walnut Hill and Marsh Lane and at 6 p.m. at its new mission at 3363 Park Lane in Dallas.

“I preached on how I realized immigrants from South Africa’s struggle is parallel to the struggle of immigrants here in the U.S.,” Ross said. “Paul talks about the persecuted Christians and how He prays for them. I found the theme of forgiveness and I related it to my sermon.”

The Christ’s Foundry of the United Methodist Church has several ministries that range from a worker’s association to peer groups. The ministry is dedicated to help members of the community to find work.

“We assist people by connecting with others,” Ross said. “It is a dual ministry. We help them get work in the community, work such as remodeling, cleaning services, painting.”

Ross’ congregation outsources deals with other churches, and they commit to employ people within the community.

In addition, he said the foundry is working on getting funding for ongoing English classes for immigrants who have just moved to the U.S.

Christ’s Foundry, he said, is holistic, meaning its purpose is to help build the person in several areas.

“We intend the ministry to aim to the spiritual being and to the people’s needs,” Ross said.

For more information about Christ’s Foundry of the United Methodist Church, visit