6. Teens [still] don't Tweet.
While Twitter was hands down "the" tool at this year's SXSW Interactive
(and one we recommend be part of any company's corporate communication
plan... see more at #5), the 140-character micro-blog trend isn't being
as eagerly adopted by teens. Anastasia Goodstein's YPulse teen panel
again validated this hunch: You're just not going to reach a majority
of 14-to-18 year olds with the über backchannel. Better to occupy the
mobile space and MySpace. Facebook is there as well, but the "I wanna
space" fave MySpace is still top dog among this cohort. Should be
interesting to see how this trend develops as Facebook and Twitter
continue to dominate and grow the microblogging/lifestreaming space.
5."Not making plans is so totally Web 3.0." — this line from Caroline McCarthy,
a CNET News staff writer, framed a second, related truism—Twitter was
clearly still the rockstar and darling of sxswi. As McCarthy pointed
out, when lines to get into parties at the Austin confab got too long,
flash-mob intelligence via Twitter created new meetups, new parties, on
With a multitude of third-party tools and add-ons, Twitter
offers increased freedom and mobility to stay on top of news and events
in whatever niche you're interested in following.
And to those
following the youth crowd, just because they aren't all on Twitter (yet), that doesn't
mean their socializing isn't happening on the net—teens are
embracing MySpace and Facebook, but moreover, they're embracing the relationships emerging from those connections. As Harvard
fellow and youth media scholar Dana Boyd points out, "We have this
belief that kids are just addicted to social network sites. If
anything, they’re addicted to their friends. This “addiction” to
friends is precisely what makes social networks so important,
especially for tweens, who are more limited in their socializing
options (until they can drive). There’s school, extracurriculars and
the movie theater on the weekends, but with social networking they can
be sure not to miss a single OMG moment.”
4. Get out of the way and let your audience explore. Interestingly,
this reminder came out of an interactive game development session, although it
was emphasized in later Web 2.0 panels as well. As one gaming expert
stated, "the complexity of our gaming interfaces should level up with
our users as they proceed [with gameplay]." The key idea here seems
completely intuitive, but it found new currency with me at the Playing On! Interface Lessons from Games
session: when we design games, instead of front loading the game with
tutorials or a discursive set of rules, we should allow the player to
start gameplay and learn progressively.
In the 2.0 panels, this
prioritization of the audience surfaced more in the context of public
relations and customer management. With social media, we all know you can't exert
control over everything online as you once could. You can't play by the
same rules, either. You have to learn to listen to the conversation,
insert yourself/your company genuinely, and be okay that you can't
predict or dictate the outcome. You can only monitor and react to it.
3. Design is still king. Evidenced everywhere I
turned. Good design creates context. Good branding creates curiosity,
loyalty, buzz and desirability. Too many examples to name. Okay, maybe
one: Alex Bogusky's B-cycle (bicycle sharing) initiative.
2. It's all about R&R. Not rest and relaxation, but rewards and reputation. A fascinating seminar borrowed from the language of game playing mechanics
and found parallels to be brought to bear in all of our social media
apps. Rewards will need to move beyond simple point-tallying and
actually show bling
for levels attained (exemplary games display which level a user has
achieved, which in turn earns him/her instant street-cred). The best of these apps
incorporate some kind of collecting mechanism as well—a
metaphoric trophy case—to show off those accumulated points. Whether
it's medals on an army officer's uniform, merit badges on a girl
scout's sash, or a collection of karate level belts, humans collect visual
indicators of our advancement. Finding creative ways to do this on the application level rewards your avids, and offers a clear path for noobs who want to
engage with your brand.
1. A Social Vote for Change Probably the most
memorable session I went to was a lunch at Stubb's BBQ, where the topic
was "Social Media for Social Change" — a lot was said about the
distinction between using social media for charity and using the same
tools to effectuate actual social, systemic, societal, or institutional
change. 700 people RSVPd for this lunch. I was lucky to arrive early,
which means I got in the door, actually ate a great brisket lunch
(ironically/awkwardly eating my BBQ sitting next to two new friends who
work at PETA2), and settled in for the conversation. The panelists
included pioneer Beth Kanter, David Armano, Scott Goodstein, Stacey Monk, James Young and Randi Zuckerberg. For an engaging overview of the conversation, read Kanter's brilliant summary blogpost here.
