You are on page 1of 10

Shanice Brice English 1102- Assignment One 4 February 2014

Rules and Conventions The figured world that I am observing is a religious organization called “Unplugged”. Unplugged is a 501 (c) 3 organization designed to help people unplug from society’s influence and plug into Christ. A 501 © 3 organization is a non-profit organization. This organization is similar to others such as, Habitat for Humanity or other charity related organizations; however, Unplugged varies from those organizations due to the religious nature of outreach services we hold. The vision of this organization is to reach people, coach them through the transition from non-Godly sources of fulfillment and strength, into Christ as their one source and send them into the world to Reach and Coach. The approach we use at Unplugged Charlotte is to reach people through attractive, non-threating events such as concerts, social events, and thought provoking discussions that serve to enlighten people about the sources of which they are currently plugged into. Secondly, we approach our outreach by plugging people into discipleship resources that offer coaching to transition them from the non-Godly sources. Lastly, Unplugged facilitates the sending process of helping newly transformed believers plug into various community involvements using their strengths to help others move throughout the same transition. Crowds of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities attend Unplugged on a weekly basis. The rules and conventions for appropriate behavior are those which each individual respects the culture and thoughts of another. Although music, worship, and social discussions create the loud atmosphere expected, it is only sought out to be for the outreach of God’s children. Singing, dancing, and interaction with one another are to be expected; however, Unplugged seeks to provide an environment in which all can grow in their spiritual connection. There are various discourse communities that attend Unplugged. One is the community who lives by God’s word and reaches out to those who seek it. The other discourse community is one that lives by the world’s standards but is seeking the love of Christ; however, the last discourse community is one that isn’t necessarily ready to take the step of giving their life to God, but are seeking his word and a little bit of encouragement. Description of the Location: Unplugged Thursday night events are held 2x Salt Ministries here in Charlotte, North Carolina. The building is very large and open. However upon entering, it does not seem like the typical church. This location is designed to attract the younger crowd. Once you enter, you are greeted and the visitors desk and then escorted to the sitting area. The seating area consists of a lot of different bar tables and couches all facing the stage. The stage consists of three chairs, one table with a bible on it, and a microphone. The lighting is set low with a smoke blower going off occasionally. The

walls are filled with drawings of Christ and different bible scriptures. At the back corner of the room, a dj is set up playing music with videos showing above the stage. Figured World: A figured world is a large social community that has its own terms of appropriate behavior and socially acceptable terms of morality and ways of communicating. Actors: An actor is explained as a human that is a part of a figured world by contributing in some way. Below I will be describing each actor that contributes to Unplugged Charlotte during my first observation.     Coach Josh: Josh is the founder of the figured world, Unplugged. He leads the discussion every week and also is in charge on planning, financing, and leading all events. Danielle Erwin: Danielle is the host and founder of the women’s group called, “Unplugged/I’m Worth the Wait”. Her responsibility is to greet new guests and run the event as smoothly as possible. Ishmael Lowery: Ishmael is the Operations Manager at Unplugged. His job is to gather the volunteers and make sure that everyone is plugged into the right volunteer opportunity to help them grow. Unplugged Volunteers: The volunteer’s responsibility is to fulfill whichever job they sign up for. Whether it be running the café section, greeters, and media teams…the volunteers help assist in any area needed.

Artifacts: These are any items, whether physical or emotional, that are culturally/socially/religiously important to our guests.      2x Salt Ministries: The location of Unplugged serves as a very important artifact because it helps attract curious minds. Visitors: Our visitors serve as a very important physical artifact because without them, we would have no one to reach out to. DJ equipment: The equipment used by the DJ allows him to reach out to our guests through music. Lights/Smoke Machine: This allows Unplugged to keep our visitors entertained and interested in our events. Bible: The bible is used during all discussions and allows us to reference scriptures during the discussion.

