This week a bunch of folks are out in San Diego for the last YS sponsored Emergent Convention out there. I wish I could be there, but am getting excited about the Nashville version in May, which will be very different than the West Coast version.
One difference, which we have been working on, is the decision to separate worship from the general sessions. We are in the process of finding three venues which will host concurrent worship experiences, all different in nature. Our hope is that the group will self divided — 300 or so going one place, 300 going to another, etc. The worship options will run the gamet from the eclectic Madison Green at one venue to Taize and Eucharistic services at another. I’ve been working with the downtown Nashville churches to try and use some of the historic worship spaces, hoping that we might all experience together how “traditional” spaces might be used in alt worship/emerging forms. Anyway, I’m hopeful that this experiment will be pretty interesting.
I am also excited about a Critical Concerns Course that I am involved in designing and leading. It’s called “The Embracing Church: A Spiritual Retreat on Jesus and the Expansive Kingdom of God.” This retreat, led by Glandion Carney, Brian McLaren, Tony Peterson, myself, and others, will unpack the ways that we practice an ethic of exclusion, both personally and corporately, and look at how Jesus practiced an ethic of embrace. Our hope is that — through worship and conversation — we might all experience our own personal transformative experiences in moving toward embracing as Jesus did.
I have setup a web site to faciliate the work of the retreat. Check it out at www.embracingchurch.com.