Session Tonight

I have a Session meeting tonight, so I’ve spent the afternoon remembering the Four Cornerstones of Emerging Christianity conference that I went to the beginning of the month.

We’re supposed to be setting goals for the coming year. I hope we have had enough discernment to make them meaningful.

Here’s what I’m going to be saying.

Report on Four Cornerstones of Emerging Christianity Conference

  • Friday evening there were three presenters:
  • Susanne Stabile
    • Founder (with her husband) of Life in the Trinity Ministry (sponsor)
    • Talks about understanding that different people are led to Christianity in different ways (think Myers-Briggs personality types)
  • Brian McLaren
    • Internationally renowned speaker on innovative Christian thought.
  • Nadia Bolz-Weber
    • The founder of House for All Sinners and Saints, a non-traditional church in Denver, CO
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    • House is “open and affirming” – homeless, ex-addicts, LGBT, etc.
    • The Church has three jobs
      • Maintain the liturgy
      • Proclaim forgiveness
      • Care for the least, last & lost
    • It is not about the numbers, it’s the content.
    • The church needs to be ecologically stable.
      • Church has bought into the corporate culture
      • The church needs to be recalibrated
      • We need to bring the laity up to the level of the pastors.
  • There are four cornerstones breakout sessions
  • Community (via Al Watters)
    • The church is living in liminal space – before anything can be created something must die.
    • When in liminal space you can either go forward, backwards, or wait.
    • You can only start with what you have.
    • You’ve got to ask yourself and others are they followers of Christ or just fans.
    • Pastors need to be transparent and show their flaws.
    • We can not create meaning but we must discover it.
    • You can’t accommodate every ego but must work within a given framework.
    • You can’t build church community individually.
  • Social Justice (via Al Watters and Cindy Finley)
    • Instructor read from Zechariah 7:9 and 10. “Didn’t I tell them, ‘thus says Yhwh: Administer true justice; show kindness and mercy to one another; do not oppress the widowed or the orphaned, the resident alien or the poor and do not plot evil against one another'”
    • List injustices in the community – have passion  – determine how to work for justice.
    • Justice is a long-term commitment
    • Once a judgment is made to implement justice  you must reconcile the team, meetings, and the church as a whole.
    • Having problems forming the right question or seeing what it might look like, you can get with the Right Question Institute in Mass.
  • Spiritual Disciplines
    • The current BIG buzz words are Spiritual, but not Religious
      • Can the church explain how doing God and doing church are related?
      • Can it create a community that is genuinely grounded in those priorities?
      • Can it draw effectively on its inheritance?
    • It’s not about the numbers – the Dave test.
    • Until our churches take time for contemplation and discernment, we will keep on doing everything just as we always have.
    • “A contemplative practice is any act, habitually entered into with your whole heart, as a way of awakening, deepening and sustaining a contemplative experience of the inherent holiness of the present moment.”
    • EPIC worship
  • The Historical Jesus (I didn’t attend, and don’t have any feedback from this session.)

It should be interesting tonight.

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