so now on to the good stuff: people, food, conversations @ Emergent Gathering 2005.
i'm going to mention a lot of names of a lot of special people whose names probably won't mean a thing to most readers, but they're traveling partners, sojourners, and i've linked to their blogs or websites whenever i could, and the listing is mostly for my benefit, for my future recollection. but enjoy...
the high points:
+ the new monasticism / intentional community: new friend, michael james tupper is a methodist minister who has been asking a lot of the same questions our community has about the new monasticism. so much so that he's taken a twelve week sabbatical to visit the various communities mentioned in School(s) for Conversion he and another new friend, presbyterian pastor karen sloan (see more on her and Dominican experiences below) led a conversation on the above topic. it drew a really great and thought-provoking group of folks ranging from (all these are new friends too!) denizens of communality in lexington, ky, to the people of oak grove abbey in austin (more on both of these below too). additionally there was a couple involved with the order of st.anne there were a few skeptics who had grown up in intentional communities and bore some woundedness, and i'm processing their cautionary words but left with more hope than anything: all the warnings revolved around ingrown community that was existing to fortify "from" rather than to focus, missionally, out onto/with the community-at-large. i'm going to try to connect to Michael's post-sabbatical "report".
+ our wonderful housemates. great experience. we lived in and helped host one of the gathering's "houses of hospitality" -- large cabins with quarters for families and singles -- the houses had large common kitchens, dining and living rooms where other Gathering folks (the ones who either camped or stayed in the hotels or apartments) would come for shared meals.we bought groceries (my foray into santa fe to find rice for lunch and quinoa [KEEN-wa] for shelly p. was my first trip to a Trader Joe's ). I got to know and appreciate Troy Bronsink even more (friend from WALP, and a great singer-songwriter-thinker-speaker), had really great conversations with Sherry Maddock and Jennifer P from Communality; and reconnected with Baylor friend Greg Willis, and met Jolie Willis and Heather Taylor all from Oak Grove Abbey (see link, above) ...got to know and listen to Ryan and Holly Sharp (more on a possible house concert in support of their excellent CD very soon), have great conversation with Tim Conder, met and instantly clicked with Glen Barbier from Austin, listened to great stories from Lisa Scandrette, who, although wasn't an official housemate, had taken shelter there to knit along with Laci Scott who I kept mildly amused with a running soundtrack. Lance White (aka HumanFuel) was on-hand to serve as a counter-point to our conversations, and Tim and Saranell Hartmann with baby Simeon were a great encouragement and a lot of fun to chat with... Jen, Damien O'Farrell (we found this wounded puppy... that's another story) and I know I'm missing folks (sorry)
+ we fell in love with the joneses. debbie and andrew jones have some amazing kids. five to be exact. we basically adopted the wonderfully effervescent hanna jones who stayed in our bedroom most of the nights, and jordan lived at the jones' cabin for 2 days, hanging out with sam. I got to hear elizabeth jones' camino de santiago pilgrimage story ... and hear firsthand the beautiful, poetic story of debbie's dreadlocks -- a talei had heard a while back... i didn't get to really talk to andrew at all -- he was surrounded by people the whole time wanting a bit of his time. their nonchalant hospitality is my new benchmark. would that God let me be that carefree, flexible, and genuinely free to love.
+ hope and encouragement for emergent cohorts. cliff and i have been leading this emergent learning community in san antonio for about a year now; at the Gathering, some of us were able to share learning community stories... tim hartmann (baltimore md cohort) and i facilitated a discussion with other cohort leaders and curious parties. one notable outcome, i think, will be that we decentralize the cohort responsibilities a bit so that tim conder doesn't shoulder all the burden. also, if glen and others step up to the plate, you can expect to see an Austin cohort by year's end.
+ practiced liturgy of the hours and had a great discussion - the aforementioned karen sloan is a self-described "young evangelical Presbyterian pastor [who] ended up spending quite a bit of time around communities of men in the Order of Preachers, or as they are commonly known, Dominicans." Each night she led evening prayers in a simple liturgy modeled after the Dominicans' liturgy of the hours; she is writing a book about the story of the journey of her last year and IVP will be publishing it in the winter of 2006 i believe. I'd love to have her down to Viva Books for a book signing.
+ more? grace mclaren is great. doug pagitt's new book is great, too, from the excerpts i've heard. It was great to finally hear CIVA mentioned in an Emergent circle. Got to meet Cincinnati Heidi, got to talk a couple of times with the instantly-likable Randy Buist (met him at WALP).. good conversations with Nate from Houston cohort; Michael Toy rocks. Will Samson, as always, encourages me and spurs me on. Amy really connected with Jen and Sherry and Jolie and Heather; we're considering field trips to their communities.Rick Bennett gave me two cigars, one of which I'll pass on to Cliff. the 'garden party' was a truly memorable time of worship and sharing. i didn't get to actually go into santa fe, save that trip to the grocery store and back. note to self: next time, wake up earlier to experience breakfast at harry's. the guys and gals at Trinity House reealllly would benefit from coming next year. got to met rusty interning in roswell.
+ processing it all. i'm decompressing, processing, and will go a little more in-depth on a few of the topics soon.