Congratulations you clicked on Archives.
I’ve been a total hobo-blogger. (and no one called me on it, come on people)
I’ll get to some stuff this week.
Topic posibilities: (don’t count on anything)
General Assembly related issues.
Urban vs Suburban churches
Post Minnesota thoughts
Random musings about howler monkies
The health benifits of foot cream
Reasons why I love Traders Joe’s
or maybe even an update to the Ghetto Blog
I am home.
After a pretty relaxing day, spent first with meeting with the pastor over at Knox pres, I hung around the Barnhill’s house hanging with the kids and relaxing. Then finally I got myself to the airport and since I knew I was going to be at the airport for quite some time, I had pre-paid for entrance to the “lounge” for Northwest airlines. Basically it’s for first class members and there is free everything. Free wi-fi, free snacks, free drinks (all kinds)(cha-ching!) and a nice relaxed atmosphere. There was a dress code explained on the website as “business attire” so I did the whole shirt and tie routine, but there were people far under that standard, so I dressed up for nothing. And right before the flight I was able to catch up with JR who was on the same flight as I and we had a great conversation.
The plane was supposed to leave at 9p but we got delayed an hour so I ended up getting in 40 min late, and then on top of that the bus I took from LAX to my car ran into traffic at 12:30a, only on the 405 and only in LA.
I finally got home sometime after 2a. Boy I was quite tired. It’s good to be home.
Here is what I remember of the last day. I must note that my memory is fading fast as I am quite depleted of any mental strength at this time.
After we finished talking about the emergent women’s issue (see update 9), we moved on to the not-quite-so-interesting topic of finances. Which isn’t my favorite thing to talk about, though I realize that it is an important and necessary topic to cover. As Emergent Village becomes more and more established as a corporation and a non-profit group it is a given reality that funds need to be sought and raised. Whether this is a good thing or not is an entirely different conversation. Basically as most any organization does, there is a need for greater financial support. The bottom line is the more money we get the more things we can do. Not only on the smaller levels but also on the national levels. While some may think that the organizational aspect may lead towards a divergence from some of the non-structured ideals that are present within the emergent ethos, it may in fact feel somewhat like compromising values or selling out, but if we really want emergent to reach a good number of people we definitely need to begin to think in realistic ways of how to make that happen. Granted I, myself did have somewhat of an uneasy feeling as we were talking but for the average person who is involved in Emergent Village and cohorts it shouldn’t have too great of an effect on them. Emergent Village is still about fostering conversation and building relationships, it is not about paying for membership into a club, it is still relational and friendship based. So do not be put off, give if you are able, but do not feel obligated.
Other than the lengthy conversation of the direction of finances, it moved almost seamlessly into conversation about Tony and his job as national coordinator. I will take this time to basically affirm Tony for all the hard work he does in order for Emergent Village to continue to be a robust amalgamation of people who are in love with following Jesus. Thank you Tony for everything you do.
At lunch time I was invited to participate in a discussion/planning meeting about what we can call Mainline Emergent. For those of us who come from mainline backgrounds, we will be working in conjunction with mainline institutions to help the conversation move in the direction of systems that generally seem somewhat closed to the conversation. The good news is that more and more we are finding people who are involved in mainline churches, but wanting to be a part of the emergent conversation. We hope to be the bridge to these people and these conversations. More in the months to come on this topic. But I was fortunate enough to sit with some great people who all share the same vision as me, for introducing emergent themes into mainline churches, so that the church might be open to a well rounded aspect of worship, life, spirituality. All that to say that Emergent Village is not “mad”, “upset”, “vicious” towards the mainlines. One of the greatest comments I heard all week was that every single person in the room has the mainlines to thank for the place that we are at now. Almost every person in one way or another had experience in the mainlines that led them to the place that they are now.
Lastly we finished off the day and the meeting over all with some vibrant conversation about the dreams for Emergent Village, in regards to the possibility of doing a large even in 2008. I will not go into detail here about what was discussed, people came to this conversations with a myriad of ideas and hopes. Nothing was completely resolved or set in stone. The topic is a big one including trying to discern how we can have the foresight to know what is the best for 2008. Just know that no matter what happens between now and then, a lot of smart, good, Jesus-loving people are thinking hard about what to do.
It was hard to say goodbye to so many people that even if at the beginning of our conversations were strangers, we were now intimately connected to in one way or another. The great hope is that we will see each other again and continue living a life of community together acknowledging what God story is running through the veins of our lives.
Thank you to Solomon’s Porch and Doug Pagitt for hosting us for the week. Thank you to Tony Jones for your leadership and friendship. Thank you to my fellow coordinating group members as it was amazing to sit and soak in your presence and gifts. I enjoyed meeting many of you and am sorry that there was not enough time to connect with everyone. Blessings until we meet again. Or feel free to email me and we will continue many unfinished conversations.
Well the meetings ended yesterday afternoon and sorry I didn’t get a chance to post about the rest of yesterday. I do have some things to share about most of the topics covered. And I do have a list of a number of the blogs of people who were there. I will try later today when I have a bit more time than now to sit down and fully try and put some final general observations about the few days down. And then later this week (most likely next week) I will try and do some really hard and thoughtful consideration about some of the issues.
So you can probably expect one or two more MN updates, and then we will return to our regularly scheduled (or un-scheduled) blogging about other things.
