Thursday, May 24, 2012

Staying Alive

Posted by Jamie Arpin-Ricci in 18:18:29 | Permalink | Comments Off

Saturday, July 9, 2011

We’ve Moved

Hey there,

In order to keep this site active (for archive purposes), I need to post now and then.

Be sure to visit my currently blog at:


Jamie Arpin-Ricci, CJ

Posted by Jamie Arpin-Ricci in 06:11:23 | Permalink | Comments Off

Friday, June 26, 2009

I Need Your Help. Gotta A Minute?

Hey there,

As you can probably see, I have not regularly blogged at this address for some time.  However, I am still getting a fair bit of traffic here.  I am now blogging at my new site A Living Alternative, Our Missional Pilgrimage.  I would greatly appreciate it if you headed over there to take a look.

Also, if you have a blog, I would appreciate any linkage.  Believe it or not, by doing so, you will be helping support our inner city ministry & church plant.  Thanks!

Jamie Arpin-Ricci

Posted by Jamie Arpin-Ricci in 05:49:28 | Permalink | Comments Off

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Living Alternative moves to a New Location

Hey all!

I am excited to announce that this blog has now moved to a new home:

Please update all links to the new location!

This site will remain here for archive purposes.

Posted by Jamie Arpin-Ricci in 00:21:07 | Permalink | Comments (5)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Missional Orders: Facing the Challenge of Necessary Exclusion

In the past two days I have had meeting with two people- one representing the Mennonite Brethren community, the other from the Vineyard- both of which have been exploring the idea of developing a missional order.  I found it very interesting, as it was not the intention of either meeting to discuss these ideas, but rather “just came up”.  Further, all three of our communities are rooted in Winnipeg’s inner city neighbourhoods.  While each of us is still wrestling through what we mean by “missional order”, we had a lot of common tensions.

One such tension came with the issue of inclusion & exclusion. While we embrace the ideal of inclusion, there are aspect of our faith and its practices that are exclusive.  For a group of people to embrace a shared set of practices, a rhythm of life and mission in a specific community, there is inevitably a level of exclusion that will result, even necessary.  I said that we were attempting to make sure that any aspect of exclusion was that of the heart and not of means.  By this I meant that we intentionally avoid requirements that are limited by financial means, social standing, educational/intellectual development, etc.  Rather, if a person is to be excluded, it must be of their own choice or condition of the heart.

It is a real tension, especially in communities such as ours that have been crippled my poverty and systemic injustice.  Generosity, grace and exceptions can bridge a lot of these gaps, but not all.  For example, while conferences can & should be important gatherings for growth & relationship, they are largely unachievable by most of the urban poor we work with.  Further, use of language and ideas that presuppose a level of understanding and education can also be exclusive (acknowledging that education/learning is part of our ministry to offset this).

With this in mind, my question to you all is this: How have you seen this tension navigated well?  What practical examples can you give that we could learn from in this process?

I am eager to hear from you.  Thanks!

Posted by Jamie Arpin-Ricci in 03:11:35 | Permalink | Comments (15)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thank You For Your Generosity


When we started letting people know that our van had died and that we would need to replace it, we could not have anticipated the depth, breadth and speed of your generosity. As a result of your help, we were able to purchase a van yesterday to replace our old one. With all you gifts, the anonymous matching donor and an amazing dealer (Roy Lee at Terry Ortynsky Nissan), not to mention all of you who helped get the word out (including coverage in the Winnipeg Free Press onlin), God has helped provide us with a great vehicle at an amazing cost.

After deciding on the van, we knew that Kim & I would still need to cut into our adoption fund to cover the remaining costs. While this was difficult, we were further blessed to discover that the van has an extended warranty for nearly two more years. This will more than cover any loss to that fund. As always, God is so good.

Because our old van was gifted to us and because our new van came as a result of generosity from people like you, we have decided to donate the old van to Teen Challenge, knowing that it will go on (even in “death”) to bless others. Thanks all!

P.S. Dino’s first response to the new van was to claim it as his own. Ah, Dino…


Posted by Jamie Arpin-Ricci in 17:14:27 | Permalink | Comments (11)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

EXCITING UPDATE: Ministry/Personal Vehicle Died – We Need Your Help

EXCITING UPDATE: We just received words from a donor (who wishes to remain anonymous) who is willing to match donations dollar for dollar up to $2500 to see our goal reached! This will help us reach our goal in half the time.  Let keep it going!

For the last eight years, since founding our ministry here in Winnipeg’s inner city, Kim & I have been very personally invested in everything we do. Our ministry could not afford a vehicle, but one was clearly necessary for the work. To that end, we donated our small car to another missionary and bought a minivan, allowing the ministry to use it as needed, donating even the gas money as part of our personal support.

