Home from the Convention...

posted by Jeffrey on Saturday, May 21, 2005 at 10:55 AM

*I've moved, and my posts have come with me! Check out my new blog at www.jeffrey-davis.net/blog/*

Well I'm home from the EC (Emergent Convention)...wow, what a week. As I anticipated, the conversation(s) with the other 650 people in attendance about Church, Scripture, Truth, and Humanity (among a great many other things) were spectacular! The philosophical and theological depth of the conversations were definitely intense, but how refreshing it was to be present in an atmosphere where questions are allowed and welcomed. Crap, isn't that what drives conversation in the first place...questions.

So here's how it went down:
I attended these seminars: Brian McLaren's: Pluralism revisited; Richard Foster's: On Journey with Scripture for Formation in Christlikeness; Doug Pagitt's: New Theology of a New World; and Dan Kimball's: Sacred Space-Creating Prayer Stations and Interactive Art Worship Experiences.

I do believe that my favorites were McLaren's and Kimball's presentations. It is clear to me that those who criticize McLaren's theology have apparently never interacted with him. But is that not one of the negative affects of the Reformation (not that it was bad as a whole)? That we would rather lock ourselves in a room and project our own presuppositions onto the the unprotected written thoughts of a man--though they lack any audible tone, inflection, or personality--than sit down and enter into conversation and relationship with him? hmmm...

Phyllis Tickle was the "blesser" and story teller of our General Sessions each evening. To merely be in the presence of this elderly woman of God was indeed the blessing. From her face beamed the apparent saturation of the Spirit through every fiber of her being. The first night she shared with us an "oldest" treasure of Scripture:the Melchizedeck; the second, an "older" treasure: the Holy City (and our "pilgrimage"); and the third, just an "old" treasure: the Bronze serpent.

Each night there were 3 different choices of worship experiences to participate in. Wednesday night I had the privilege of worshipping with Ikon from Belfast, Northern Ireland. They describe themselves as "iconic, apocalyptic, heretical, emerging, & failing." They would not say they are a church, but one day hope to become church (wow--think on that one for a while). They gather to worship and do their thing in a pub...that rocks. Thursday night I participated in a Taize style service. Learn more about this little city in France from where this style comes at the Taize Community. Friday night I worshipped with Doug Pagitt in a recreation of his community's weekly gatherings...if you don't know, his community of believers is Solomon's Porch in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

It was a wonderful conference and experience all together. Did my head feel like it was going to nearly explode? Yes (and it still feels that way as a matter of fact). Did I agree with all the theological, ecclesiological, and all those other words way over 4 syllables, viewpoints expressed? No--but again, it was incredibly refreshing to be in conversation with people and not be separated by our differing viewpoints. Finally, am I and we as the Gathering "Emergent"? My answer to that is ???. I/we share many similar views, ideas, and conversations as those who are "Emergent", yet I remain uncomfortable with that label for an unknown reason. I do know that we ARE emerging--we are new, different, organic, fluid, and hanging on as tight as we can to God in his leading of us as a community of believers...that I know.


Blogger Pooh said...

Thanks for the update. I bookmarked your site and was looking forward to reading about your experience at the convention. I appreciate your thoughts.

May 23, 2005 8:59 PM


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home