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.
Interesting. Hm. I just went back and found these handouts I created way back in 2004 ... they provide a tabular [ironically modern] outline explaining the postmodern paradigm in light of the last 2000 years to an audience of evangelical types. the material borrows heavily from Webber and McLaren, and would be good for evangelical or post-evangelical audiences. Maybe one or two of my readers can benefit from me making this available again on the blog. who knows. posted here as a free resource [caveat: it's 3 years old] for you the soupablog reader.
Just returned from helping facilitate the second Franciscan spirituality retreat out at Covenant. I was blessed to part of the first one back in March, and it was good to return to the rhythms of fixed-hour prayer with others, good to contemplate a rule of life. Tim Heavin is really doing the organizing, with several members leading vespers,compline,lauds and terce; I'm left to plan some of the canticles and other music.
i went ahead and also added a makeshift prayer station, sort of inspired by something lily lewin would do. it had a good set of headphones playing chants and choral settings appropriate to the canonical hour. i also found use for the century-old, rusty, square nails i had pulled from boards recovered from Sue and Tom's house in Galveston: we set up a little silver dish offering the nails that folks could take as a memento/artifact from the retreat (jokes about stigmata ensued).
Our family's spiritual journey has led us to the community here at Covenant — a simple community; cross-generational, ecumenical (generously incorporating practices and cues from everything from Baptist to Wesleyan/Holiness to Anglo/Catholic), self-described as "a place where the less than perfect are more than welcome", and one with a growing contemplative culture. Here Amy feels loved, valued, and welcome; and the kids are loved, and engaged with friends. I'm healing and re-engaging and worshiping God here. We joined the congregation as members today.
Today in San Antonio five cohort learners gathered over Cuban
sandwiches, grilled panini or tomato-basil soup, to discuss the first
two major sections of Emergent Manifesto of Hope. We
camped out for a while on Mark Scandrette's and Troy Bonsink's essays,
chased some on-ramp rabbit trails, described the Gatherings to some
folks who hadn't yet made the pilgrimage, some discussions on
parenting, the missional movement, etc. I had to leave early, so I'm
hoping Tim, Travis, Rudy or Michael can post about what happened in the
second half. We'll continue the Manifesto conversation in June. Please come join us, it's not too late! (Location and Time TBD)
Emergent San Antonio invites you into A Day of Dialogue & Sabbath April 28, 2007
invited to the major Emergent|SA Cohort event for this spring. The
event will be a day of praxis (action + reflection). Jump in your car
— or better, share the half-hour ride — out to a relaxing little
internet café in Seguin where we’ll start things off. In the morning we
will begin with an “open spaces” dialogue with our cohort lead learners
Tim Snyder, Paul Soupiset, and Travis Baker.
If you’re new to, familiar with, or vaguely curious about the
emerging church conversation, this slow-paced day is a great way to get
to know some kindred spirits, find an on-ramp into the emerging
conversation, meet new friends and chill over coffee in Seguin. There
will be plenty of time for stillness and personal reflection as well as
group interaction. Extroverts and introverts alike will feel at home.
lunch, we'll have several Sabbath opportunities available in the
surrounding neighborhoods. We’ll close the event with an evening prayer
if you're interested in alternative worship, you already know about smallfire.
it had been a while since i'd visited, and was again amazed by all of the creativity and collaboration across the pond. here's some screen grabs. thanks steve collins, for all the work you've done documenting this phenomenon.
collins writes: "Alternative worship is what happens when people create worship for themselves, in a way that fully reflects who they are as people and the culture that they live their everyday lives in.
most forms of church have become culturally disconnected from the wider
world, alternative worship can seem like a radical break with
conventional church practices. It uses the technologies and
media of our everyday lives - TV, video, CDs, computers - things that
we take for granted in a domestic environment but seldom see in
churches. It takes much of its content from the secular world - the
music, the language, often the imagery - because it sees the presence
of God in these things, and knows that spirituality has to make sense
in the context of our secular lives if it is to nourish us and help us
be salt and light.
