spf.io https://www.spf.io Make your event accessible in any language Fri, 15 Nov 2019 03:52:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://www.spf.io/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/cropped-spfio-icon-512x512-32x32.png spf.io https://www.spf.io 32 32 Need a Conference Translation App? Why the Web Might be Better. https://www.spf.io/2019/10/22/conference-translation-app-web-better/ Tue, 22 Oct 2019 23:19:52 +0000 https://www.spf.io/?p=55241 The post Need a Conference Translation App? Why the Web Might be Better. appeared first on spf.io.

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If you’re reading this, you’ve probably concluded that your conference translation needs can best be met by software, not expensive hardware. What many don’t realize is that a conference translation app isn’t the only option. In fact, most conferences may find web-based translation to be more convenient and affordable.

Both approaches deliver simultaneous translation to attendees’ phones or other devices. However, apps must be installed before use, causing an annoying hassle for attendees. Some may forget their app store passwords, creating last-minute barriers to accessing translation. They may also need to update their app before it can work, creating delays. And attendees don’t like filling up their phone with apps they only use once.

Why the Web Might be Better

A web-based conference translation system offers the same benefits of a conference translation app with half the hassle. The set-up is far simpler: rather than downloading an app in advance, attendees simply follow a link or scan a QR code off a program or projector screen. This is equally accessible across all devices – phones, tablets, and laptops. Of course, there are some limitations: reliable internet access is necessary, and there may be some browser requirements  like using Chrome on Android or Safari on iOS. But in most cases, bypassing apps and going straight to the web will reduce stress for conference organizers and attendees alike.

Of course, whether web or app, software-based translation systems have clear advantages over hardware. Hardware complicates the already stressful logistics of running an event. Unlike software, clunky headsets must be transported to the venue and handed out to attendees by volunteers or staff. And in a busy conference, the last thing you need is for an expensive headset to end up missing or for a cheap one to break.

Web translation also creates a level of flexibility that hardware can’t match. With the web, you can hire an offsite interpreter. In fact, you could even livestream and translate your event to an audience from anywhere on the globe (no need to set up booths). Real-time analytics help you respond to user issues and gain insight for future needs and growth. Perhaps most importantly, software easily scales up to meet a growing audience—you can scale from 1 to 1000 with minimal lead time. With headsets you’re stuck with what you ordered.

How spf.io Can Help

If you’re considering web translation software for your conference, check out spf.io. Spf.io gives you a range of tools to meet your conference translation needs.

First, spf.io can livestream spoken translation from your interpreter to the audience members who need it. Since this uses the web and the attendees’ phones, there’s no need for expensive equipment, and your interpreter can be anywhere in the world.

If you don’t have an interpreter available for a language, spf.io also has you covered. Spf.io’s AI-assisted captioning feature produces captions in real time, which are automatically translated into any of over 60 languages. Attendees select the language of their choice and get the subtitles on their phones as they are generated. Trained operators can be requested through spf.io’s portal to increase the quality of captions and translation. You can also upload prepared materials like slides or a script and translate them in advance.

Spf.io isn’t just a conference translation system: it’s also an accessibility tool. Its captions make conferences more accessible to the Deaf or hard-of-hearing. And you can also use it to help with visual accessibility by providing slides on attendees’ devices, or by streaming audio description of the event.

With spf.io, you can achieve both your inclusivity and accessibility goals, meeting your audience’s unique needs with a convenient web-based solution.

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How can we help you? Contact us to request a quote or learn more about spf.io.

One Misconception About Translation in Churches

One Misconception About Translation in Churches

Transformation is hard work. And sometimes it’s the simple misconceptions that get in the way.For example, why do you think translation is important?You might say that we can’t understand and include people who speak other languages without it. Or that without it, we...

read more
Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

This multilingual song is available under an open license. This means you can freely use this song for worship in church. If you want to contribute a singable translation under an open license, feel free to do so and send it to us so we can share it. We currently have...

read more

The post Need a Conference Translation App? Why the Web Might be Better. appeared first on spf.io.

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One Misconception About Translation in Churches https://www.spf.io/2019/07/04/one-misconception-about-translation-in-churches/ Thu, 04 Jul 2019 01:23:16 +0000 https://spf.io/?p=54965 The post One Misconception About Translation in Churches appeared first on spf.io.