Discourse Communities: These are groups of people who share the common religious interests and communicative ideologies.   Christian community: These groups of people are people who live by God’s word. Seeking encouragement: People who are not interested in giving their life to God at that particular moment, but are seeking encouragement and guidance.

Literacy Practices: Literacy practices are ways that the discourse community communicates through writing, verbal, and nonverbal actions.    Music: The music played at Unplugged helps reach the audience in ways that discussions can’t always reach. Discussions: The discussions at Unplugged serve as the main part of the service. People are engaged in the topics and often take notes. Q&A Session: The Q&A session lets our guests anonymously ask questions that they may have and receive advice from a Christian stand point.

Observation One Monday, January 27, 2014

Time: 6:00PM-6:40PM Note: This particular observation took place over a 40 minute time span. Although only Josh is discussing the topic during the observation, other actors are included in the description of actors below. Actors that are not discussed during the observation all hold vital jobs that help Unplugged Thursday night events successful. This organization is religiously affiliated and the content below is in no way intended to offend anyone of any other religion. The figured world, actors, artifacts, discourse communities, and literacy practices are the same throughout all three observations. **This observation is done through Unplugged’s website on a past discussion titled “The Proverbs 31 Woman” 6:00 PM- Introduction to the discussion. We were then lead in Prayer by Joshua and ask to open our bibles to Proverbs 31. The three points for the discussion is (These questions were made up by Josh prior to the observation): 1. Who defines a woman’s worth? 2. Why do women not know their worth? 3. What develops a woman’s worth 6:05 PM- 1. Who defines a woman’s worth?  Josh explains that a woman’s worth is in God. He discusses how God died for us and carried the burden of our sins so that we may know our worth and be content in him. He also uses his little sisters as an example of how a man should encourage women to know their worth.

6:10 PM- Only a wife is cultivated in GOD! He explains that a woman who knows her worth won’t let just any man pursue her because she understands that that man’s pursue to her must be similar to the pursue of God.

6:15 PM- Josh presents the questions: (These questions were made up by Josh prior to the observation) 1. Who defines a woman’s worth? GOD. Josh finishes up quest ion one by explaining that if a woman can’t find her worth in God, She’ll find in anywhere. 2. Why do women not know their worth? He begins this question by asking the audience why women do not know their worth and discusses their answers. 6:20 PM- It’s not how you view yourself, it’s not how the world views you… it’s how God views you. Josh talks directly to the women who has been physically and sexually abused, those who seek to find validation in the arms of many men, and the women who come from broken homes. He explains to these women that in the most vulnerable state, you must seek God because if not, you’ll fall to the desires of the world. 6:25 PM- What develops a woman’s worth? Trust. He talks about if a woman does not trust God, how will she ever develop her worth? The four P’s she must trust God with: (These questions were made up by Josh prior to the observation) 1. 2. 3. 4. Preparation- When you don’t trust God, How do you ever endeavor to be prepared? Perseverance- Trust God for her perseverance. Are you willing to wait for your husband? Positioning- God will position you in the right place. Protection- Trust him with you protection. When someone leaves, that’s God protect ing you.

6:30 PM- Are you willing to trust God. “An excellent wife who can find, for her worth is far more precious than rubies”. 6:35 PM- You can only become a wife through God alone. If you define yourself in anything, you’ll find yourself bitter and hurt. A Proverbs 31 woman is not a perfect woman, her beauty is in God. 6:40 PM- Group Prayer. The entire room stood in a circle and held hands. People could request that Josh prayed for them or someone they knew he needed prayer.

