-- note -- sorry about abandoning the live blogging last night. it was engaging, to be sure, but just not conducive to blogging.
5:52 pm - I'm here at St. Mark's, San Antonio, in the historic heart of downtown. The room is abuzz, and for a so-called emergent topic, the place is brimming with folks over 50. At 39, I'm clearly the youngest person here. Mary Ellen is here from ¡Viva! — and we were able to talk a bit about the upcoming Open House. Phyllis Tickle's flight was delayed, and she just showed up.
Thankfully someone's finally done it ... Tony Jones took the last year or so and gathered and codified many of the stories, theologies and artifacts from the first decade of the emerging church conversation. The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier (2008, Jossey-Bass) offers hope-filled, engaging views (at times wonderfully granular, other times, appropriately birds-eye) of many of the facets of the imperfect gem that is emergent. Part history scrapbook, part emergent church travelogue, part theological and epistemic treatment, this primer may well become the de-facto "on-ramp text" for the next decade.
It came in today! My advance copy of Jesus for President, the new Shane Claiborne + Chris Haw book for which I contributed 40 or so watercolor illustrations; designed by my friends Holly and Ryan over at SharpSeven. I'm really geeking out over how cool it turned out, thumbing through it like a little kid. It's cool to finally see the other contributors' work (several artists, photographers) and see how the whole thing comes together.
Please consider buying a copy.
It's four-color throughout, but somehow the price is less than $12 over at the big box place. I'm sure VivaBooks will sell it as well.
Here's an illustration I did, which you can see closer when you buy the book:
file under: filet'o'fish'o'war
Here's designer Ryan hard at work with his other love. This is fresh footage BTW:
"In our world of strangers, estranged from their own past, culture
and country, from their neighbors, friends and family, from their
deepest self and their God, we witness a painful search for a
hospitable place where life can be lived without fear and where
community can be found." - Henri Nouwen
My college-mate and former Trinity House denizen Pete Z is currently off at grad school (Wake Forest) and experiencing community with the folks at Dogwood Abbey in Winston-Salem: "…we meet once a month so far and hope to up that within a bit to move to meeting for communion and prayer one week, skip a week, then full service...then skip a week."
Their monastic model is described like this:
The Abbey will be a...
1. Center for reflective theological exploration. The Abbey will be an open space for conversation about God where anyone can participate.
2. Center for spiritual direction. The Abbey will provide individual and group spiritual direction via retreats and/or personal appointments.
3. Center for contemplative practice. The Abbey will be open daily for folks to come pray, and will hold regular retreats and studies on prayer and contemplation.
4. Center for ecclesial experimentation. The Abbey will be a place where the traditional church can experiment with new ideas in community and worship through use of space, apprenticeship, and through staff retreats with Abbey leaders.
5. Center for deep ecumenical friendship. The Abbey will host regular ecumenical gatherings for fellowship, dialog, and activism.
6. Center for community engagement. The Abbey hopes to blur the lines of the sacred and secular dichotomy by partnering with local businesses, farmers, and artisans in whatever ways we can.
Austinchange.org and Brian McLaren hosted a series of conversations in Austin yesterday revolving around his new book EVERYTHING MUST CHANGE. Some links from Bob Carlton… The Austin American Statesman had some great coverage:
My friend Troy Bronsink moderates the session, and it's also interesting to hear them dialog during the nearly 40 minutes of Q&A which follow. I tried to keep the files intact, but edited out a few long audio gaps.
Friday i worked from home on client work until mid-afternoon, then started out on a trip up to austin where i met bob carlton for dinner prior to the Austin Emergence 2007 panel discussion thingy.
Intuiting, perhaps, that i was born just miles from leon springs, texas, bob suggested we meet at Rudy's BBQ on 183. Over brisket and sausage and Rudy's now-famous BBQ "Sause" [sic], we shared in some good conversation and learned about the "hand-spa", then headed a couple miles away to this well-groomed, mall-like mega-church campus (ewww; i was half-expecting the perfect landscaping to have piped-in music from those injection-molded theme-park rocks. instead i quickly found the money-changers — err, sponsors — in the campus café).
so not a very likely setting for an emerging church confab; in fact, it had all the trappings of the contemporary-pop-culture-church-as-performance i've been running away from the last ten years: professional lighting rigging, three massive projection screens, tech geeks in back in a mixing board booth worthy of a concert hall, elevated-stage-instead-of-altar, auditorium, overstuffed chairs for the speakers, lapel mics, slick, auditorium seating for the rest of us and pre-produced video loops with schmutzy typefaces and royalty-free video loops. nothing to situate itself in time and place. OK: i'm not being very gracious. and i know this. and i will stop. now.
what came next is articulated well by bob here and here.