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Transformation is hard work. And sometimes it’s the simple misconceptions that get in the way.

For example, why do you think translation is important?

You might say that we can’t understand and include people who speak other languages without it. Or that without it, we would perpetuate the segregated status quo in many of our churches. 

Those sound like good reasons to care. So what’s the misconception?

It’s that translation is only about accommodation. If everyone could speak English, we wouldn’t need it.

This past Pentecost, I discovered that the opposite is true. 

Even if everyone can speak and understand English, we still need translation.

Here’s why.

A picture of people in a church facing a stage with diverse people on it about to sing a song in many languages

Our Pentecost worship service included Scripture reading in American Sign Language and preaching in Indonesian to an audience of primarily English speakers. We also sang a worship song in 5 languages, led by people from the stage who use those languages regularly.

After the service, we received amazing feedback from people who were moved by experiencing a foretaste of God’s dream. 

We’ll share more in the coming weeks, but one comment that stood out was from a French-speaking member of our church:

“I love Union, it’s been my church family for a long time. But this Sunday was the first time I felt like my whole self was welcomed here.”

Using other languages in worship showed that we aren’t an English-only church that requires her to hide her French culture and language to belong. In fact, the French part of her identity is essential to our identity as a Christian community–one united by faith in Jesus rather than culture. Since she’s a member of our family, our family is part French!

And that new identity changes everything.

Instead of a top-down approach to diversity, we discover that God is filling our churches with people from diverse backgrounds, interests, languages and cultures that formerly couldn’t be shared. Translation enables our communities to fully live into who we are and to truly welcome people for who they are.

Translation is not just about accommodation, it’s about identity.

Identity and action go hand in hand, but oftentimes it’s a new identity that results in renewed action.

What would change in your community if you not only identified the diversity that exists, but brought it on stage with translation and invited people to share more of who they are with everyone else?

In the coming weeks, we’ll dive deep into practical and powerful ways you can do this and make progress on the transformational journey.

P.S. Check out our recently launched spf.io speaker view that makes written sermons more accessible for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

One Misconception About Translation in Churches

One Misconception About Translation in Churches

Transformation is hard work. And sometimes it’s the simple misconceptions that get in the way.For example, why do you think translation is important?You might say that we can’t understand and include people who speak other languages without it. Or that without it, we...

read more
Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

This multilingual song is available under an open license. This means you can freely use this song for worship in church. If you want to contribute a singable translation under an open license, feel free to do so and send it to us so we can share it. We currently have...

read more

The post One Misconception About Translation in Churches appeared first on spf.io.

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Speaker View – Control your manuscript with spf.io https://www.spf.io/2019/06/28/speaker-view/ Fri, 28 Jun 2019 20:28:13 +0000 https://spf.io/?p=54946 The post Speaker View – Control your manuscript with spf.io appeared first on spf.io.

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What is the speaker view?

Control your manuscript and seamlessly show translations/captions to your audience on their mobile devices and on projector screens. Use the speaker view with a tablet and optional bluetooth clicker (affiliate link) to release captions/translation line-by-line as you speak.

This gives you freedom of motion and better eye contact with your audience. Coupled with a beautiful dark mode and adjustable font size, manuscript speakers finally have an experience that’s better than paper.

Instructions

  1. Create a new session and assign the manuscript and any other prepared content to it.
  2. On the speaker’s tablet, log into spf.io and click on the “Speaker view” button for the session to open the speaker view.
  3. If you plan for your audience to view the text on the projector screen, set up the projector view to display the text. Click here to learn how. 
  4. To control the release of lines, tap on the “>” arrow to release the next line. OR connect a bluetooth clicker to the tablet (follow your device’s instructions on how to do this). Then test the clicker to ensure it works as expected.

Common issue: If the first entry in an assigned playlist does not have a document, an error appears saying that no document is available. To get around this, click on the dropdown arrow next to the title of the first entry and select the entry that does have a document assigned to it. 

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Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ https://www.spf.io/2019/05/17/multilingual-song-we-are-the-body-of-christ/ Fri, 17 May 2019 03:45:23 +0000 https://spf.io/?p=54790 The post Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ appeared first on spf.io.

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This multilingual song is available under an open license. This means you can freely use this song for worship in church. If you want to contribute a singable translation under an open license, feel free to do so and send it to us so we can share it.