Observation Two Tuesday, February 4, 2014 Time 6:00-6:40P.M. Note: This particular observation took place over a 40 minute time span. Although only Josh is discussing the topic during the observation, other actors are included in the description of actors below. Actors that are not discussed during the observation all hold vital jobs that help Unplugged Thursday night events successful. This organization is religiously affiliated and the content below is in no way intended to offend anyone of any other religion. The figured world, actors, artifacts, discourse communities, and literacy practices are the same throughout all three observations. **This observation is done through Unplugged’s website on a past discussion titled “The Proverbs 31 Woman” 6:00 PM- Introduction to topic and recap of the part one topic. We are the led by Joshua Eze in prayer and asked to open our bibles to Proverbs 31 10:11. The main three points of discussion is…A man wants a woman he can trust with these three things: 1. His frustrations 2. His fears 3. Finances 6:05 PM- He discusses Genesis Chapter 3 (story of Adam and Eve). 4 qualities that God gave every woman to have: 1. 2. 3. 4. Nurturer- Child birth Helper- To be able to uplift their husband. Lover- Proverbs 5:9 “May the breast of your wife satisfy you all the days of your life” Daughter- She must maintain her self-worth in God and know that she is a daughter of God or she will not be able to nature, help, or love her husband and family.

6:10 PM- Josh talks directly to the women and asks “If you don’t have God at the co re of your heart how can you ever endeavor to be trusted?” Frustration- When a man is frustrated and he doesn’t have a woman that he can trust, how can he be the man of his household? 6:15 PM- At this time, Josh discusses these two points: 1. Ms. Independent- Women should make sure their strength comes from God and not money, degrees, etc. Don’t claim your independence from God, follow him. 2. Mister Insecure- A man can’t get so overly consumed with who his girl/wife is that he entertains her gisebelle spirit (A gisebelle spirit is one that persuades any wrong doing, or tries to convince you to do something that you should not).

6:20 PM- “Are your strengths based upon your achievements or God’s achievements?” Josh talks about the realization that men are needy, and that’s why they go to needy women. Men run from strong women. 6:25 PM- When a man can’t bring his frustrations, fears, and problems to his wife, how can he trust his wife? This presents a problem for the independent woman because when her husband brings his concerns to her, she will not be able to nurture, love, or help…she can only respond by being stern and trying to display strength. 6:30 PM- Frustration, Fears, and Faults which lies within a man’s present, future, and past. 1. Frustration(Present)- Josh talks about his in a single parent home. He explains that living in a household with only his mother, she naturally adapted to a masculine figure. This goes to say that his mother wanted to show him how to be strong and provide. However, there was no nurturing involved. This can be frustrating because his mom has to adjust and hide the nurturing and loving qualities that God gave to her, in order to show her son what she thinks he should see. 2. Fears(Future)- Can a man trust you with his fears? 3. Faults(Past)- Are you so consumed by who he was that you can’t see who he is now or what he can be? 6:35 PM- You have to watch who you allow to be your other half. 6:40 PM- When a woman understands that she is God’s daughter; she’ll know her worth and protects who she allows in. This woman in Christ is careful with the vulnerability of her husband. Josh then leads us in group prayer and then dismissed us.

Observation Three Wednesday, February 05, 2014 Time: 6:00-6:40PM Note: This particular observation took place over a 40 minute time span. Although only Josh is discussing the topic during the observation, other actors are included in the description of actors below. Actors that are not discussed during the observation all hold vital jobs that help Unplugged Thursday night events successful. This organization is religiously affiliated and the content below is in no way intended to offend anyone of any other religion. The figured world, actors, artifacts, discourse communities, and literacy practices are the same throughout all three observations. **This observation is done through Unplugged’s website on a past discussion titled “The Threat of a Strong Woman” from Proverbs 31. 6:00 PM- Introduction to the topic “The Threat of a Strong Woman” and a recap of the last observation topic are discussed. 6:05 PM-The three points “A woman’s strength comes when she observes these three things: 1. Self-respect 2. Self-esteem 3. Self-worth 6:10 PM- Societal views alter a woman’s view of their strength. She finds strength in things like degrees, relationships, or money instead of finding her self-worth in God. Josh talks about the influences that society have on our women. Whether it’s through television or different social media sites they all play a vital role in how some women develop.

