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Check out some of the great excursions our students will take this semester!

Not sure what an Avodah is?
Read more about what it is and why the Avodah Program is such an important (and exciting!) part of the Providence experience.

Spring 2012 Avodah Excursions

Wicked at The Panteges Theater in Hollywood (TuesdayJanuary 24, 2012, 6:00-11:00pm)

In its second national tour, Wicked is a critically acclaimed Broadway musical featuring beautiful, melodic musical scores. Winner of many awards, including a Grammy and three Tony Awards, Wicked is “the untold story of the witches of Oz.  Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the land of Oz and how they become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.”  Students will be traveling to the Panteges Theater in Hollywood to watch this performance and will see some of the greatest theater talent in the country.  This excursion will challenge students to develop a robust Christian perspective on culture and their place in it.  How do we critically evaluate the production understanding truth in the broader culture?  More info: http://www.wickedthemusical.com/page.php#

Jewish Cultural Study (February 3-9, 2012, Events to be held on Friday and Monday, February 3 and 6)

This Avodah Excursion has become an annual tradition each spring at Providence and is a favorite of many students.  Dr. Swanson will lead you through a variety of lectures and experiences including a Shabbat service, the Museum of Tolerance, a couple of Jewish synagogues, as well as a discussion about what a Christian perspective on the Jewish people is- their culture and religion.  Oh, and we’ll go out for kosher food too!  This Excursion is strongly recommended for all students in BTS 111 or any student who has not participated in the past.

 Pasadena Coffee Shop Tours/Study (Saturday, February 18, 2012, time: TBD)

Coffee consumption has exploded over the past decade, which has increased the number of independent (i.e. Jameson Brown Roasters) and corporate coffee shops (i.e. Starbucks) in the Los Angeles area.  We will concentrate on local, Pasadena area coffee shops visiting with the owners/managers of these shops understanding their business models, coffee bean production/processing in each shop, as well as their views on what place they have in the community and the community which they create in their shops.  The schedule is tentative, but the desire is to visit two or three shops throughout the day (including some coffee tastings).  Another topic for discussion will be the importance of a gathering place for humans to interact/for community to gather.

Mexico Cross Cultural Ministry Study (Saturday-Monday, February 25-27, 2012)

Mexico has a rich culture and history that many people overlook in favor of the tourist traps visited there.  This excursion will push students to think critically about the Mexican culture as well as ministry in this context through personal interactions with the Mexican people as well as missionaries and pastors on the ground there.  Students will serve in a variety of ways analyzing the weekend “mission trip” model while focusing on how to communicate well in a cross cultural context.  Students will also have opportunity to attend Mexican church services.

The group will be traveling with a pastor who runs an orphanage south of Ensenada.  He will serve as our cultural guide while we’re in Mexico.  A passport is required to attend this Avodah Excursion and make take up to two months to obtain.

TV Show Taping: Last Man Standing (TuesdayMarch 13, 2012, 3:30pm-10:00pm)

TV shows play a central role in the American entertainment culture subtly influencing the way people view their lives.  Many of us have favorite TV shows we watch faithfully each week.  This Excursion will concentrate on a “behind the scenes” view of TV show design, writing, acting, directing, etc. by watching a taping of Last Man Standing.  Students will reflect upon this experience evaluating the benefit of this pop culture as well as struggling with the tension many Christians have asking, “Should I watch these TV shows or not?”  Last Man Standing is in its first season and features actor Tim Allen (Home Improvement was his hit TV show in the 90’s.) as the lead role in the show.  We will be traveling to Studio City where the show is filmed at CBS Studios.  More info: http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/last-man-standing/about-the-show

 Armenian Cultural Study  (Saturday, March 17, 2012, 9:00am-4:00pm)

The Los Angeles area has the highest population of Armenians outside of Armenia, many of them first or second generation immigrants.  This excursion will concentrate on the Armenian culture: the history of their people/country (especially noting the Armenian genocide), their food, religion, and worldviews.  The tentative schedule includes a visit to the Armenian Museum and Little Armenia as well as interviewing/interacting with local Armenians, and enjoying Armenian cuisine.

Mexico Cross Cultural Ministry Study (Friday-Sunday, March 30-April 1)

Mexico has a rich culture and history that many people overlook in favor of the tourist traps visited there.  This excursion will push students to think critically about the Mexican culture as well as ministry in this context through personal interactions with the Mexican people as well as missionaries and pastors on the ground there.  Students will serve in a variety of ways analyzing the weekend “mission trip” model while focusing on how to communicate well in a cross cultural context.  Students will also have opportunity to attend church services while in Mexico.  This Mexico trip will be led by Pastor David Crum, who was a missionary in Tijuana for many years.  He will serve as our cultural guide as we visit many sites around Tijuana, visit with church people and pastors there, and will lead a few discussions/lectures about his ministry experiences there. We will leave Friday afternoon and return late Sunday evening.  A passport is required to attend this Avodah Excursion and make take up to two months to obtain.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Tour (Monday, April 16, 2012, 11:30am-5:00pm)

JPL is a research arm of NASA that currently has 23 spacecraft and 10 satellites studying different aspects of Earth and our solar system (and now beyond).  They recently launched a new rover- the “Mars Science Laboratory.”  Founded by the California Institute of Technology, JPL launched the first satellite into space in 1958 and have continued leading space exploration ever since.  We will be taking a tour of the JPL facilities learning about their capabilities and current missions.  Included in this day is lunch at a local Pasadena eatery.  JPL has very strict security requirements.  All US citizens must present a photo ID.  All non-US citizens must have a passport photo ID.

Avodah Immersion: A Cross Cultural Ministry Vision Trip- Cambodia (May 8-23, 2012)

This Avodah Immersion experience involves spending 10 days in Cambodia learning about the Cambodian culture, studying the historic, religious, and economic challenges as they seek to rebuild their county after the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s.  In addition, we will be observing/serving with MTW missionaries (PCA), social justice ministries, Christian schools, and local churches. Finally, we will be interacting with and building relationships with the Cambodian people and the missionaries, learning from them about faith and life in modern-day Cambodia.

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