We currently have lyrics in:

English, French, Indonesian, Spanish, Japanese, German, Hebrew, and Arabic.

English lyrics and sample recordings in English, Indonesian, Spanish, and Arabic are on this page to help you learn the song. There are translations of more languages in the free download pack. Want to get the full pack? Subscribe in the form below.

We Are the Body of Christ

Written by Tiffany Borbon and Chris Lim

 

Verse 1:
We come to You laying our sin at Your feet
Begging for mercy and grace
Selfish ambition and vain conceit
Have clouded our eyes from Your ways

Chorus 1:
Let us love just as You have loved us
Let us live as the children of God
Let us worship You with one accord
For we are the body of Christ

Verse 2:

We come to You thankful for what You’ve done
For giving Your flesh and Your blood
By faith we receive it, You make us one
United in spirit and love

Sing Chorus 1

Chorus 2:

We rejoice and we suffer as one
Lives laid down for Your daughters and sons
In the hope of Your kingdom
We are the body of Christ

Chorus 1 and Chorus 2 can be sung together at the same time.

This post is part of a series for Project Pentecost, a movement of people and churches striving to reflect the diversity of God’s kingdom in churches today. Join below to get resources to help you in the journey like a free Pentecost video for use in worship, an open-licensed multilingual worship song and more.

Subscribe to get the FREE multilingual lyrics and chords. 

One Misconception About Translation in Churches

One Misconception About Translation in Churches

Transformation is hard work. And sometimes it’s the simple misconceptions that get in the way.For example, why do you think translation is important?You might say that we can’t understand and include people who speak other languages without it. Or that without it, we...

read more
Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

This multilingual song is available under an open license. This means you can freely use this song for worship in church. If you want to contribute a singable translation under an open license, feel free to do so and send it to us so we can share it. We currently have...

read more

The post Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ appeared first on spf.io.

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How do I deal with culture clash? https://www.spf.io/2019/05/14/how-do-i-deal-with-culture-clash/ Tue, 14 May 2019 23:51:35 +0000 https://spf.io/?p=54338 Although the apostles and elders protected the gospel from being collapsed into a false one of cultural conformance, they still faced a very practical issue.

After generations of strict Jewish separation from Gentiles, how could these new “Christ communities” worship together?

Could God’s diverse people live as one when some subgroups found the practices of others offensive? Could outsiders accept the people who formerly looked down on them?

The post How do I deal with culture clash? appeared first on spf.io.

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One surprising thing about Paul’s letter to the Romans is that it ends with a theological strategy for multicultural ministry.

Many in the early church thought the Gentiles who believed in Jesus for forgiveness had to become Jews. Paul fiercely and repeatedly defended the gospel by making it clear that you don’t have to become a Jew to be saved.

Faith in Jesus Christ is the sole basis for inheriting the promises of God by grace rather than works of the law (which defined who was a Jew and who was not).

But this was only half the battle.

Although the apostles and elders protected the gospel from being collapsed into a false one of cultural conformance, they still faced a very practical issue.

After generations of strict Jewish separation from Gentiles, how could these new “Christ communities” worship together?

Could God’s diverse people live as one when some subgroups found the practices of others offensive? Could outsiders accept the people who formerly looked down on them?

In a letter to the Gentile churches, these leaders wrote:

It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food  sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. (Acts 15:28-29 NIV)

In order to preserve both the truth of the gospel AND the unity of the Spirit, they asked believers to avoid offensive practices and minimize cultural friction.

How the “weak” and “strong” can live together

Since the Holy Spirit is already baptizing unexpectedly diverse people into Christ, we follow the Spirit by foregoing our rights and preferences to make space for others.

Paul explains how this works in Romans 14 and 15 by drawing out the nuances of “weak” and “strong” believers and how each should behave towards the other.

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. (Romans 14:1-4 NIV)

Each person is permitted to honor God according to their own cultural conventions and personal convictions. And since each person is accountable to God for their own behavior, members of the body must stop judging and looking down on one another.

The only way “weak” and “strong” believers can live together as God intended is by accommodating one another in love instead of judging each other.

This inversion of preference is nothing less than the imitation of Christ. It is the way we become disciples of Jesus who consider others more significant than ourselves.

The Kind of Diversity That Glorifies God

In Romans 15:1-7 (NIV), Paul continues:

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

 

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

God’s glory is displayed when diverse members of the body of Christ adopt the attitude of Christ towards one another and accept each other wholeheartedly.

