Wednesday, December 27, 2006

next up/rooted: Becoming Conversant w/Islam

Hope you had a happy Christmas!

I wanted to let you know that our next up/rooted gathering will be Monday, January 22 from 7-9pm at Kristine Socall's home (26w325 Torrey Pines Ct, Winfield, IL 60190) to learn about and discuss Muslim and Christian relations. We will begin by watching the "Muslims and America" episode of Morgan Spurlock's (creator of Super Size Me) TV series, 30 Days, and then discuss the issues raised by the episode with the help of Pastor Fred Nelson from Redeemer Church, who spent 15 years lecturing at churches on this very topic of Islam and Christianity.

If you want to know more about Islam, and would like to talk openly with other missional, emerging Christians about we should think about the current tension between the Muslim world and the vestiges of Western Christendom, you won't want to miss this stimulating event. Hope you can make it!


Mike Clawson
up/rooted co-coordinator

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Bob Francis on God's Politics blog (again)

Our friend, Bob Francis, has had another chance to post an entry at Jim Wallis' "God's Politics" blog entitled "Religious Correctness on Campus" responding to Mark C. Taylor's New York Times op-ed, "The Devoted Student". Check it out!

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Another "Mary" review

My wife, Julie, has posted her own reflections of our discussion the other night about the "real Mary". Her thoughts focus mainly on how Mary is depicted in art.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Call for Links

I'd like to update and expand our links section here at this blog. If you are connected to up/rooted in some way (i.e. you've joined us at an up/rooted gathering sometime in the past four years, or you're a regular reader and identify with the emerging church here in Chicagoland, even if you haven't made it out recently) and would like me to post a link to your blog, church, organization, etc., please let me know, either in an email to mike(dot)clawson(at)gmail(dot)com, or in the comments of this post (don't forget to include the URL of the site you want linked to).

Regarding churches, please let me know if you want it listed as an "emerging church" or just as an "other chicagoland church" (a new category I'll be adding). I'll trust your own judgment as to whether it is truly an emerging church, but if you're uncertain, a good rule of thumb might be to consider whether or not the leadership of the church would consider it a compliment to be called an emerging church. We don't want to cause any trouble by inadvertently identifying a church with a movement that they don't really support. :)

I'm hoping by including more links to what you all are involved in we will be able to expand our network of connections here in Chicagoland and provide more resources for each other to benefit from.



Friday, December 15, 2006

(Finally!) my own up/rooted update

We had an excellent time this past Monday with Scot McKnight and about 25 others out at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Park Ridge. The first half-hour we spent mingling and connecting with all the new faces. Having up/rooted on a totally different side of the city brings a lot of new people out of the woodwork. Among many others, I was especially excited to connect with John Armstrong from Act 3, Nanette Sawyer from Wicker Park Grace, and Helen Mildenhall from Conversation at the Edge. I also enjoyed meeting Michelle Van Loon, an author and playwright who actually named one of her books after up/rooted!

Pastor Fred was making some excellent coffee on his church's espresso machines, and there was a full spread of Christmas cookies and other snacks provided. After we filled up our plates we migrated from the lobby to the back of the sanctuary which was set up with round coffee-shop style tables. As we were there to discuss Scot's new book, The Real Mary, we began with some opening thoughts from Scot about the book and why he wrote it. He says he consistently gets the question of why a Protestant would want to write a book about Mary. He responded by asking why evangelicals are so afraid of Mary.

Much of his comments and the subsequent Q&A revolved around the Magnificat, Mary's song recorded in Luke 1:46-55. He suggests that, in contrast to the passionless, pensive, pious, passive, ponderous... Mary that we see in Christian art and popular conception, the Magnificat actually paints for us a picture of Mary as a woman with fire in her eyes. She was a woman who longed for justice and liberation for her people, and agitated for the overthrow of the established political and religious order. Her words were revolutionary, and it is likely that she had a huge influence on Jesus and his brothers/cousins (e.g. James, John, etc.)