In the end I was impressed by most of the speakers and by the moderator, Scot McKnight, who I already had been tracking via books and weblog posts (and my bro-in-law syler's coffeeklatches with the prof) ...
The evening session (atonement theories!) finished. then comes the obligatory "we're in Austin, who's up for Magnolia Café or Kirbey Lane?"
My late-night dining partners were my buddies from Netzer Co-op. The entire current incarnation of the co-op was present, I believe: Lay-abbot Tim, Abbess/Painter Brianna, Contemplative Michael, Worship-Artist Ryan, and Novice Jonathan. I was honored to play the role of, as my friend Mark Menjivar would say, holy listener. They were/are at a turning point in their fledgling community all-too-similar to where Trinity House was at a year or so ago. Then I gave them some imperfect sage-green advice to go with Bri's green-green enchiladas. Usually-silent Michael suggested that after an evening of talking about theology, that they ditch the next morning's event and go buy sandwich fixings and spend the morning handing out food to the poor in Austin instead of listening to talking heads at the conference. Which is exactly what needed to be said. And done. I could've hugged him, the suggestion was so spontaneous and on-point. We stayed out too late and dragged ourselves to my gracious in-laws' where beds and sofas were awaiting my friends and me.
Next morning, thanks to Google Maps and the iPhone, we discovered Pacha, a cool little fair-trade coffee joint in Austin. Must return to soak in more. Planning to go to just the first session and then go with Netzer, I was drawn into the conversation in a deeper way than the day prior. I also got to meet Danielle Shroyer, the pastor of a fellowship in the DFW area that a few of my friends frequent. I like her: she's got a great perspective on many things.
And I love the theological underpinnings of Josh Carney's mind. Resolved: after his commendation (being the third or fourth this year, I will next read Jürgen Moltmann).
I felt pangs of guilt for Tim and I never joining up with the rest of Netzer on their outing. The praxis engagement and resultant reflection would've been better for me. I rationalized it away several times: I was Tim's ride so I needed to stay; I'm too old and just got in the way of their youthful missional expression; I knew I needed to get back on the road at about 2pm; I really wanted to talk to several of the folks afterwards, including Glenn and David (right). Kept thinking about the distribution of the food going on while I was wrapping up my stay at the conference. But I never went. Tim and I left and grabbed lunch and sat down to record a podcast interview for his blog at Jo's and then I hit the road for SA.
Came home, and prepped for this morning: I facilitated a discussion in our 'mystics/cynics/pilgrims' class at church (sort of the sunday school dropouts) about the way of the pilgrim, and led hymns, a taizé chant, worship songs, and an original composition in front of the congregation. the song that I wrote I dedicated today to my grandmother who turns 90 years old this week.
That's where I was this evening: at Lorraine Pearman's 90th birthday party.
Read a little Alan Roxburgh this evening, blogged this, and will be going to sleep.
Sorry not much critical reflection of the conference.
To the twelve readers of Soupablog dispersed abroad; greetings. :)
I was able to get a much earlier flight to DFW today and I've been waiting here at the airport: standing by for one of two potential “earlier flights” back to SA-town. They're oversold, however.
I'm back in TX following a week long gathering of friends old and new in the hills of New Mexico, just outside of Santa Fe. Meanwhile, Amy's flying to Chicago to see Syler run the marathon (we’re proud of you, Syler), and Jordan leaves for a campout while I watch the three girls. And I guess I will now wax sentimental, even though I know that tendency bugs a few of you... too bad:
Word and table. I learned something about both this week. I also learned a bit more about myself. And I tasted pumpkin waffles at Harry's Roadhouse Café thanks to a kitchen-staff request from Doug P. Later, I fell in love with a painting and a retablo of San Antonio de Padua on Canyon Road.
I laughed until I cried on Wednesday night — and last night, walking back to my room in the rain, I cried. And cried. I think I was lamenting something I lost.
But, then, I also found much. Common ground with other parents, Christ-followers, authors, artists, photographers and musicians — and we examined differences as well. We sat and participated in respectful (dare I say generative) conversations about parenting, dockside conversations about art, and others. What else. I listened to and gave input on several friends' book manuscripts and/or fledgling book ideas — and encouraged a fourth to restart her blogging and manuscript; I showed my book idea to several friends, and my sketchbooks to others. A handful of us sat on a back porch and dreamed about launching a new periodical.
