Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Next Church Gathering Day 2

The second day of the NEXT Church National Gathering was long. We learned a lot. It was joyful and hard and we have many things to take back to our ministries. Our conversations can become concrete.

We began with worship (well, some of us began with breakfast). Bagpipes kicked us off, which @Rev_AaronJWhite said, “Hearing ‘Brave Scotland’ playing on the bagpipes on St. Patrick’s Day! Bold move.” I said, “Free Scotland!” Sorry, St. Patrick’s Day (although so many people were sporting green that I think St. Patrick’s Day is well-represented).

@mnewgale I *love* singing The Church’s One Foundation in a sanctuary full of singers.
@PastorHallie “I’m sick of screens. I’m using the hymnal, damnit.”

And when Brian Ellison began to preach, the Twitterverse went wild.

@JoeGenau Will the church really have changed? I hope so…our very life as the body of Christ depends on it
@shanibah Grow up church: speak the truth in love.
@Raveler1 “May we believe that Truth isn’t just a metaphor – just to tell the truth, naming brokenness”
@BolingRevRuth On speaking the truth in love: “There is no unity in silence, no reconciliation in avoidance.” Brian Ellison preaching
@marcybain When we’re silent rather than speaking truth/engaging each other, it doesn’t result in one body; it results in no body.
@dwightolin Brian Ellison’s sermon on the change that is upon us paired with great organ music: lovely juxtaposition of old and new.

There was discussion (thanks to @joshmrowley) on a location for NEXT Church gatherings where socioeconomic diversity is more visible, or honored, or mentioned, or where ministries in mixed-income neighborhoods are lifted up. @jazzpastord mentioned Oakland, or Washington Heights in NYC.

During a greeting from @LindaBValentine, @hewnickel tweeted “’Trusting in God’s love even in turbulent times.’ A lesson for the next church.” Many tweeted about the use of time for greetings from the heads of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the Presbyterian Foundation, the Board of Pensions. @ajc123 tweeted “Term ‘racial-ethnic communities’ gets used in the church a lot, but I rarely (ever?) hear it elsewhere.”

I missed the reference, but someone said something about a movement. @RevJohnRussell said “Strikes me as a little vague? A movement toward what exactly? And for whom? Us in the room?” @JoeGenau said “It does feel like the institution is seeking to respond to the movement – if awkwardly – instead of the other way around.”

@JEDi1016 nicely encapsulated things: “Ug [sic], the running joke of this conference (or today anyway) really going to be that there are ~666 of us here.”
@thesarahross Let’s just round up to an even 700.

@tripporch Current #nextchurch2015 agenda item: “pat ourselves on the back hour”

During the IGNITE presentations (on ministry and marriage as a clergy couple, ministry and education and children in Rochester, pastoring a church as it closes, by Young Adult Volunteers, and crowdfunding)…

@LandonWhitsitt @miheekimkort and @andykort speaking “truth in love” to one another. On stage. In front of us. #awkward J
@SarahDianne1230 Let’s not assume that ALL millennials hate traditional worship, hymnals, organs, etc. We’re not all the same.
@C_Rev Great Schools For All: great education for children in every zip code, Rochester, NY. Beautiful work, 3rd Pres.
@emmahhjo A “fear eradicating, hope inspiring God” is my God.
@RevMcWhit Well pastoring a church to closure is kind of putting it out to pasture #toosoon?
@NEXTpcusa IGNITE abt faithful church closure comes directly fm ’14 feedback that we must tell this story along w/renewal stories
@abbykk speaks of the sure and certain hope of resurrection
@Raveler1 “When I saw the disbanded church BE the church that day, I saw the turn of resurrection”
@jessscholten Vulnerability builds trust, gives courage. Thanks YAVs
@Jessie_Light YAVs!!! I love you!
@jodicraiglow Intentional community takes accountability, vulnerability, and hard work. #YAVs
@bookkats Crowdfunding another #newthing and way to reach beyond your wall
@tericarol I hope some year one of these presentations will be made by a single pastor about how we are invisible to the church. #altnextchurch2015
@jbonewald @ajc123 just put the ‘fun’ in crowd funding for the church

The livestream went in and out for viewers from afar.

@revjenn this ustream is horrible…I think Jesus is crying.

And when it came back, @Rob_Mus If we are talking about band-aids, then I am live again.

Afternoon Workshops saw participants scattered throughout the building and all over the city of Chicago, and happily/disproportionately featured alumni of McCormick Seminary! (I’m a proud 2005 graduate).