Has Christ forced you to become a Jew like him or to become an itinerant prophet like him or to become poor like him?

No, Christ welcomes you as you are. The transformation he works in you isn’t a change in cultural preferences, values or habits. It is a change of nature, being, character, purpose, and destiny.

And how did Christ do it?

By becoming a servant, by humbling himself and becoming the lowest, fulfilling the Scriptures through dying on a Cross and opening the way for Jews and Gentiles–people from every tribe, tongue and nation–to become one new humanity in him.

When this vision and mindset pervades your community, diversity automatically happens. The details will vary, but the structure is the same.

The Holy Spirit leads the way, using us to welcome people very different from us into Christ. And as this mindset spreads, it creates diverse communities that glorifies God–the kind of communities worth belonging to.

Discussion Questions

  1. What kinds of cultural practices are barriers to diversity in your community? In what ways would they be considered offensive versus simply inconvenient?
  2. What are the ways “weak” and “strong” believers hurt each other in your community? What would it look like to put each other’s interests before their own?
  3. How have you seen God give you and people in your community the attitude of Christ and what has been the fruit?

Resources

  1. Pentecost Sunday worship resources
  2. The Color of Church by Rodney Woo*
  3. The Next Worship by Sandra Maria Van Opstal*
  4. Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church by Soong-Chan Rah*
  5. Divided by Faith by Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith*

* Note: affiliate links

This post is part of a series for Project Pentecost, a movement of people and churches striving to reflect the diversity of God’s kingdom in churches today. Join below to get resources to help you in the journey like a free Pentecost video for use in worship, an open-licensed multilingual worship song and more.

Subscribe to get updates and church resources in preparation for Pentecost.

What's your role in your church?
One Misconception About Translation in Churches

One Misconception About Translation in Churches

Transformation is hard work. And sometimes it’s the simple misconceptions that get in the way.For example, why do you think translation is important?You might say that we can’t understand and include people who speak other languages without it. Or that without it, we...

read more
Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

This multilingual song is available under an open license. This means you can freely use this song for worship in church. If you want to contribute a singable translation under an open license, feel free to do so and send it to us so we can share it. We currently have...

read more

The post How do I deal with culture clash? appeared first on spf.io.

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Pentecost Sunday Worship Resources https://www.spf.io/2019/05/08/pentecost-sunday-worship-resources/ Wed, 08 May 2019 23:24:51 +0000 https://spf.io/?p=54714 Want to create a special Pentecost Sunday worship service this year? To help inspire you, we’ve compiled a list of available worship resources to help you create an amazing Pentecost Sunday.

The post Pentecost Sunday Worship Resources appeared first on spf.io.

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Want to create a special Pentecost Sunday worship service this year? To help inspire you, we’ve compiled a list of available worship resources to help you create an amazing Pentecost Sunday.

Different traditions vary in their liturgical calendar and what existing resources are available. The purpose of this post is to inspire creativity in your church to celebrate Pentecost in a unique and special way.

Liturgy Resources

The liturgies available include scripture references and prayers. Some of these resources also include call-and-response resources.

Music

Songs sung in worship help to commemorate the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and the unleashing of the gospel to all nations. Imagine how amazing it would be to mark the occasion with a multilingual worship song! There are a number of resources available to help if you have never tried something like this before. We’ve also included English-centric resources too.

Decorations/Activities

Here are some easy arts and craft activities to include the kids and families in the celebration. These are great ways to introduce the story of Pentecost to the next generation, as well as a way to incorporate fun colors and art for the whole church to enjoy.  

These are just some resources and ideas to help you get started. Do you have other ideas that aren’t listed here? Share them with us on the Project Pentecost Facebook page!

This post is written for Project Pentecost, a movement of people and churches striving to reflect the diversity of God’s kingdom in churches today.

Subscribe to get updates and church resources in preparation for Pentecost.

What's your role in your church?
One Misconception About Translation in Churches

One Misconception About Translation in Churches

Transformation is hard work. And sometimes it’s the simple misconceptions that get in the way.For example, why do you think translation is important?You might say that we can’t understand and include people who speak other languages without it. Or that without it, we...

read more
Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

This multilingual song is available under an open license. This means you can freely use this song for worship in church. If you want to contribute a singable translation under an open license, feel free to do so and send it to us so we can share it. We currently have...

read more

The post Pentecost Sunday Worship Resources appeared first on spf.io.