One of the more interesting points that came out, however, is that Mary had to undergo a transformation in her own faith in her son, and her expectations for what the Messiah was supposed to be and do. She believed that the Messiah would lead a violent overthrow of the Romans and reestablish the political kingdom of David. When Jesus started deviating from this script Mary began to fear that he had lost his mind, and even showed up with his family to "intervene" in his ministry at one point. However, as Scot reminded us, later on we see Mary at the foot of the Cross, and Acts 1 portrays Mary as part of the earliest gathering of believers at the day of Pentecost. Obviously she had to go through her own process of re-discovery in her faith. As an emerging Christian whose own faith has undergone a radical transformation in recent years, I can really identify with and take inspiration from Mary in this regard.

The conversation naturally got a little bit into the controversial aspects of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox views of Mary. I think the comments were very respectful of differences for the most part, as was Scot's own book in the chapters where he discusses these issues. We also talked about the implications of Mary's example and role in the early church for women in ministry in the evangelical church today. Helen asked the best question of the night when she wondered what would happen to women in evangelical churches who have the same fire in their eyes that Mary did. Though it of course depends on the particular church, sadly the answer often turns out to be that they are squashed, forced out, or otherwise supressed.

We also asked what benefit Mary can have for us as Protestants. What can we learn from her? How can she inspire us? Scot and others gave us some great suggestions. I would open that question up to all of you as well. What has (or could) Mary do for you? Feel free to talk about it here.

BTW, several others have written reviews of the event already as well, including:
Helen Mildenhall
John Armstrong
Scot McKnight

Check them out!

We haven't decided yet on the time, location or theme for our next up/rooted gathering in January, but I'll let you all know as soon as we figure it out.

Happy Christmas!

Mike Clawson
up/rooted co-coodinator

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Scot McKnight's review of up/rooted

And now Scot has posted his review of the evening. I'm guess I'm the only slacker left. ;)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Another review of up/rooted

John Armstrong has also blogged about our evening with Scot McKnight at his site. Check it out.

Helen's review of up/rooted with Scot McKnight

Helen Mildenhall from Off the Map's Conversations at the Edge blog has posted a great review of our up/rooted gathering with Scot McKnight this past Monday. You can read it here.

I'll be posting my own update on the event soon. Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Directions to Redeemer Church

I'm sure you all remember that we're meeting this Monday (December 11th) from 7-9pm at Redeemer Church in Park Ridge to talk with Scot McKnight about his book, The Real Mary. Before you come, I need to give you some important instructions on how to get to the church.

On your way to Redeemer Church, do your best to avoid the O’Hare toll plaza on I-90 East. It’s currently undergoing pretty extensive construction, and is a mess. Depending on how you're coming, Mapquest will tell you to get on I-90 East to the North Cumberland exit. DO NOT do this. It will take you at least 30 minutes to an hour just to get through the toll plaza.

Instead, if you’re heading north on I-294, take the exit to River Road. When you come off the ramp, take a left (north). Head north on River Road until you come to Devon Ave. Take a right (east), and follow Devon until you come to Cumberland Avenue. Make a left onto Cumberland (you’ll now be heading north). Go one block until you come to a Shell Station at Talcott Ave. Continue north on Cumberland, crossing Talcott Ave. Go about 7 or 8 houses, and make the first left onto Gillick Street. The street signs in Park Ridge are lousy, so pay attention! Go one block until you come to Clifton Ave. You’ll see the church. Just park on the street.

If you’re coming south on I-294, you may want to exit on Golf Road, head east on Golf, and then head south when you get to Greenwood Avenue (a Best Buy will be on your right). Follow Greenwood into Park Ridge, crossing Touhy Ave. Continue south on Greenwood until you come to Gillick and make a left (east). Go 1 1/2 blocks until you come to the church. Again, just park on the street.
Hope to see you then!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Scot McKnight interview on CBS 2 Chicago

Hey all, you can see an excellent 15-minute interview with Scot McKnight on Antonio Mora's Eye On Chicago program from CBS 2 Chicago by clicking here. The discuss both McKnight's new Mary book as well as the emerging church. Check it out!