@MarkAllio we need 2 have difficult conversations, ask hard questions, and answer truthfully in love. #DiversityMatters
@JessiLoo How do we do mission without hurting the people we’re visiting?
@cathymanthei1 Dinner Church! Love it.
@bookkats Strangers to neighbors consumers to creators wandering to wondering. Root and branches.
@Jessie_Light McCormick is doing some awesome, reconciling work around issues of violence and peacemaking. Just sayin.
@cathymanthei1 Don’t worry about who is there. No one goes every week. No one. Dinner Church is difficult but it breaks the idea of church is. Ppl like some familiar some different
@MTSRecruit “Our children are not broken. Our systems are.” Michelle Day
@MaryAnnieSings No dichotomy between spirituality and social action. John Wilkinson
@WLawser Not sure how to turn the aircraft carrier of a church around? Sit at the feet of The Rev. Joy Douglas-Strome – Lake View Pres.’
@taraMdiva God has a funny way of getting you in a corner and you have to roll with it #wecallthatfaith words of @thepemily
@revfelipe “Young adults need a theology of giving. Say why giving to ministry matters more than at other places” Rev. Emily McGinley
@taraMdiva Gracenomics! Brilliant words from acaawesome Emily McGinley
@MarkAllio Ideas & goals are great but how do we bust churches out of longstanding paradigms?
@masonmtodd I’d like to explore something other than biz as usual. Why aren’t we DOING nextchurch not just talking it?
@heathergraces Think Presbyterians are hungry for new church staffing models? Not a spare seat in the room.

Conversation about privilege
Conversation about people who aren’t at Next

Diana Butler Bass

@Raveler1 “I’ve discovered how much people like to talk about the end of the church, and not about awakening.”
@scottpcusa When people had the time and money to do something about the future, they failed to do so.
@RevCamlin Will PCUSA be church that failed to consider future, or that emerges out of the ruins of the past?
@jledmiston Our questions will determine what will be #allaboutthatbass
@preachercomic Seems like I remember a beginning with an ark (not arc) and a convenant at the end of an awakening. #newpromise
@thesoulstepford Awakenings over revivals
@RevCamlin Revivals change the SIZE of congregations; awakenings change their MEANING.
@emmahhjo Revining is what lifeguards do to someone who was drowning. Awakening happens after a refreshing eight hours.
@ELSchemper Strikes me that this historical summary is about white English-speaking Protestants.
@awkukla And when nativism fails (as it must) we scapegoat minorities we view as the problem holding us back. Who are our scapegoats?
@Raveler1 Attraction – vision spreads to those non affected, often young, leading to innovation and experience, positive + negative
@bookkats When you cross that bridge the bickering doesn’t end but the kind of convo you are having changes
@RevCamlin Awakening step 5: Transformation. Previous undecideds embrace new vision. Considerable revision and restructuring.
@lukehyder DBB: 3 moves of awakening: Letting Go, Letting Be, Letting Come. Where are we? Where is our church?
@miheekimkort @jledmiston @pulpit but can we talk about what the social and political realities of that bridge is?
@ggbolt16 Wondering about individual and communal awakening. How awakening happens in large groups and broken hearts.
@RevSharylD “Are we willing to say we have failed?” Confession makes room for restoration and new ways.
@emmahhjo Why does the counter-awakening of the church parallel privatization, mass incarceration, the war on drugs, etc?
@NBensonNicol “The stage of the next Great Awakening is the world” – Diana Butler Bass
@bhenryteam Will we embrace the Great Awakening, or be a denomination that built too big and has to sell off a lot of real estate? DBB
@amackey12 It’s about creating a world of hope and joy. History is ours to make. We make history with God.
@C_Rev The future is about taking the right stuff with us into the future that is coming to be.

She also gave us a shout-out for the @Glory2GodHymnal !

In the middle of it all, the Palisades Presbytery, by voice vote, affirmed the change in the constitution expanding the definition of marriage (amendment 14F).
@tericarol Is it weird that I kind of want to shout “we have a new beginning!!” So we could celebrate even in midst of DBB? #14F
@themackattack The entirety of #nextchurch2015 just stood up with a standing ovation for #14F passing. I and so many others feel so, so loved right now.
@breyeschow Ha! @dianabutlerbass just threw some shade after the marriage vote was announced, “This Episcopalian welcomes you!”

And a plea…
@thesoulstepford On behalf of those who are still smothered in a racist hegemony, can we get Belhar through as well? Pretty please?

For Laughs
@PeterTheApostle And the Lord said, “It’s a #nextchurch2015 conference. Thou shalt have a @prezi.”
@thesarahross Millennial unicorns unite!
@drew_paton My #nextchurch2015 challenge: being inspired by all you blazing visionaries without succumbing to the sickness of comparing myself to you
@jbonewald Since when do Presbyterians raise their hands during hymns? Oh I see they’re trying to take pics during worship.

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