6:15 PM- What is your heart anchored in? If your heart lies within the money or reputation…who are you when those things fade? These two questions pose a big thinking moment for those who are listening. Josh discusses the outcomes of anchoring your heart of materialistic things. When the money, power, and other possessions fade, who do you become? If your heart in anchored in God, when those things leave you still have him and trust that through whatever trial may come, you’ll never be without. 6:20 PM- The differences between weak and meek women? When speaking of a weak woman, Josh isn’t speaking in terms of someone who is physically weak, he speaks in regards to someone who humbly comes before God and knows that without him nothing is possible. A person who is meek is emotionally stable and well balanced; she has to first be weak in order to be meek. “Your strength is made perfect in your weaknesses”. 6:25 PM- Josh says “God loves when his children are weak. When he says this he means that he loves when his children come to him for companionship or lean on him during the hard time. An example he uses to demonstrate this clearly is the feeling of happiness that a parent feels when their child looks to them for advice or parental affection. 6:30 PM- Do you allow your strength to come from the images in the world or is it in God? By this he discusses do you believe you should be like what certain people or television portray to be, or do you find your strength in God. 6:35 PM- Your worth is signified when he died on the cross for you. When your worth is inside anything other than the fact that God died for you, you’ll fall for anything. Don’t let the world’s perception of “worth” convince you that you should find your worth based on everything other than God. 6:40 PM- Josh ended this topic by encouraging all woman that our strength lies within God and the moment you realize that is the moment your weakness are perfected by the strength of God. Interview with Unplugged Host and founder of the women’s cam paigns I’m Worth the Wait/Pursued Danielle Erwin

Note: This interview shares her personally story and is only used through the sole purpose of educating other women and allowing them to relate. This interview contains content that is religiously affiliated and is in no way used to offend any other religions. 1. How and when did you find your worth?

It took me a long time to really understand my worth and figure out who I was. I spent a lot of time in relationships trying to be the woman I thought my boyfriend at the time wanted me to be. So growing up, I spent a lot of time being someone else. I wasn’t shaped like the other girls either so that certainly didn’t help. I was always tall, skinny and awkward. So when I did start getting attention from guys, I really wasn’t sure why. I enjoyed their attention and so I would find myself doing what I thought I needed to do in order to keep them interested. I found myself in mentally and verbally abusive relationships, I was cheated on more times that I can count but rather than leaving these situations, I staye d. It’s weird because even in those horrible situations, I was still confident...but rather than being confident in myself and who I was as a person, I was confident in my looks, in my hair, my clothes, in my degree, in my reputation. There’s nothing wrong with those things, but they fade over time and while they were aspects of me, they weren’t me. I think the real turning point for me was actually a result of my last relationship. I met this particular guy in my last year of college and although he moved to another state shortly after we met, we maintained contact and eventually became a couple. He was everything I had ever wanted in guy. He was smart, had a great job, very ambitious...he was the perfect guy. It’s funny; he was raised in church and when we met, I actually started going back to church consistently because of his religious background. He came from a family of pastors and I wanted to prove to him that I too, was a good catch. Long story short, we dated for almost a year, entirely long-distance. When he came into town to visit, he would stay at my apartment and we were sexually intimate. The last time he came down to visit, after he left I began experiencing some symptoms below my waist that I had never experienced before. I went to the doctor and a few days later I got a call that I had contracted an STD. I was devastated. I didn’t know what to do or how to respond to the situation. When I told him about it, he blamed the entire situation on me. He told me that I did this, it was my fault, I was obviously unfaithful to him...I don’t think I will ever really be able to forget that conversation, his words or how I felt in that moment. At this point, my relationship with God was growing stronger and I knew in my heart that this guy (despite my heart’s desire) was not the man I was going to marry. It was that conversation and that situation that catapulted me back to God, for real. I remember praying, “God, I don’t know why this is happening and I don’t know what’s going on here. I don’t know the plans you have for my life but I know I can’t be the woman I’m supposed to be with this thing hanging over my head. So however long it takes, you have to heal me from this. Because this is not me!” God’s response was very clear, “You’re healing will come through your obedience. Your obedience meaning: getting this guy out of your life, being single and being celibate.” Honestly, it took me a few months to really get this guy out of my system and out of my life (old habits die hard). But I pressed into God during that time and really began to figure out who Danielle was. As I grew in God, I found my self-worth, my joy, my peace, my confidence. I held on to a lot of shame from that situation but I realize that part of my healing involved sharing my story with other women. So today, I walk in my healing and God has healed me from not only the STD but from all hurt, pain and brokenness caused by all of my previous relationships. 2. Give me an example on how the "I'm Worth the Wait/Pursued" campaign has impacted the lives of other women? The I’m Worth the Wait campaign has been a real blessing to some many women across the globe. UNPLUGGED has a huge international audience and once we knew that God was leading us to launch a full-fledge campaign, we knew we wanted to incorporate videos. In July 2013, I sat down in front of a camera and told my story to the world. Since this video has been on YouTube, I have received messages from women all over the world who have gone through similar experiences. The amazing thing about this campaign is that it’s not only have college aged and younger women been impacted by it, by even older women have been touched by the message as well. I think the real reason for the impact of this campaign is that self-worth is a concept that knows no age. No matter how old or how young you are, there are times and situations in our lives where we as women really struggle to identify who we are and to feel confident in ourselves. We’re t aught that confidence and worth comes from exterior attributes like clothes, hair, etc or that our worth is based in our accomplishments. But the really of it is that the foundation of our worth was laid 2,000 years ago on Calvary. Pursued was officially launched in June of 2013. It came about as an idea one of our volunteers had in an effort to encourage a “sisterhood” so to speak among the women of UNPLUGGED. Since June of 2013, we’ve been able to connect even more with our local, national and international audience. It’s been a real blessing to be able to watch this ministry grow and it’s always encouraging to watch God take it to new heights. 3. How would you encourage someone to know their worth? Going back to my last relationship and dealing with that breakup and the whole STD situation; I remember how hard it was for me to leave that relationship. Even after harsh words were exchanged, after realizing what I was dealing with, after coming to terms with his actions...something in me had a hard time letting go.