I received Holy Eucharist and holy listening as a gift from one friend. This morning over breakfast I received a much needed story about failed intentional communities — and the perseverance to keep trying — from another. Over a cigar we discussed being kind to our detractors on the same porch where two years earlier I had assembled pizzas with a tall skinny Kiwi. The one action in 2005 [pizza making] being an action of hospitality, and the other action a study for my own part in inhospitality (not only because poor Saranell kept avoiding our smoke, but also because I unthinkingly brought my smoky self and clothes into the apartment where my friends were sleeping. And because smoking is banned at Baptist encampments). I discussed Schrute Bucks with Laci, hyped up Robot Chicken Star Wars for Damien and Lisa, and was called “Kern” repeatedly by Becky. We lived, slept, and ate in community. Everyone missed Amy and the kids, as well as others who didn't make it this year. We met new children who had been born into this community since our last gathering; we welcomed newcomers who had found their way into the conversation. I shared an apartment with two other graphic designers by complete coincidence.
We had a nice meal paid for unexpectedly by a new friend: perhaps buzzed by the serendipity of it all, we immediately conspired to obscenely over-tip our server. Fives, tens and twenties were passed around the table: I handed the speechless guy about a hundred bucks over-and-above the auto-assessed gratuity our culture’s dining establishments reserve for large parties. We laughed like crazy on the ride home. I'm reminded I'm blessed to have such friends. We shared our wounds, our dreams, our fears and questions. I was reminded of faith-things to which I want to cling more tightly, and other faith-things I might need to shed. I was reminded to stop apologizing so often. In any case my heart is full.
These people are my tribe.
p.s. I did get on the second “early” flight home — Chris A. picked me up at about 11:pm. Meredith was home watching the kids. Community is a good thing. (Thanks Alvarez fam)
had a good get-together today at ruta. gordon, tim h, christopher, travis, ian and myself were there, talking a little about "Emergent Manifesto of Hope" and a LOT about mainline and other institutional denominations and their future (or lack thereof). The gathering photo was backlit, so it didn't do justice to the group. you can make out christopher's cool clerical collar. how's that for alliteration.
I saw this graph i had made (below) and the photo (below that) and a bunch of other things tonight while I was cleaning up my external hard drive. I don't think I ever did anything with this infographic. but it's kinda nifty, so i keep it, the digital packrat that i am. the photo below it is of mike and ginger, two people i really respect [both for their willingness to relocate to abandoned spaces so easily, and for the generous arts education they've provided for their clearly artistic son dev], and they're smiling, which is good. i think mike and ginger are still traveling overseas. godspeed. oh, and happy birthday cheryl, if you ever read this!
After lots of fun discussions, level-setting, and stout work from Tim Bednar at Turtle, the Emergent Village 2.0 site is live, finally. At least, the DNS has caught up in my neck of the woods. There you can see my little Emergent leaf logo, and catch up on all things Emergent. Pax, Paul
Earlier this week, Alan Roxburgh and the Allelon Community hosted a group “work[ing] on the formation of a Missional Order for the purpose of training and releasing leaders in local contexts.” at his home in Vancouver. Present were Chris Erdman, Tim Keel (Jacob's Well), Karen Ward (Church of the Apostles in Seattle), Patsy Fratanduono (Cedar Ridge), Bob Roxburgh, Ed Searcy, and Gary Waller, according to Keel, who also posted [this] robust 12-page new monasticism PDF from the Community of Friends in Renewal (CFR) -- [download file.]
Erdman writes in his own blog, that they set out to “sketch the broad contours of a Missional Order that will sustain and nourish a dispersed community of missional leaders around practices, mutual commitments, and on-going learning. The Order is initiated by the Allelon Community which will provide updates and more information in the months to come.”
my post late last night was eaten by amy's PC: about 45 minutes of typing down the drain. so i'm not gonna even try and reconstruct. here's the synopsis of what you missed:
I. brian mclaren came and talked to our cohort and other guests in san antonio last night. i wrote about how much I enjoyed my time getting to know brian better, how much fun it was to play host to such a gracious, enjoyable guy, how good the company and food and drink was at La Fonda, but that's all since been better said by others, here, and here, for example. despite several times being at the same events, this was the first time we'd been able to talk uninterrupted, for more than ten minutes at a time.
II. sounds like the austin cohort is now in good hands. between jim mueller, scott hall, glen barbier, greg willis, and whomever from ECN chooses to engage... let's just say our group will be able to gain a lot from the folks up the road.