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My church isn’t very diverse. Now what? https://www.spf.io/2019/05/06/my-church-isnt-very-diverse-now-what/ Mon, 06 May 2019 19:10:28 +0000 https://spf.io/?p=54308 You’re convinced that your church has a diversity problem. You believe it’s a nonnegotiable gospel issue and have seen the data about your neighborhood. Now what?

It’s tempting to jump immediately into creating a strategic plan or to start scheduling coffee with people, but maybe the first step is to wait instead of act.

The post My church isn’t very diverse. Now what? appeared first on spf.io.

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You’re convinced that your church has a diversity problem. You believe it’s a nonnegotiable gospel issue and have seen the data about your neighborhood.

Now what?

It’s tempting to jump straight into creating a strategic plan or to start scheduling coffee with people, but maybe the first step is to wait instead of act.

Why?

Jesus’ command to his disciples before he ascended was:

Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:4-5, 8 NIV)

The disciples obeyed the command to wait.

Then on the day of Pentecost (50 days after Jesus’ resurrection), they received the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues that thousands of people from fifteen nations heard in their native language, three thousand of whom believed in Jesus as a result. The world was turned upside down in an instant and the rest is history.

Likewise, the multilingual church today can only be powered by God’s Spirit. Human efforts alone will not produce the fruit that God desires for the Church.

So if you’re convinced God wants your church to reflect the diversity of the Kingdom, do invite others to join you, but not for coffee to bounce around ideas and cast vision. Instead, invite others to join you in serious prayer.

Ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and let your gathering discern what God wants you to do.

Building in Endurance from Day One

Transforming into a multilingual church is an overwhelming task.

There are attitudes that need to be unlearned and skills that need to be gained to build and sustain trust. There are logistical, political and financial issues that need to be addressed.

But the most difficult work turns out to be the spiritual (and communal) work of obeying Jesus’ command to love one another across language and cultural barriers for the long haul.

If our hearts have not been humbled and prepared for the arduous task ahead, we will give up and leave before getting to taste the fruit. If leaders rely on their strengths and ideas to bring about change instead of following the Spirit, they may find themselves burnt out and frustrated by the seeming futility of their efforts.

It cannot be overstated: just as diversity in the local church is a nonnegotiable gospel goal, the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit is the nonnegotiable means. Wait until you have it.

Conclusion: Something More Excellent Than Tongues

If we’re not pursuing Jesus’ command to love one another (including people very different than us), we’re just playing church. But if we try to do it apart from the Holy Spirit’s power, we’ll end up misguided, frustrated and embittered.

On the other hand, when the Spirit empowers us to joyfully learn to serve and love one another sacrificially, we will display something even more excellent than the gift of tongues: the love of God in a community of diverse Christ-followers that anyone in the world can experience for themselves.

So perhaps, as Jesus’ early disciples show us, the place to start is by waiting on the Lord in serious, communal prayer.

Discussion Questions

  1. Who can pray with you about God’s desire for your church to reflect the diversity of the Kingdom?
  2. Are there people of other ethnicities, cultures and languages you could invite to pray with you?
  3. After taking time to pray together (preferably twice), what do you think the Lord is leading your community to do?

This post is part of a series for Project Pentecost, a movement of people and churches striving to reflect the diversity of God’s kingdom in churches today. Join below to get resources to help you in the journey like a free Pentecost video for use in worship, an open-licensed multilingual worship song and more.

Subscribe to get updates and church resources in preparation for Pentecost.

What's your role in your church?
One Misconception About Translation in Churches

One Misconception About Translation in Churches

Transformation is hard work. And sometimes it’s the simple misconceptions that get in the way.For example, why do you think translation is important?You might say that we can’t understand and include people who speak other languages without it. Or that without it, we...

read more
Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

This multilingual song is available under an open license. This means you can freely use this song for worship in church. If you want to contribute a singable translation under an open license, feel free to do so and send it to us so we can share it. We currently have...

read more

The post My church isn’t very diverse. Now what? appeared first on spf.io.