Thanks to all of you who have stopped by this week and who have been following what was going on. I would love to hear thoughts, reflections, questions, and anything else you would like share. And I also will leave you with an open invitation to continue discussion and sharing in the comments on any of these posts or upcoming ones as well.
Good morning everyone!!
It’s the last day of the emergent village coordinating group, and over the course of the day we will be seeing people go so the crowd will start to dwindle and say their goodbyes.
Although it’s not over yet, it has been an amazing time meeting people, hearing their stories, knowing their hearts and knowing that we are a community of people that are often spread by distance and situations, but in this time together we exhibited the characteristics of a true family, loving each other and being willing to care for one another in many real and genuine ways.
This morning we have a few items on the agenda, the current one being of gender issues in the emergent village. Elizabeth Potter who is heading up a growing number of women who are asking questions about the place of women in emergent as well as the larger scope of ministry. Our community this morning is being willing to sit and listen to each other in an opportunity to be able to support the ideas and thoughts of many of the people present. This discussion is also closely tied to the issues of racial diversity, but we can save that for later.
But even though we are the emergent village and are trying to be people who are progressive and holistic, we still deal with these issues, but that’s just part of who we are.
I don’t know if I can encapsulate the feeling of this discussion, but there may be other thoughts out there about this. If I find any I’ll post the links.
After we had wrapped up our “meeting” portion of the day we were all invited over to Tony Jones’ house for some dinner, conversation and business. It was a totally unstructured time of getting to know people and enjoying one’s company.
It was so enjoyable to get to talk to people hear their stories, share mine, our lives and our love for God and doing God’s work in the world in so many different manifestations. I got a chance to fully talk with a lot of people and really started forming relationships. And to those of you who were there and read this and I talked to, I truly value you and the conversations we had, I enjoyed being able to meet you on a Jesus level and share in pain, joy, hope and life.
In essence, this is what emergent village is all about. Being a village of people who love Jesus and who love each other as Jesus loves us. I truly felt I was a part of this community that is gathered for a few days, many of us not knowing each other, but the fact that we desire greatly to see faith and God expressed in the world today in some amazing ways. If we could put just these stories down on paper and publish them, I think it would be an encouragement to anyone who has faith and wants to know where God is and how he’s working in people’s lives. It was clearly evident tonight as we ate in a backyard in the middle of Edina, Minnesota. This will for sure be my highlight of the entire trip, the new friendships and the old ones, all in harmonious convergence and resonance.
Not to mention the abundance of wine was good too. Thank you all for being exactly who God made you to be.
PS to Julie for her rousing karaoke. The smile has yet to leave my face.
Today we discussed many of the “internal” issues of emergent village (yes that’s the NEW/official way we are going to refer to Emergent) and in light of the discussion about things to come and some other things, I was not as participatory and did not take many notes. That is not to say that emergent village is trying to be secretive in any way, and I do not, will not, have not officially spoken for emergent village, so please take these accounts as my personal accounts and not use them to “define” or “measure” emergent village as/by.
One thing that I’m excited for as I mentioned in the last post was the new emergent village website that is coming sometime in the future. There was much discussion about how emergent village wants to portray ourselves when people come looking for information about emergent village or wishes to participate more fully within the conversation. Those groups and conversations that we had today were great in the sense that while we disagreed on a few things the general consensus was that it is definitely important to maintain a sense that everyone is invited to be a part of community both on-line and more importantly off-line face to face with other people working through issues that arise.
We also spent a fair amount of time talking about emergent village’s upcoming/current relationship with publishers and how that effects the stream of things. Bottom line, expect some good books, from emergent thinkers in academics/theology, church life (think for people working at churches) and then also general christian spirituality books. It should be great to read through these resources and view where people’s minds are going.
One of the other things that we discussed that I think warrants mention is a topic that was brought to us by Dwight Friesen about scale-free networks and their relation to church and the operation of faith communities. Long conversation short, is that with the naming of this social organizational pattern somewhat forces us to re-evaluate how we are to be most effective if we hold a position that desires to keep fluidness and authority in the hands of many instead of in the hands of few or one.
This may be something that I look at more in depth post-gathering. So you may in the few weeks be asked to discuss this further.
It was a long day and very taxing on the mind to have conversations over the course of a few hours that could probably take place over a year or years.
Right now Tim Bednar of echurch.com is speaking with us about the digital future of emergent village the site is going under heavy re-construction. The hope is that the website is going to be a hub for people to connect, gain information and find resources. Tech and church have been something that people have either been really interested in or really afraid of.
A lot of the discussion has revolved around people entering into the conversation as well as trying to figure out the best ways to present information to a lot of people. It is a long discussion and will be interesting to see what the final product will be once the site is up and running (don’t know when yet). But most importantly this is something that needs to be addressed and I’m glad that I’m able to sit in a room with so many people who need to be involved in this conversation and will be able to distinctly shape the future of what this will come to be.
Note: Once again all these posts and thoughts are on the fly and they cannot and will not fully capture the essence of what is happening. It is just as fast as I can type, as I try to coherently document and re-iterate what is going on here for those who are not able to be here and be a part of the conversation. My email is on the left if anyone wants to contact me, since we are connected, I may be able to respond in real time.
The start of day 2.
We are just starting to gather and we are being blessed by Ryan and Holly Sharp sharing their gifts of song and worship. What a blessing to have such gifts amongst this group.
Don’t know how much time there is going to be to process all that is going on but aside from taking notes I’ll try and do some thinking and processing and applying the many different ideas and thoughts that will be surging through my head these next few days.