III. communique journal is moving along nicely now that it's being delegated properly -- i'm hoping it's one of my hobbies that i can continue with -- it's meant so much to so many people over the years -- look for a new issue in december.
IV. what I've really been wanting to blog about is Trinity House's first advent service. But I'm afraid the PC will crash again, so let me post this, and start typing on the 2nd post.
V. in the meanwhile, here's two stanzas i really like from a poem by my friend pam (amahoro means "peace" in bantu):
for the calloused hands trembling after years of hard labor yet no rest for the weary amahoro, amahoro
for an untouchable people the “lowest of low” unaware of their value amahoro, amahoro
I sent an email to a bunch of Austinites this evening, folks who might be interested in an Austin Emergent Cohort. There seems to be one starting here. But I know I've missed a few people. If you've recently told, emailed, called, commented, or tracked back about Austin Cohorts and you want me to email you what I sent to them, drop me a note. ................ Tuesday night Jordan and I hosted this father-son group with which we're involved twice-monthly. It's a fairly ecumenical group (a mix of mainline, roman catholic, evangelical, and non-denominational). It was our turn to have the group meet at our house, and thus my turn to come up with content. i decided to have the kids and the dads write their own psalms. we talked about the range of emotions found in the 'real' psalms, and how it was okay to express anger, fear, questioning, and how we're called to 'sing a new song' -- and that everyone could contribute. you should have seen what they came up with. amazing. this is nine-year-old guys expressing some beautiful phrases; i only wish i had kept them to publish here. their dads came up with good ones too, but the kids' were great. that was a good evening: no doctrinal baggage, no propositions, just these kids giving God their shout-outs. ................ On Monday night I was able to be a fly on the wall at a conference call for the Relational Tithe (RT). Folks from all around the country [new friends like Greg Willis in Austin and Ryan and Holly Sharp on the road in Ohio, and acquaintances like Damian O'Farrell in CA, and Chris Haw (he made Trinity House's pottery) in Camden, NJ, and Shane Claiborne from the simple way] and they had dialed in mainly to hear stories, to hear how their money was used around the world. Think of it as narrative tithing, with way fewer than six degrees of separation.In fact, only one degree of separation. This far-flung group is living out a new model for pooling Kingdom funds and getting it to people in need: people these folks have met, invited into their homes, shared meals with. I hope to learn more about the RT and maybe our community can incorporate lessons learned into our daily, weekly, monthly rhythms of giving. ................ Kate, age 4 and a half, had a big lunch date with me today. (Emma was there too, but Kate was the excited one). We got to go to EZs and share a big cheese pizza, and then come down to the studio and hang out there for an hour before mama came and picked her up! She felt very grown-up. ................ Jordan and I played HORSE the other night with his Nerf basketball. For me, this was a Sporting Moment With My Son. So much so that I'm blogging about it. I'm not a sports guy. So I'm counting on some of you friends of mine who enjoy sports, enjoy sweating, to help me out in exposing Jordan to more than the occasional game of Nerf HORSE. Please, help a kid. Donate today. Operators are standing by.
Last night I introduced you to Pam Neumann, a missional thinker committing several years of her life to a traditional overseas missions model.
Tonight I'd like to introduce you to Troy Bronsink, someone I think of as a kindred soul: He is an artist, poet, musician, singer-songwriter, he's being ordained as a Presbyterian pastor - PC(USA) and he has a heart for marginalized people in the 'abandon spaces'; and he articulates the missional facets of the intersection of art and man and God with beauty and a wisdom beyond his years. He is doing something about the post-colonial shift from word-based culture to image-based culture, as companies are "moving from organization-centered to creativity-centered approaches" -- he understands that artists and their resultant artifacts are living gospels capable of "bear[ing] witness to God's kingdom within the symbols of culture" -- essentially the missional task.
When I met him back in April at WALP, he and I had some great conversations over food with Tim Samoff and Mike Crawford and Will Samson. I was really pleased he made it out to the Gathering.
His community's rule is metaphorically artistic, and i love it.-- a community commited to (a) Being God's Artwork (b) Being God's Artists, and (c) Being Curators of God's Artwork. This is explicated at his church as art website and you kinda need to go read it yourself (here). I wish I could get Troy to come talk to our missional community, because he puts into words that which I'm unable to, about the intersections of art and prophetic calling and lament and hospitality and monastic presence and music and ... argh. I come up short. But he's truly gifted. I think he'd do our community much more good than would a guest theologian.