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Who is your neighbor? One easy tool to find out. https://www.spf.io/2019/05/02/neighborhood-diversity-tool/ Thu, 02 May 2019 23:04:37 +0000 https://spf.io/?p=54532 Who is your neighbor?
Do you know who lives in your neighborhood?

It’s easy to follow your routine and see the same people day in and day out without really knowing the diverse people that call your city home.

In this article, we’ll teach you how to use Statistical Atlas and US Census data to research your neighborhood.

The post Who is your neighbor? One easy tool to find out. appeared first on spf.io.

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Who is your neighbor?

Do you know who lives in your neighborhood?

It’s easy to follow your routine and see the same people day in and day out without really knowing the diverse people that call your city home.

In this article, we’ll teach you how to use Statistical Atlas and US Census data to research your neighborhood.

Note: This article is focused on the US Census. Information on other areas may be available through regional government websites.

How to Discover Who Is In Your Neighborhood

Statistical Atlas has different demographics data like age, sex, race, and marital status. Here’s how to use it:

1. Go to https://statisticalatlas.com

Screenshot of Statistical Atlas website

2. A clickable map of the US appears, click on the state that you’re interested in.

Screenshot of Statistical Atlas website - Washington state

3. Click on your metropolitan area. You can continue to select a specific city, or begin looking at the demographic data available through the menu on the right hand side.

Screenshot of Statistical Atlas - demographics menu

4. Browse the different charts and topics to learn about your region.

For example, when searching for Seattle, I discovered that it’s a population size of 3.67 million.

Screenshot of chart with Relative Race and Ethnicity for Seattle, WA

Seattle has 4.6% more Asian people than the rest of Washington state.

Chart showing Relative Educational Attainment for Seattle, WA

Seattle has 13.8% more second-degree educated people than the rest of Washington

5. To find out what languages are spoken in your area, click on “Languages” in the right-side menu. You may need to generalize the search to the county or state to get data.

Screenshot of selecting a more general region in Statistical Atlas

For example, when searching for Seattle, I have to generalize my search to the state of Washington.

6. The results will show the language breakdown and the percentages in a chart. Now you know the language diversity in your area. Take note of the top 5 languages.

Chart of languages spoken at home in Washington state

I see that there are many Spanish speakers in my area with the next top four languages being Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Tagalog, and Korean.

7. Scroll down to the next chart which is titled “Speaking English ‘Very Well’”. This chart identifies which language groups have greater needs for translation. Certain language groups have higher English literacy rates, so their need for English translation is less than that of other groups.

Chart of Language Groups that rate for speaking English well versus less than well in Washington

I see that the language groups that have the greatest need for translation are Vietnamese, Korean, Other Asian, Chinese, and Khmer.

8. Compare the results from step 7 with those from step 6.

In this example, we see that Vietnamese and Korean rank high on both lists. This means translation efforts focused on Vietnamese and Korean can be very impactful for this community. On the flip side communities with higher English literacy still have translation needs, but may be easier to serve because more people in the community may be able to help.

9. How do you connect with people who speak these languages? One way is to find related non-profits in your area with a tool called Melissa.com. After entering your zip code, you can find a list of non-profits and find the ones that are related to the ethnic or language group you want to connect with.

Melissa.com screenshot showing zip code results for non-profits

Next Steps

These tools are not the only way to identify who is in your community, but they are a great way to start.

Here are additional questions you can think through:

1. In my daily routines, do I interact and have a relationship with people that speak these languages? If not, who do I interact with?

2. Who in my existing social circle is a part of or has a connection with these language groups?

3. What organizations work with these groups? Where do these language groups meet, relax, eat, and live?

4. How might I develop relationships within these communities?

If you wish to build deeper connections with these diverse people groups, another practical exercise is to identify the upcoming cultural holidays and look for public events celebrating the occasion.

Local government, or community websites like Nextdoor or Meetup are a starting place to search for these events. (Tip: search for language learning groups too!)

Some events may not have an online presence, so it’s a good idea to also search through other places like local newspapers and bulletin boards. And of course the next time a friend invites you to a cultural event, make it a priority to go!

There are lots of opportunities to get connected and build connections with people different from you–hopefully these ideas and tools help you get started on the journey.