Sadly, within two week the van was stolen and totaled by some local kids. As is usually the case, the insurance company gave us only a fraction of it’s value, hardly enough to replace the small car we had donated. Then, to our joy and surprise, some family members gave us their van as a gift to us. It had a lot of kms on it and had seen better days, but they had taken very good car of the engine and it served us well for longer than expected.

Again, sadly, this week the transmission on the van died, the repair cost too high to be worth investing into the ol’ beast. And so we are retiring it. This leaves us in a very difficult situation. Both the ministry and us personally need a vehicle. With Little Flowers Community, The Dusty Cover and our YWAM ministry (not to mention the pending arrival of our adopted child from Ethiopia), it is critical to replace it very soon. However, we simply do not have the means.

We hesitated asking for help, as so many people give so much to us already- supporting our ministry, our adoption and us in general. However, others encouraged us to get the word out. As the fund raising thermometer shows, we need to raise $5000 to see the van replaced. Generally this would not be enough for a decent van, but a local dealer has offered us a significantly reduced rate in support of what we do, so that we don’t end up with a money-guzzler.


$2500 given PLUS the donation matching = TOTAL $5000 – GOAL REACHED!

This vehicle will help us in many ways. To name a few it will serve to transport staff & volunteers around the city for service projects; pick up donated books for The Dusty Cover; pick up church members/kids who are not able to drive themselves/injured/etc.; food pick ups & drop offs for outreaches; emergency transport & intervention; and much more.

If you are willing and able to help us in this way, we would be very blessed. You can give directly through PayPal (see Make a Donation button on sidebar) or read about supporting us through YWAM Project Funding here (if you go through the funding office, please let us know, as we are trying to determine amount ASAP). Another HUGE way to help us would be to help us get the word out. Above all, pray with us that God will continue to provide. This process has already humbled us with respect to His love and the love of all of you.


Jamie & Kim Arpin-Ricci

Posted by Jamie Arpin-Ricci in 02:47:15 | Permalink | Comments (7)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another Move On The Horizon

In addition to having very little time to write, what little time I took to blog was stumped by this blogging platform.  After several years of increasingly poor performance (and customer service), A Living Alternative will be moving to a new home soon.

With the launch of Missional Tribe (and their integrated blogs, like mine here), I wondered if I should start a new blog at all.  I considered moving over exclusively to Missional Tribes, but in the end decided against it, preferring to have both hubs.  However, if you are just establishing a blog with a primarily missional theme, it would be well worth considering using just the Missional Tribe option.  Great work MT instigators crew!

Hopefully I will be launching my new blog home soon.  Keep your eyes peeled!

Posted by Jamie Arpin-Ricci in 16:35:50 | Permalink | Comments (8)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Blog Trouble

Can’t blog much.  Platform errors galore.  Be back soon, hopefully.
Posted by Jamie Arpin-Ricci in 22:25:28 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Noteworthy Books from InterVarsity Press

Over the last year or so my reading has been more limited than in the past, making it more and more difficult to choose what to read.  I hope to have more time to read (and thus review) in the coming year.  However, I did want to feature three books that I have spent some quality time with (and still working through).  I should note that all three of these titles are published by IVP (IVP Books & IVP Academic).  Increasingly, IVP has impressed me with the focus and quality of their material.  Here is a brief look:

Laying a solid Biblical foundation for our responsibility as God’s people to care for Creation, Brown leads readers into a very practical way of life that responds to the inevitable implications of this shift in thinking.  Linking Creation care with the overall mission of God (an aspect of the Gospel I have found far under explored in Evangelicalism), it is pulled off the sidelines of activism and casual stewardship and returned to its place with God’s purposes as it was always intended to be.  This book is an excellent starting for any individual or community to begin to engage these issues.

As an academic title, this book is still taking me some time, though time well spent.  Exploring (and exposing) six areas of global discourse where myths still command great power, Ramachandra reveals that, even in the sophisticate worlds of politicians, media moguls and intellectual elites, myths are still embraced.  The six areas are: Terrorism; Religious Violence; Human Rights; Multiculturalism; Science; and Postcolonialism.  Again, this is heavy stuff that is stretching my thinking, but I think it is important to wrestle through.  Anyone else read this and care to comment?

Also an academic title (and the longest of the three books), this title has been of greatest interest to me.  It is a book I will be reading (and rereading) for some time, but well worth the time and effort.  Bailey takes readers through the life of Christ, giving particular attention to Jesus’ masterful engagement with Middle Eastern culture.  Giving special attention to such things as His relationship to women, His use of parables or the dramatic acts of His ministry, challenges so many casually held Western interpretations of Christ that have robbed us of a deeper understanding of Jesus and His teachings.  If you are up for the work, this title is a must read.


Posted by Jamie Arpin-Ricci in 22:10:38 | Permalink | Comments (10)