Here in Chicago to drop in on the Evangelical Covenant denomination’s Midwinter Conference at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. Came in last night instead of the afternoon b/c my flight was delayed for 3 hours due to inclement weather at O’Hare, and will be flying out tonight.
Walked outside to see snow flurries last night. So nice! Winter finally feels real. Nothing like bundling up and feeling a little chill. (okay, enough winter this season, tho’ making a snowball would be a bonus)
Didn’t plan this trip as well, just booked it last minute last week; otherwise, I woulda stayed the whole time, b/c there are so many next gen Asian American pastors here in this mix, including Eugene Cho, Ed Lee, Walton Yuen, Ted Law, Peter Ahn, Abe Han, Dave Chae, Greg Yee, John Lee, and more. Locals like Soong-Chan Rah and Peter Cha stopped by too. Haven’t seen Scot McKnight or Doug Pagitt. Very encouraging to see how this older denomination is making intentional changes to enter the 21st century with growing momentum.
My conferencing tip I’ll divulge: I skip out of plenaries and workshops to meetup with people, and buy CDs of the talks I want to hear. And, I’ll roam around workshops, drop into several for 5 minutes each, catch the gist, and either settle in on one that most resonates to me, or if I find someone, pull someone out and get a hallway conversation. Though, in this grand and beautiful hotel, there are so many nice sofas and sitting areas all over, it’s ideal for mingling. Love that!
And a book I’ve been highly recommending to my pastor friends, and good for anyone who does public speaking, is Dave Stone’s Refining Your Style: Learning from Respected Communicators — read D-Plum’s raving review too. Plenty of books and courses on the mechanics of speaking and plumbing of preaching, but few books like this that helps you to find and shape your own voice.