Beautiful Day – Compassion Unleashed
September 27, 2008, 10:59 pm
Filed under: friends, school, social action

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce my blog audience to a good man, named Jon Talbert.  My life immediately got better a couple of years ago, when I met Jon as a member of my doctoral cohort at George Fox Seminary.  I shared a hotel room with him in downtown Portland, walked the streets of that amazing city with him, and got a chance to see him in his “other” profession – you see, he’s a “pastor by day, and a stand-up comic by night.”  I’m sworn to secrecy on the actual events of the open mic night he performed at, but I’ll just say that he’s got a great act.  He’s got a special gift of engaging any group of people with a genuine caring demeanor, and an ability to make people smile and laugh.

I wanted to bring him to your attention for two reasons.  First, he’s getting more and more famous all the time, and I heart name-dropping.  Second, I’m a huge fan of his talents as “a pastor by day.”  Jon is the Compassion Pastor for a very large church in San Jose, CA.  Normally me and megachurches don’t get along so very well, but his church has given him freedom and encouragement to do some unconventional things, primarily through an effort he started called Beautiful Day.  They’re committed to being in their community in a way that demonstrates Jesus’ love and compassion.  One of their first efforts when they started in 2004 was to partner with a local HIV/AIDS group.  That group was skeptical, for good reason, but when Jon explained that they really did just want to serve and love them, not badger and preach at them, a great friendship began.

On Sunday, October 19th, the Silicon Valley AIDS walk will take place, and team Beautiful Day will be out in force.  They’re skipping church to be a part of this event.  I’ve been following their Twitter updates, and have learned that team Beautiful Day is the largest group of people walking, and they’ve now raised the most money of any group involved.  That says huge things to the community.  Big props to Jon and his team.

Jon, like the rest of us in the cohort, is busy writing his doctoral project right now, which will likely turn into a book to be published by a major Christian publisher.  I’m really looking forward to reading it, and being challenged. Check out the Beautiful Day website to learn more about who they are, and how to get personally involved in compassion projects where you live.


1 Comment so far
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Hey Steve… I just saw this post. Thanks for the kind words. I just wanted to give you an update of the AIDS walk today (Oct 19th). Team Beautiful Day set some goals for 600 walkers and 20K raised. We ended up with 802 walkers and raised over 29K. It felt great to truely have a church “service”… that is, serving those in need, and meeting them in the streets.

Comment by Jon Talbert

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