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The next stop in our world tour of education at the Cathedral of Learning in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA was the Chinese room.

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It felt like we stepped into a whole different culture – and that was the point.

I’m sure there’s a Confusius saying just waiting to happen when you enter the room.

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There are plenty of made up sayings attributed to Confusius – fun ones too.  Saying like: “Man who drive like hell, sure to get there faster.”  Regardless, Confusius was a great philosopher who still has an impact on China today, despite China’s government’s push against the philosophy.

One of my other favorite things about this room is the dragons that you can see throughout it.

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I love the detail.

My “church” lesson from this room – Learn from cultures that are different from yours.  I did that when we lived in Finland for a year.  There was a great deal to learn and I was better for asking questions about the church there.  Yes, Finland is Lutheran like I am, but because the culture and history is different than the US, there was much to gain in asking questions and listening to answers.  And not surprisingly, there was overlap.  And of course there were significant differences too.  Yet, I found some underlying themes that were important.  How the church approaches those themes will be different in Finland than the US – as they should.  The same applies to our local congregations.  Stop trying to be the big successful church in the next town over – you aren’t them.  You be who you are, and let them be who they are.  That doesn’t me you can’t learn from each other – you can and should.  It means know thyself.