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One Misconception About Translation in Churches

One Misconception About Translation in Churches

Transformation is hard work. And sometimes it’s the simple misconceptions that get in the way.For example, why do you think translation is important?You might say that we can’t understand and include people who speak other languages without it. Or that without it, we...

read more
Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

This multilingual song is available under an open license. This means you can freely use this song for worship in church. If you want to contribute a singable translation under an open license, feel free to do so and send it to us so we can share it. We currently have...

read more

The post Who is your neighbor? One easy tool to find out. appeared first on spf.io.

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Is diversity a gospel issue? https://www.spf.io/2019/04/29/is-diversity-a-gospel-issue/ Mon, 29 Apr 2019 18:58:06 +0000 https://spf.io/?p=54220 There is a disconnect between pastors and their congregations. While diversity may be important to church leaders, it would seem that many churchgoers want the segregated status quo.

Is this disconnect between church leaders and churchgoers acceptable?

Is it a matter of preference, or is diversity actually a gospel issue?

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The church in America is living a contradiction.

According to a 2017 survey, 93 percent of US pastors agreed that every church should strive for racial diversity. In the same survey, 81 percent said their church had mostly one racial group.

More disturbingly, a 2015 survey of US churchgoers indicated, “A third (33 percent) strongly disagree that their church needs to be more diverse. More than 4 in 10 (42 percent) felt strongly their church was doing enough” (Lifeway Research, 2015).

There is a disconnect between pastors and their congregations.

While diversity may be important to leaders, it would seem that many churchgoers want the segregated status quo.

Is this disconnect between church leaders and churchgoers acceptable?

Is it a matter of preference, or is diversity actually a gospel issue?

Diversity and the Early Church

In the early church, diversity was an immediate fruit of the gospel. Miraculous and spectacular multilingualism signified the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the disciples:

“Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia… -we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” (Acts 2:6-11, NIV Bible)

On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit unleashed the Good News into many languages, reaching people from all over the world. God’s glory was declared by the breathtaking language diversity which demonstrated that Jesus is Lord of all. As the early church rapidly grew, it showcased a spiritual unity among believers that cut across racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, cultural, language and other powerful barriers.

This in-person unity in diversity was so essential to the gospel message that the Apostle Paul rebuked the Apostle Peter for separating himself from eating with Gentile Christians when Christian Jews arrived (Galatians 2:11-21). By separating himself, Peter was “not acting in line with the truth of the gospel.” Jesus Christ made Jews and Gentiles one new humanity through faith in Him, but Peter’s actions made it look like Jesus expected Gentiles to become Jews and to practice Jewish customs in order to be saved.

Who knew diversity at the dinner table would be an essential witness to the gospel?

Diversity and the Church Today

Church leaders know diversity is a gospel issue. Many members may even think it’s a nice idea. Yet churches in the US remain largely segregated by language, ethnicity and culture.

To paraphrase Paul’s rebuke in Galatians, “by remaining homogenous, a church follows a false Gospel that ties Christianity to a single community.” (quote from a recent podcast with Pastor Samuel Son).

The status quo is not an option.

Like Peter, believers need to stop idolizing cultural preferences by only congregating with people who look and pray like them. The gospel of God’s grace surpasses racial, cultural, economic, and linguistic divides. It brings us all together as one body in Christ. A segregated church cannot bear witness to that.

And though the status quo may be discouraging, there is hope.

The presence and power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost immediately resulted in language diversity. The Holy Spirit personally led Peter out of his cultural comfort zone and used Paul to keep him there.

If the disciples were unintentionally holding back the Spirit’s work, perhaps all we need to do is stop resisting the Spirit’s leadership and watch God do the miraculous in our churches today.

Discussion Questions

  1. What do you think it means for your church to be “diverse”?
  2. What cultures and languages are represented in your congregation?
  3. How can your worship services give people a foretaste of the diversity God’s Kingdom?

This post is part of a series for Project Pentecost, a movement of people and churches striving to reflect the diversity of God’s kingdom in churches today. Join below to get resources to help you in the journey like a free Pentecost video for use in worship, an open-licensed multilingual worship song and more.

Subscribe to get updates and church resources in preparation for Pentecost.

What's your role in your church?
One Misconception About Translation in Churches

One Misconception About Translation in Churches

Transformation is hard work. And sometimes it’s the simple misconceptions that get in the way.For example, why do you think translation is important?You might say that we can’t understand and include people who speak other languages without it. Or that without it, we...

read more
Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

This multilingual song is available under an open license. This means you can freely use this song for worship in church. If you want to contribute a singable translation under an open license, feel free to do so and send it to us so we can share it. We currently have...

read more

The post Is diversity a gospel issue? appeared first on spf.io.

