After a week of hearing some amazing preachers and musicians, participating in a wide variety of worship, sharing stories with colleagues and gathering materials to bring back home, a few final notes:
Barbara Lundblad, preaching professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, offered a rich menu of options for thinking about Ordinary Time – that time between Pentecost and Advent. It does not really need to be so ordinary, she said, offering great opportunities to explore the stories and themes that really define the realities of every day life for Christians in some ways even more than the big feasts do.
Brian McClaren took us on a journey of spiritual development, from simplistic to complex, from perplexed to harmonious. And then he led us to scripture texts and spiritual practices that allow us to sink into each of those stages.
Diana Butler Bass offered a provocative look at “Christianity After Religion” (which happens to be the title of her next book that will be out next February). The key idea from her two-hour presentation – belief, behavior and belonging are the ways people enact religion and those are all in flux. We are creating the new future.
And since the end of the world is coming on Saturday, musician Nate Houge suggested we had all made a wise decision to spend our continuing ed money early in the year this year.
Actually, I think it was a good idea even if the sun rises again on Sunday.