These last two day have been…wow…
Friday and Saturday I spent the day with the National Council of Church’s Faith and Order Commission. To sum that up, it’s an ecumenical (lots of different denominations) group, that works collaboratively on different theological ideas.
The Faith and Order Commission works in 4 year periods and are smack in the middle of year 3 of an 8 year study.
I was asked to be a representative for Emergent Village, at this portion of the study (it meets every 6 months). John Franke, was supposed to attend but had to cancel due to prior commitments, so I was asked to fill in.
Luckily I wasn’t the only one who was there representing Emergent Village, Dwight Friesen and Samir Selmanovic, both who I had met at the Emergent Coordinating Group meeting, this past June, see blogs starting here, attended as well.
Overall my brain hurts. Too much theology. Though I must say that it was an experience to be able to be with so many really, really smart people who are in the midst of processing theology and to be a part of that.
In some ways I felt way out of my league, since I did not have multiples titles and/or letters after my name and didn’t teach at a school or run an organization. I did feel received well and it was great to hear from some of the other participants that they were glad that I was there and bringing a perspective from outside of their own tradition.
In some respects, we Emergent Village guys, questioned our involvement in such a endeavor, since we are neither a church or a denomination, nor do we have an established theology, when most or all of the other people there came from backgrounds rooted in hundreds of years of history and theology. We did agree (and it was affirmed by others) that it was good for us to participate in this discussion and to process theology with others since Emergent Village brings an outside perspective that, if nothing else, raises questions and challenges (somewhat) other perspectives.
Overall, it was great to be able to be an advocate and representative for Emergent Village. It was the first time in a while, where people would ask about Emergent Village and I wouldn’t have to defend or spend time arguing with people. There was a genuine interest in what Emergent was about and what we stood for and how we could add to the work that was being done. I found that people were disappointed that there was not more time for them to explore with us many of the ideas and values that Emergent Village brings to the ecumenical table. I will add, that there were some (not too much) issues, because much of what we said had to be prefaced with a statement such as “well this may not go for everyone or everything” or “this is merely our own perspective and may not represent everyone associated with Emergent Village”. But that would go for anyone whom we were speaking with.
At this point, the study group that I was on, has asked for a paper to be presented to them from an Emergent Village perspective about the Authority of the Church in the World. I know that’s a bit of an abstract concept to understand and I’m still processing what that means. But more or less it deals with how the church expresses authority (not just leadership authority) within the world, and in what aspects (theologically) determine where that authority comes from and to a lesser extent how that authority is viewed or received in the world. For now it looks like I will be the one to write something up, from the Emergent Village perspective, which will be a bundle in of itself to concisely and thoughtfully do, but something I look forward to maybe doing.
Well my brain really hurts since I processed more theology than I have ever done before in the course of 2 days. I need to go and decompress, but I will keep you updated on my possible future with the NCC and the aforementioned paper.
Hi to all of you who are coming over from Emergent Village. Welcome. Please feel free to leave your thoughts or comments here. I look forward to what any one else has to say on the subject of authority + emergent + church + ???. As I’m sure to include other’s thoughts on the subject as I start to think through this task.
Emergent+Village National+Council+of+Churches theology conference