As I say in the E/C at least once a month, Emergent exists primarily to get people together. At the root of our incarnational faith is face-to-face meeting, sharing meals, conversation, and shared worship. So I thought I'd lead off this year with an E/C devoted exclusively to events. Now, Emergent isn't hosting most of these, but these are our friends, and we support what they're doing. Not only that, you're sure to find old friends and make new ones at these gatherings:
Cokesbury's Worship Connection will be co-sponsoring a worship conference on January 17-19, 2006 in Grapevine, Texas with Dan Kimball as one of the keynote speakers. The conference is open to clergy, musicians, band members, lay speakers, worship teams and anyone interested in planning worship! For complete details please visit this site.
The National Pastors Convention is in San Diego, February 22-25. It's going to be a great time, not only because it's in San Diego in February(!), but because there is an entire track there devoted to emerging church issues. A Critical Concerns Course, hosted by me, will be a two-day panel discussion offering a array of views on the emerging church. Then, there will be a host of seminars, late night discussions, and book clubs for the rest of the week. Even more importantly, there are sure to be several less formal gatherings to talk about the church and Emergent's role in it.
The Emerging Church Conversation with John Franke at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is a regional gathering taking place on February 9: John will give three adresses to the PTS community, following by an evening meeting with the Emergent Pittsburgh Cohort (Contact BJ Woodworth (email@example.com) for more information on the cohort).
On April 28-29, 2006 the Conference on Christianity in a Consumer Culture will be held in Minneapolis. The purpose of the conference is to bring together Christians from various disciplines and theological traditions to offer analysis of the way our consumer culture shapes Christianity in America as well as to develop a faithful Christian response to consumerism. Main speakers for the conference are: Ron Sider, Sondra Ely Wheeler, Rodney Clapp and Vincent Miller; there will be and additional 16 breakout sessions.
Worship in the New Millennium: Why Are We Missing Our Best Stuff? February 7-8, Phoenix. If you're looking for a brief but intense opportunity to engage in open, honest and frank discussions about creative worship ministry leadership issues in this digital age with a small group (99 max) of fellow sojourners - then you're welcome to join us in the conversational journey. In this day and age of a new digital reality the potential for creative worship ministry has never been greater but is often a challenge to reconcile with leadership and environment issues. Voices include Sally Morgenthaler (Co-Creational Leadership), Rex Miller ("The Millennium Matrix") and Kevin Callahan ("Body Language") plus your own!
Kairos: A Gathering of Community & Conversation for Friends in the Mid-Atlantic. Spend two days discussing and dreaming about the church of the future with Brian McLaren. This years Mid-Atlantic Gathering will be held at Skycroft Retreat Center (www.skycroft.org) in Frederick, MD from April 17th to April 19th. Past topics covered include church-planting, spiritual formation, hermeneutics, preaching, leadership, and a host of others. The cost is $100/pp which includes bunk sleep accommodations and food. Register and submit ideas for discussion by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.Mustard Seed Associates is sponsoring The Church Has Left the Building. Come experience, connect & create the future one mustard seed at a time. The event will be held April 28th & 29th of 2006 at Trinity Methodist Church, Ballard, 6512 23rd Avenue Northwest, Seattle, Washington 98117. For more information, check out the blog for the event.
PAPA Fest 2006: People Against Poverty and Apathy...a convergence of communities and movements. This will occur June 23-25 of 2006 in TN. Morning sessions will be geared toward teaching, bible studies, and panel discussions, pondering things like community, theology, and peacemaking. In the afternoons, we will have workshops and how to sessions where folks can explore anything from knitting and bike repair to drumming and massage. In the evenings we will have some inspiring music, circus festivities, and storytelling. This is an event sponsored by the participants and will draw together people from the Community of Communities and new monasticism, the Christian Community Development Association, Emergent, Jesus Radicals, the Relational Tithe, Ekklesia Project and who knows who else. It is being talked about as a mega-Family Reunion of sorts. For more information or to sign up to participate, contact Will Samson.
The Allelon Summer Institute in Idaho in June will feature Brian McLaren, John Franke, Al Roxburgh, and others.
Outside of North America? Brian McLaren will be all over the world in 2006. Check his site for his dates in other countries, and the approriate links.
And one more thing: Harvard education professor Howard Gardner has asked that we point people to a survey he's conducting on whom Americans trust. It's here, and it takes about 10 minutes.