At the same time, alternative worship searches the traditions of the Church for resources that fit the needs of the present.
Christianity has rich storehouses of spiritual treasures. Many of these
lie neglected or forgotten, but have renewed relevance - others have
been exhausted by overuse and need to be rested, or have become
irrelevant to the current needs of church and world. Alternative
worship tries to interpret tradition faithfully into new contexts - but
this may mean changing the form in order to preserve or revivify the
Alternative worship is deeply concerned for community.
Community is a place of honesty, commitment and support, where people
grow through relationship. Community is essential to living any kind of
authentic Christian life in societies which work against it in fine
detail. Community is not clique, but reaches out to others, maybe
locally, maybe globally. Whenever we meet as God's people we are aware
of those not present who are also God's people. And we are aware of
those who do not consider themselves God's people but are, more than
they ever think.
Alternative worship is intensely concerned with creativity.
Partly this is because reinventing worship requires it; but more
because of a belief that creativity is essential to human wholeness and
should be offered back to the Creator in worship. Since we are made in
the image of a creator God, we are all creative - but life, and often
sadly the Church, conspires to tell us that we are not, that we have
nothing worth offering. Alternative worship offers people the chance of
creative expression in worship. Not just the team making things to be
admired by the congregation, but the congregation making things as
worship, to be admired by the team...."
Announcing .... the rebirth of Communiqué: An Online Literary & Arts Journal. In ancient Rome, the adventus was a celebration honoring an anniversary: the date of the emperor’s rise to power. The Church later adopted the term Advent to mark the arrival of a different kind of Emperor – the Son of God in human form. It’s a season for honoring the past and sharing hope for the future. We could think of no time more appropriate to announce the rebirth of Communiqué Journal
When we published our first issue in 1998, Communiqué was one of the first of its kind. Eight years later, sites devoted to the intersection of faith, culture, and the arts permeate the web. The fact that there has been a proliferation of like-minded publications is a blessing. Beginning in the spring, Communiqué will be back with new offerings, published three times annually.
We celebrate the past. For this, our Advent issue, we have searched our archives and identified eight of most compelling pieces we’ve featured in the past, including poetry by Luci Shaw, a short story by Greg Garrett, and the Byzantine iconography of John Snogren.
We live in the present. We are pleased to feature a new essay by Troy Bronsink."The Advent Community and the Emergence of God's Dreams for Creation" looks at four lectionary texts through an emergent theological perspective. We also stumbled across the poem "I Ache For That Long Lost Light" quite by accident. The verses were penned by Communiqué friend Louis Hemmings — a Dubliner who deals in rare and used theological books. His verses, nested in the signature file of a recent email, caught our eye. He granted us permission to share the poem with our readers this season.
We look hopefully to the future. With this announcement, we joyfully await fresh submissions for next year’s issues. We continue to seek original stories, poems, essays, reviews, and art that explore, question, re-imagine, examine and celebrate aspects of culture and Christian conviction. The deadline for submissions for the spring issue is February 15.
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
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.
