Ethnicity/Immigrant Experience class blog #2

Native Americans Used to Call it “white people.”

Facebook is a funny way to make huge statements.  When my friends join groups like “I bet I can get 1,000,000 to ______” I almost always wince.  A real life friend got me thinking about how these sorts of things are really effective for advertisers to mine huge groups of people, which is kind of creepy.

However, sometimes my friends “like” a statement that tickles me.  One interesting statement lately is “Illegal immigration is not a new problem, Native Americans used to call it ‘White People’.”  This is kind of clever.  I love the kind of thinking that this idea can get us doing and maybe even good discussion.  It immediately reminded me of the t-shirts worn of the Gary Ballard design featuring a picture of great Chiricahua Apache leader Geronimo and company in 1886 with the caption “Homeland Security-Fighting Terrorism Since 1492.”


I have a problem with the statement about so-called white people causing an immigration problem with the Natives.  I think the Europeans indeed caused problems, but they were not immigrants for a long time.  Groundwork was laid to come and to dominate, not to integrate, with a few notable exceptions such as the Roanoke Colony in Virginia (now North Carolina).  Immigration started when Europeans had effectively controlled enough natural resources and developed a common identity away from their countries of origin.  By that point in time, most Native Americans didn’t have a ton of input into the process.

It is wise for us when thinking about immigration in the United States to keep in our frontal lobes some people movements in the past 500 years rather than the past few decades.

psalters spring 09 update

this is a cross post with the new handsome Circle Venture blog.

For psalters Jay Beck & Scotty Krueger, creating a working Philadelphia headquarters has been a challenge.  They spent the better part of the last five years living on a converted veggie oil-powered school bus with the rest of psalters travelling around, leading worship, leading seminars, and experimenting with Exodus.   Some of those travels were international, most recently Jay & Scotty attended the World Christian Gathering of Indigenous People in Israel & Palestine.   Christians from around the world gathered to worship in their traditional cultural styles of music, dance, and dress…it was a great time to learn and network and visit friends and various sites in the Jerusalem area.

Inspired not only to compose new psalms that bring together both worship and social justice, psalters are in the process of developing the Croatan Training Center & Studio located at 2007 Frankford Ave, the same building as our Frankford & Norris congregation meets.  Jay has already taught a series of West African Drumming classes so dozens of people got a taste of how transforming and fun it can be to learn.  The studio will not only be a place for psalters to practice and record, but also a resource to make connections with other musicians and friends.  The Training Center aspect will feature a library of cultural and theological books and videos as well as various classes and workshops by our team as well as other musicians from Philadelphia and around the world.  More from Jay on Croatan Training Center & Studio here.

The team has also been commissioned to compose and perform the music for a new play by Director Lear Debessonet and Playwright Lucy Thuber called Quixote.  “A site-specific performance based on Cervantes’ classic tale ‘Don Quixote’…this production re-imagines the intersection of art and its community” (from  It will run in Philadelphia this Spring, and perhaps NYC this fall.

The team continues to participate in local worship teams for Circle of Hope (including a special 9pm worship time at 1125 S. Broad St on March 22), as well as other local performances, seminars, and worship times.   This summer may feature a short tour in mid June that includes the Ichthus Festival in KY.

Circle of hope, croatan,  croatan training center,  ichthus festival,  israel,  lear debessonet,  lucy thuber,  palestine,  philadelphia,  psalters,  quixote, stillpointproductions,  wcgip world christian gathering of indegenous people