Still getting my feet on the ground after last week's conference in DC. I've been itching to blog, knowing that much of my processing (and remembering) happens only in the context of writing. So I've finally managed to catch up on (read: delay) the urgent things, brew a cuppa, and sit down with my [unusually extensive] notes.
First, let me just say what a privilege it was to meet so many folks who are intensely committed to action. We were all at transFORM to learn and think and discuss, but I don't think I've ever spent time with a more implementation-oriented crowd. Everyone seemed almost impatient to get home & roll their sleeves up. Second, Steve Knight pulled together a remarkable crew of insightful folks. Every workshop I attended was outstanding, and I heard the same from others. Not one "dud". How often can you say that after a conference?!
So, down to brass tacks. Turns out there wasn't any one specific take-away. The weekend got my mind going in so many different directions that I've decided to take a different tack w/ my next few blog entries. I'll just go through my notes, highlight some of the ideas that stuck, and post them here, with or without context or commentary. If you're curious, let me know - I can always add (or invent) more detail. So, without further ado:
Jonathan Brink, "Constructing an Emerging Theology":
intrinsic mobilizing story: how do we understand and tell our stories in such a way that they get us off our pews and into active, transformative engagement? (for more on this, I'm reading Made to Stick. Also, see upcoming post on Stories that Compost)
Pride: can be understood as the human attempt at self-validation, trying to validate something that's already been validated.
Samir Selmanovic, "Learning to Love the Other in God, Self, and Society":
Holy Awkwardness - the discomfort we feel when we stand before someone entirely alien to us, while recognizing in them the image of God. A discipline crucial to truly loving humanity is to "practice my ability to not understand the Other." And finally, to those who have influenced our lives--in any way at all--"we owe a tribute--we owe our selves to them."
Peter Rollins invited us all to accept and even internalize our doubt with this: "To believe is human; to doubt is divine." Do we use our faith as something to hide behind, something to shield us from suffering? Or do we stare into the hard questions, and cling to God and God's body anyhow? "We find God in our midst. God is among us. As we doubt God up there, we pray, we weep, we long for God in our midst, in our actions." And then he stepped aside and let the the music of the prophet Jeremiah speak. (around 1:20:20, warning: strong language) We ended the evening in heavy, hope-filled silence.