Not that Troy's thoughts are not deeply theological. But they are deeply artistic, natively post-modern (in the best sense of the word), If you visit his website, be sure to read his "Case for a Church in Southwest Atlanta" -- you have to read a few grafs down to get to the really prime stuff.
Friday, October 28, 2005 Ryan Sharp + House Concert at the Soupiset casa An evening of music and story and food. 127 Irvington Dr. + San Antonio TX 78209 + (210) 829-1539 Dinner 7pm; Concert 8pm; ages 15 and over please. $10 at the door plus a “covered dish”*
Ryan Sharp / The Cobalt Season / House Concert We’re having them down to San Antonio for a house concert on Friday the 28th, about a week-and-a-half from today. If you're interested in supporting the thoughtful intersection of faith and the arts, and supporting a fellow sojourner, and listening to well-crafted music, then come. It'll follow typical house concert protocol: you bring ten bucks and a covered dish:
*The money goes straight to the performer; the food gets eaten by you at the house concert. You can bring whatever to eat. Water and Tea will be provided; feel free to bring beverage of your choice. Interested? Please let me know now via email.
Influences The Doves, Radiohead, Troy Bronsink, Deccatree, Mike Barnet, Damien Rice, James Taylor, The Indigo Girls, Over The Rhine, Rich Mullins, U2, Muse, Magnet, Sufjan Stevens, David Gray, Pedro The Lion, Kent, Switchfoot, Whiskeytown, Lyle Lovett, Ryan Adams, Jonatha Brooke, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Travis, Patti Griffin, Nickel Creek
Sounds Like ...coming home...crisp, autumn air...angst and confusion...despairing hope...disillusionment with religion and politics...
You're invited to a House Concert at the Soupisets living room.
Ryan Sharp is an amazing singer-songwriter I met at the Emergent Gathering who decided, along with his wife Holly, to pack up their things and hit the road, to see America, and share their songs (under the band name The Cobalt Season) on the road. Their method of subsistence is going to be doing house concerts in homes around the country. It's sort of like putting faith in action, stepping out, and seeing how God provides.
He's coming through Austin area next week, so I'm planning on having them down to San Antonio for a house concert sometime between October 24 - 28. (I need to hear what evenings are best for you)
Friday, October 28, 2005 Ryan Sharp + House Concert at the Soupiset casa An evening of music and story and food. 127 Irvington Dr. + San Antonio TX 78209 + (210) 829-1539 Dinner 7pm; Concert 8pm; ages 15 and over please. $10 at the door plus a “covered dish”* email me for more info.
Here's where you come in. If you're interested in supporting the arts, and supporting a fellow sojourner, and listening to really good music, let me know ASAP. It'll follow typical house concert protocol: you bring ten bucks and a covered dish. The money goes to the performer, the food get eaten at the house concert.
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.
Three days and twenty-two hours, round-trip, door-to-door. Ninety hours, give or take; it doesn't sound like much. But what a journey. The Soupiset fam -- all six of us -- loaded ourselves into the minivan to motor west and made a pilgrimage to the Sangre de Cristo mountains near Santa Fe for the 2005 Emergent Gathering. About a hundred and sixty people, each with a beautiful commitment to God, living life in the way of Jesus, came together for three and a half days of conversation, relaxation, shared meals, encouragement, catching-up, and hospitality. This much of the blog post I probably could've written before I left for the trip, site-unseen. Over the next few days, however, I'll try and post thoughts and pictures from my point of view, maybe have my family guest-author a post or two, and try and unpack some of my experiences.
Right now, I'm tired from travel. We made the outbound trip to Glorieta Conference Center in a single 12-hour push. The original plan was to return via a stay with friends Kelly and Steve in Lubbock, TX, but about mid-afternoon yesterday, we decided to make a reciprocal 12-hour push back to San Antonio, landing us home at about 2 a.m. This gives us an extra 'day' to unload and clean the Honda, catch up on email, finish planning Sunday's worship gathering, and chill. But the last four days -- 24 hours of driving combined with baby Emma being under-the-weather the whole time, combined with leaving the sedentary desk and hoofing it around in higher altitudes, has left me and the fam a little groggy.
So with that, I'll say goodbye for a few hours, go unpack the minivan, make pancakes for the kids, and think about what stories I'll share first. More later including photos.. actually the photos will have to wait, probably, until Saturday or Monday..
A quick word of HELLO to all our new and existing friends from the Gathering. You are all loved, and we already miss you. Leaving was hard to do. Your encouragement about our local community, cohort, etc., was good fuel that'll last a long time.