What really helped me to finally cut him out of my life was thinking about my future children. I have the overwhelming desire (like most women) to be a wife and mother. So when I thought about my future sons looking up to this man and getting their idea that, “this is what a man is, this is how a man loves, this is how a man treats women, etc…” I knew I couldn’t let me sons grow up to become another version of this man who had caused me so much pain. When I thought about my daughters looking at this man and getting their idea of how a man loves and what kind of man they should look for; I couldn’t let them go through that either. So I left. Finally. I kept the image of my future children on the forefront of my mind and I made those tough yet necessary changes to my life. In doing this, in loving my future children more than I loved that man, I found my own worth. At the time, I wasn’t strong enough to make those hard decisions for myself, but for my future children, absolutely! So in putting my unborn children first, I was able to eventually discover my own value and self-worth. It was during that time that I began to read the Bible like never before and I spent crazy time with God. I’ve always been a relationship girl; I’d never really been single until that point. So naturally, I didn’t have the first clue how to be single or how to be content in myself. But by learning more about God, I was able to learn more about myself, discover my self-worth and come into my own. So, to anyone who is seeking to know their own self-worth, I would first recommend that they spend time with the One who values them more than anyone else ever could. God. The very fact that God deemed us (individually and collectively) worthy enough and precious enough to send Jesus to die for us speaks to just how valuable and worthy we are. Secondly, I would tell that person that discovering your self-worth is a process. We’re so used to things happening instantly that we don’t take the time to grow and enjoy the process. I would encourage that person to be patient with themselves and to grow throughout the process, don’t just rush to the finish line. Lastly, the discovery of our self-worth often comes a cost. By that I mean, once you discover who you are and how much God values you, you may have to let go of some things. This may mean letting go of toxic friendships/relationships, stopping certain habits, etc. But I would also encourage this person to know that anything that doesn’t help you is going to hurt you, so it’s alw ays better to make the adjustments as God leads than to get further down the road and face heartbreak and disappointment again.