i need to go to bed because i'm waking up early for a client meeting so maybe if i do one long run-on sentence it'll go down quicker paul thought and wrote like caddy compson's benjy moments in long streams, long streams to catch you up starting with friday perhaps yes friday night where my parents kept the kids and amy and i had a much-needed date night and had a great time and made a pilgrimage to the apple store in san antonio's latest temple to consumerism: the shops at la cantera and then was saturday when hurricane rita came and we moved furniture most of the day and soccer games were canceled and sunday came and our missional community went to san pedro manor and spoke and learned and loved and remembered and grew and welcomed mark and rachel with open arms and jordan made me proud and devin made us all proud and my six-and-a-half-month-old baby stole the show and the beautiful and wise and weathered nursing home residences drank in emma's soft, round baby skin cheeks and fair smile and i watched and met betty who came from new orleans and hadn't found her hurricane-scattered children and she had been in the superdome and had heard the worst and then mark amazed me the way he could embrace strangers so easily y se puede hablar en espanol con las abuelitas y yo sitting there in contrast, forgetting mis palabras y no puedo recuerdo mucho and grace, and love, and later selfless susan serving spaghetti, starbucks, and birthday cliff and birthday ginger and casey started his blog and hannah and kate had laughing moments and amy made that chocolate cake and love and lethargy mixed and kids played pool just like river-city, and mike was there and i was there and we were late for soccer practice and i waited with jordan instead of going to mosaic roadtrip but that was okay, and i got to talk to george and that was good and then mark came by for some furniture and i made grilled cheese for jordan and i had a really good talk about our missional community and church and how important he is and watched grey's anatomy on abc tv and read two blog posts from cliff and they got my mind wheels rotating and a typed in a long comment and asked myself some questions and isn't it warm for september and my wasn't our electric bill high and isn't the wild goose fluid and good and beautiful and isn't she worth following?
Virusdoc wanted a layman's synopsis of Beyond Foundationalism. --Erik, you said you had "long been committed to the defunct-ness of foundationalist epistemologies," but couldn't determine "what to put in their place that allows any semblance of civil discourse between competing worldviews." I'm gonna try and formulate some thoughts over the next coupla days....
1. it took a month of sporadic reading, but i finally finished "Beyond Foundationalism". 2. my brain is full, and i need time to process. 3. generally: a really, really good treatment, good collaboration. 4. i commend this book to you. 5. i'm already thinking of the implications in my own sphere.
+ my friend danny in Kansas owns this cool painting to the left. His drawing instructor, josh cross, did the piece. note to self: buy more cool art. i have a great waddy armstrong painting on my living room wall, but it belongs to a friend's collection. it's on loan.
+ i think i'm going to buy a penny whistle.
+ an old college friend emailed me today. She's living in Tegucigalpa (which, of course, is fun to say). She's getting ready to move to Madrid (not as much fun to say, but easier). Jenn, thanks for writing. And yes, your son is right: you should blog :)
+ both of the above mentioned people are reading Blue Like Jazz currently. It's on my list of books to complete. I love the opening. need to make time to read it now that:
+ My friend Waldemar gave me Repenting of Religion. (Boyd?) Anyone read it? I think it's from Baker. I'm going to go thru it. He deals with some Bonhoeffer themes.
+ today was Random Music Day for me. in some ways, every day is, but this seemed especially random. been listening to dixie chicks, thompson twins, energy orchard, astrud gilberto and then a whole bunch of shuffled songs on iTunes.
strange coincidence, i was listening to caputo's 'why the church deserves deconstruction' on iTunes this afternoon when i noticed this on several feeds:
off the wire:
Saturday October 9, 2004 9:01 PM
By ELAINE GANLEY
Associated Press Writer
PARIS (AP) - World-renowned thinker Jacques Derrida, a charismatic philosopher who founded the school known as deconstructionism, has died, the French president's office said Saturday. He was 74.
Emergesque noticed as well and put it in an Emergent context:
"Derrida helps us to see that words as mere logical symbols are not to be confused with intrinsic reality. The implication for people of faith is that we musn't confuse mere information acquisition and transfer with true religiosity. There is a fullness of relationship with God that words cannot encompass.":
did i mention we are keeping my mother-in-law's weimaraner for two weeks? 24 hours and our house already smells like dog, we've had one throw-up on our nice new area rug, water-bowl slobbers all over the kitchen, and scratch-marks on the dining room door than opens to the back yard. at least rumors of Gracie's incontinence seem to have been greatly exaggerated, but remains to be seen.
