EC part 1 of many

9am: Hatch Show Print episode- in short, I was like a Rupert to Letterman, man on the street, the seeing eye, as I made the pilgrimage on behalf of my wife Rachelle, the letterpress artist, and Hatch is a great print shop with traditional letterpress posters and cards.. so I walk in, cell phone on, with wife on phone, and I describe what I’m seeing.. put her on the phone with the manager, her enthusiasm to know that I’m there on her behalf, won some points, and I got to go into the inner sanctum, behind the “employee only” sign, saw some more artistically (and higher-priced) pieces, took pix on my cell phone cam, MMS’d a couple to her, she picked one out, and I’ll be bringing home a piece-d’art on the way home.. (if I had an easier interface to get pix from my phone to the blog here, I’d do it, but, I don’t)

11am: conversations covered lots of territory.. participated on panel as a resource person about “dreaming of a multicultural church”.. nicely put together by Jay, who’s strength includes arranger (tho’ he forgot dessert), will have to comment on this later..

1pm: the large room in the convention center is arranged with round tables, seating 8 each or so.. beautiful duo-tone leather Bible giveaway, courtesy of Zondervan, at each seat.. 7 video screens going on, 3 of them in sync, one of those in sync on an HDTV (very nice), the rest are random video or video still images.. most of them of urban city scenes, and I have to wonder out loud, how mnay of these in the emerging church are actually in the city?!

the welcome message started with off with an apology (disclaimer) about what EC didn’t do well last year: women speakers at the general sessions and workshops, theological diversity, facilitating conversations, so this go around they’ve got 50% women up front, non-evangelical non-insiders up front, and cohorts for conversations (like 3 or 4 hours of the multi-day event).. the 3 welcomers (Doug P, Jeanne S, Mark O) spend a few mins to unpack the motif of “The Road Ahead” and journeying together.. “don’t believe everything you hear” and “be skeptical” [ooooo, what a huge statement, I like it, very unlike typical venues where content is intentionally downloaded to the audience by experts].. permission explicitly granted to not attend all the sessions.. permission explicitly granted to roam the room, and don’t feel compelled to stay seated for the whole time at general session.. a few get prime seating on top of the camper (cf. pix at Michael Toy’s blog).. I checked out the inside of the RV, cushy..

ok, forget it, this is not going to be a play-by-play color commentary.. EC is too much an experience to capture vicariously over a blog or even getting the video or audio archives [and, that’s a good thing]..

Jim Wallis sound bites: God is personal, but never private.. public.. how faith gets public is a longer conversation.. neither Repblican nor Democrat look after the needs and interests of the poor.. on the issue of poverty, Call to Renewal is getting all kinds of Christians across the spectrum together.. if churches stopped providing services, and that were to come to a halt, country would come to a halt.. heal the affluent nations of our wealth and our hearts.. Christian theology is not easy with empires.. (quoting George Will) empire is about domination.. our potential to do evil as human beings.. empire is not the best strategy to confront terrorism.. truth-telling is a part of the prophetic vocation.. falsehood has its consequences.. the answer to bad theology is not left-wing politics, it’s better theology, better faith.. Micah is the prophet for national security.. there is no security apart from common security.. history is always changed by social movements, especially those with a spiritual foundation.. how did Jesus become pro-rich, pro-war, and pro-American?
the right gets it wrong, and the left doesn’t get it.. it is good to protest, far better to have an alternative.. embrace those religions, often with children, that remind us how this gift of life really is.. it’s hope or cynicism..

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  1. betsy says:

    Okay, I agree that it’s a good thing that EC is too much to capture…but come on, I need a full report. I need the vicarious experience. I’m back here at CR, practically all alone, feeling like I’m house-sitting while everyone else went to the really interesting party. Sigh.

    It’s partly because I had a really great experience at San Diego – with session content and especially with hanging out. It’s partly because I want to see Mike Toy. It’s partly because April says Nashville is a rockin’ town, that the city itself is really fascinating.