4. How has Unplugged touched your life? I came to my very first UNPLUGGED event in July of 2012 and have been hooked ever since! I was immediately attracted to the transparency of the ministry and the genuine atmosphere that you experience every week. UNPLUGGED has changed my life in that it provided me room and avenues in which to grow into the woman God has called me to be. I never saw myself going into ministry, sharing my story or doing any of the things God has allowed me to. UNPLUGGED challenges me, it encourages me, it strengthens me; it’s a wonderful place to grow, learn and experience. Through UNPLUGGED, I’ve seen God do some amazing things! His hand is truly on this ministry and with each new endeavor, He leads the way. To be a part of something so powerful, innovative and real has been an amazing experience. 5. Tell me about your most memorable experience with Unplugged. There are so many to choose from! I would have to go with the UNPLUGGED UPTOWN event from June 2013. We were able to work with a local organization who allows local groups/organizations/ministries to set up at the corner of Trade and Tryon and do their thing. We were able to have Seeds of Praise (dancers), Gabriel Bello (Saxophone player), KJ Scriven (Grammy award winning songwriter) and Lisa McClendon (International Gospel Recording artist) perform that night. It was amazing! It was a Saturday night so Uptown was packed! There was also a Dave Chappelle concert happening right down the street so got a lot of traffic from them as well.To see people who had never heard of UNPLUGGED, come out and join us for worship in the heart of the city was amazing! The pictures from the event really speak volumes; people experiencing homelessness, families, children, couples, people in suits and club attire, elderly people, look around see Charlotte experiencing UNPLUGGED like that was a truly amazing and God-given experience.

Possibilities and Values: Assignment One My personal experience of the observations of assignment one helped me on so many levels. The discussions I observed really helped me understand what it means to be a “Proverbs 31” woman. This part of assignment one gave me the strength and courage I need to further develop myself. Also, after the peer editing workshop, one of my peers emailed me and thanked me for all the time I put into my interview with Danielle. I was told that including Danielle’s detailed responses really helped this student cope with a similar situation. I was beyond happy that my time and work helped another student. After all, that is what Unplugged is all about. This link is connected to my wix portfolio and contains additional information and videos for assignment one: Under the “Additional Work” tab you will find a sub tab that is titled assignment one, the extra work is listed here. Additional Work per Professor Feedback: Personal experience in this figured world: In the figured world (Life in Christianity), I’ve always heard reference to a proverbs 31 woman as a good wife or a good mother. While I do believe these to be two great traits, I knew there was more to the story. As a junior in high school, I began to obsess with Proverbs 31. From the time that I read this poem and truly understood the meaning of it, I knew this was the type of woman I desired to be. While all of my friends were busy dating other boys, all I wanted to do was help in the community and my church. I never told them not to date, since I don’t believe anything is wrong with dating. However, the heart breaks took a toll on each one of my friends. Relationship after relationship, the continuous lies, and cheating; I

helped to my best ability and did whatever it took to help each one of them. Whether it was late night talks, girl nights out, or even trips to church service, I was there. As I watch each friend become bitter towards everyone because all of the boys and lies they dealt with, I knew that wasn’t the path I wanted to take. This pushed me into the ideal of eventually being a proverbs 31 woman. Although I am not married nor a businesswoman …YET, I know that everything I am doing at the moment will prepare me to be everything I desire and more. Happily, I can say that my lifestyle I have decided to live has helped my same friends from high school to rethink their methods of dating. Through Unplugged (my figured world for assignment one), I have been able to keep the motivation in my faith and also help other high school girls move in the direction that they have set for themselves. Seeing women of all faiths and all colors, move in a positive direction and accomplish whatever it is that they see in the future, is what helps me in my moments of doubt.