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3 Trust Builders for Multilingual Communities https://www.spf.io/2019/04/25/3-trust-builders-for-multilingual-communities/ Thu, 25 Apr 2019 07:53:06 +0000 https://spf.io/?p=54659 Here are three trust builders you can use to start or deepen multicultural/multilingual relationships. You can also read about the three trust barriers in our previous post.
Trust Builder #1: Eat & Have Fun Together

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Here are three trust builders you can use to start or deepen multicultural/multilingual relationships. You can also read about the three trust barriers in our previous post.

Trust Builder #1: Eat & Have Fun Together

When you’re just starting out, you may want to avoid arts like literature, music and dance, which are difficult to appreciate without interpretation and deeper cultural knowledge.

Food and physical activities are quicker avenues for bonding.

Host a multiethnic potluck with a delicious assortment of foods that each person can share from their culture. Physical games and sports can also be quickly learned and played together.

Since each culture may have different ideas of “fun” it may require sensitivity to not dominate or look down on foreign practices.

For example, in America, football (not soccer!) is a big deal. Many immigrants aren’t familiar with it. So if you’re the American host, you might choose to intentionally emphasize the World Cup or the World Badminton Championships as a fun activity to enjoy together (which they already know) in addition to the Super Bowl.

By the way, spf.io provides a simple multilingual game you can play to build relationships across the language barrier.

Trust Builder #2: Give Others the Microphone

People who speak a minority language may feel insecure using it and simply defer to fluent majority language speakers by default.

This prevents genuine communication and trust.

Imagine you were asked to participate in a group discussion and give your ideas in a language you weren’t fluent in. You’d probably be anxious and embarrassed.

You’re not sure if you understand what other people are saying. If you speak up, everyone has to expend extra effort to understand you, making you feel burdensome. Maybe it’s better to just keep silent…

It takes patience and active facilitation to learn from each other across the language barrier. Asking someone to teach about their knowledge and experience in their own language empowers people to make a meaningful contribution to the group.

When majority language speakers actively create space for minority language speakers to share of themselves from their place of power (i.e. their own language), the very act of inclusion goes a long way toward building trust.

Trust Builder #3: Make and keep promises to each other

There’s a saying in business school that trust is built through “Promise made, promise kept.”

Breaking promises destroys trust, while keeping them builds it. But when it comes to multilingual communities we have two additional problems:

    1. We’re not sure that we understand the promises we’re making to each other
    2. So we tend not to make promises

Not making and keeping promises means our relationships remain “arms length” and the currents of life easily pull us apart because we can’t rely on each other.

How do we overcome this barrier?

The answer is to show up.

Consistently showing up is a non-verbal promise. People expect you and wonder what happened when you aren’t there.

They miss you.

And even if they don’t, showing up creates the possibility of promise. When people can rely on you being present, they can ask you for help. Promise made, promise kept.

Another way for hosts is consistent invitation.

Showing hospitality is hard work and when the people you want to welcome don’t show up, it can be very discouraging. All that love and special attention to detail for nothing.

The reality is that the language barrier has conditioned people to assume that your event is not for them–even if you provide translation. The way to overcome this engrained expectation is to keep inviting. Don’t give up.

Consistent invitation is another kind of implicit promise–a promise to always remember the people you are inviting. Eventually people from other languages will realize that the reason why you keep inviting them is that you really care.

Conclusion

In this post, we’ve explored 3 trust builders for multilingual communities. They aren’t a silver bullet, but they are a great start. Do you have other ideas? Have you seen creative ways of building trust across the language barrier? Please share them!

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One Misconception About Translation in Churches

One Misconception About Translation in Churches

Transformation is hard work. And sometimes it’s the simple misconceptions that get in the way.For example, why do you think translation is important?You might say that we can’t understand and include people who speak other languages without it. Or that without it, we...

read more
Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

Multilingual Song: We Are the Body of Christ

This multilingual song is available under an open license. This means you can freely use this song for worship in church. If you want to contribute a singable translation under an open license, feel free to do so and send it to us so we can share it. We currently have...

read more

The post 3 Trust Builders for Multilingual Communities appeared first on spf.io.

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