Vicodin continues. I'm thinking about visiting my dentist this week. I've been avoiding him for 3 years ever since the TOOTH NAZI went to work for him. Nothing like guilt-laden dentistry to make you feel worse about yourself. I'm 35. Don't try to teach me how to floss. But TMJ plus a possible cracked tooth are enough to move me off the fence and into a dentists' chair.
interesting. while most of the churches we are conversing with are moving beyond their contemporary model (which may have served them well for the past ten to twenty years) and into a post-modern paradigm, my church in san antonio has finally (starting today) incorporated a contemporary service. which might seem traditional to some. Thus bringing my church firmly into the 1980s. And not a moment too soon. In the arlier service (now dubbed the 'Traditional/Blended' service) Jordan (8) sang in his very first choir performance. I noted that the choir robes looked very high-church for an EV-Free congregation... He did fine.
Today our church also had an old-fashioned Church Picnic at the Eisenhower Park pavilion in north San Antonio. I picnic of the old-school Texas variety: 400 pounds of beef brisket that Britt Jenkins and the boys had started barbecuing about 18 hours earlier, potato salad (this was mayo-based, not mustard-based), mild cole slaw, white bread (if you have to ask you're not from the South), barbeque sauce (optional so as not to offend the barbecue purists), pinto beans, ice tea, lemonade, and three picnic tables overflowing with ever kind of hand-baked and store-bought dessert you could imagine. I had one member in particular buttonhole me into a thirty minute discussion of politics. Of the Bush v. Kerry variety. Didn't want to go there. We have different Weltanschauung, y'know? It makes for an uncomfortable conversation when someone assumes you have the same political views as (she) does.
I finally ended the talk by noticing my daughter and calling after her.
We went to visit my Mom tonight after the picnic. She's recovering nicely. Showed her digital pics from the weekend. Then I came home an walked the dog for what seemed like an hour. Ich bin ein Wanderer Weimaraner
this is a frist stab, about four hours of wordsmithing. i'm posting it in loose draft form in hopes that i can get some feedback. this would be an emergent values set for a church plant. this takes my last 7 Values Set and distills them, and fills in some missing holes, and more importantly, fits everything on a single page.
Recap: Emergent values for a church planting mode
1. Unity amidst diversity.
~ We value the whole Church as the body and bride of Jesus Christ our Lord and long for a recovered apostolic tradition.
~ We seek to recover a Spirit-led, healing unity that allows for the Church’s myriad differences and complexity.
~ We value and welcome people regardless of where they are in their spiritual journey, offering them a safe place.
~ We welcome the diversity of our God-given humanity. We value a spirituality which seeks not to conform nor limit but seeks to embrace the mosaic of race, gender, age, giftedness, wealth, poverty, ethnicity, language and culture. Our leadership must also reflect this diversity.
2. Experiencing God in worship.
~ We value worship that is God-centered.
~ We value proclaiming the story of God, remembering thankfully His saving history, His action to rescue and renew Creation, and anticipating His final redemption. We seek to embody God-centered worship through a liturgy of shared lives, the apostles’ teaching, the sacraments, prayer, silence and meditation, the proclamation of the Word, incorporation of the creative arts, poetry, parables, laments, psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs —and other participatory, scriptural means.
~ We value freedom in worship and seek to cultivate engaged worshippers that are authentic, participatory, contemplative and multi-sensory.
~ We value worship which honors, communicates and invites us to particpate in the Holy Trinity. Our worship aims to reflect the mystery and trancendence of God the Father; to proclaim the story and bear witness to the incarnation and redemptive acts of God the Son in Jesus; experience the presence of God the Spirit through community and symbol.
3. A missional community.
~ We value neighbors. We strive to prefer others before self.
~ We seek to be a missional community, distinctive yet culturally-engaged and culturally-sensitive. We seek to be a permeable community that never insulates, protects nor isolates itself from life in the world. We value the laity of the church as the primary means to accomplish the messy, work of the kingdom, reproducing believers, fostering spiritual disciplines, and multiplying churches.
~ We value Jesus Christ’s call to follow Himself back into the margins of society to proclaim and embody the Gospel. We value sharing the gospel primarily by telling our stories with sympathy, patience, and creativity to an audience for whom our examples, terms, language, prayer might be a foreign tongue. God can use our stories in transformational ways.
~ We value honesty, brokenness and confession before Holy God, desiring to be similarly transparent with and accountable to others about our inmost struggles, doubts, thoughts, hopes, transgressions and struggles. We will regard others’ stories and confessions with grace, patience, confidentiality, and love, emphasizing healing and inward transformation.
~ We seek to recover an ethos of mystery and paradox, living with hard questions that have no easy answers, and to live within and minister amidst the tension that Jesus Christ told us to expect.
5. A (generous) orthodox Tradition.
~ We value and affirm the view of God as laid out in the Nicene Creed, which is rooted in sacred scripture.
~ We value the inherited Tradition of the church, including the classic spiritual disciplines: meditation, prayer, fasting, study, confession, worship, guidance, and celebration, and the observance of the christian calendar.
[Mystery] must be entered into… For we do not solve mysteries; we enter into them. The deeper we enter into them, the more illumination we get.... a problem is solved, it is over and done with. We go on to other problems… But a mystery, once recognized, is something we are never finished with. It is never exhausted. Instead, we return to it again and it unfolds new levels to us… We live in a universe permeated by a divine reality whose hem we touch when we encounter mysteries. (-Diogenes Allen)
If modernity waxed formulaic, it may be said that postmodernity is waning formulaic. Twentieth century mainliners put God in a handmade, gilded box; twentieth century evangelicals shoeboxed God their own simple way; charismatics, seekers, home-churchers -- whomever -- they all had their version of grab-n-go, portion-controlled God (would you like fries with that, ma'am?).
When the name of the game was Knowledge, we did what we could to tidy up the rough edges of the gospel; we rationalized, categorized, worked out our alliterative homiletics and matching three-point sermons fearlessly. When the strategy du jour was 'defending' the gospel (the gospel needs defending?), we hunkered down and constructed bulwarks. Airtight apologetics. Our authors and authorities plumbed the depths of God and returned with answers (by-golly)!
But Holy God always breaks out of our best attempts at boxing him up, boxing him in. He breaks out of our best-constructed apologetics. He offends us. He makes us stumble. He makes us eat his flesh and drink his blood. He embodies mystery. Beauty. Awe. Wonder.
Ecclesiax described an intentional return to mystery this way:
God is more than just a collection of rational propositions meant to be engaged by our brains alone. God is Spirit. God is mysterious. Mystical. We would not be in favor of nullifying the supernatural, opting for the cold, factual, scientific analysis that has tried to put God in a quantifiable box. We believe that God is beyond our finite attempts to 'box-ify' Him. Our best articulated theology is like a crayon scribble to the eyes of God. God allows us the privilege, the joy, of experiencing Him on His terms... we believe, mystical terms...
As we move forward "not having all the answers but knowing the one who does" we are freed up to take the word of God devotionally and for edification rather than as a database. We are freed up to echo the role of paraclete and come alongside someone who is hurt and simply be with them, rather than explaining the answer to their persistent "whys" -- and maybe we'll be blessed with community wherein we may enter as sojourners into further mysteries: the crucifixion and resurrection, the body and blood, the bread and the wine, the ascention, the mystery of the annunciation, the Incarnation, the baptism of Christ, the eschaton.
We recognize that this world, life and God are all too profound and complex to be reduced to simplistic formulas or to be neatly packed and cataloged in boxes. We embrace the wonder and mystery of all of creation and of the Creator, and seek to celebrate, enjoy, and experience the goodness of God, that far surpasses our understanding.
1 Timothy 3:16 (NLT)
Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith:
Christ appeared in the flesh
and was shown to be righteous by the Spirit.
He was seen by angels
and was announced to the nations.
He was believed on in the world
and was taken up into heaven.
"Five senses; an incurably abstract intellect; a haphazardly selective memory; a set of preconceptions and assumptions so numerous that I can never examine more than a minority of them -- never become even conscious of them all. How much of total reality can such an apparatus let through?"