Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Kendall Environmental Coalition

My church, Via Christus, has recently gotten involved with a local Environmental Coalition in Kendall County. This really fits with our desire to be missionally involved in our community, and especially related to issues of social justice like caring for God's creation. We've taken an active role and we're helping to plan several events coming up over the next two months. In particular, our church is the spearhead for the Faith & Our Environment Forum on March 5. It's a follow up to the Faith & Immigration Forum we did back in October. We hope to do a number of similar "Faith & Politics" discussions over the next few years together in partnership with other area churches.

Below are all the Coalition events going on in the next few months. If any of this sounds interesting and Yorkville isn't too far to drive, you should come on out!

February 18, 2007
An Inconvenient Truth

Watch the movie that has sparked an important discussion about Global Warming and the future of humankind.

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Yorkville Congregational Church
409 Center Parkway
Yorkville, IL 60560
Contact: 553.5073 / 553.5188

March 5, 2007
Faith & Our Environment
Local pastors, scientists & activists share a discussion about caring for God's creation.

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Yorkville Congregational Church
409 Center PKWY
Yorkville, IL 60560
Contact: Mike Clawson 630.742.4062

March 24, 2007
Environmental Fair

- Building awareness of local recycling programs
- Teaching energy efficiency
- Exploring new technology
- Local recycling programs and you
- Cars and fuel for the future
- Children and families: tour the nature museum
- Electronics recycling drop-off

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Old Kendall Courthouse
110 W. Madison St.
Yorkville, IL 60560
Contact: Danielle 630.553.4111

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A few new blogs

I've come across a few cool new blogs lately. The first (thanks to Tripp Hudgins for the link) is presbymergent, a blog for those involved in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Emergent conversation.

The second is Theolog, the official blog of The Christian Century magazine. Thanks to Jason Byassee, an editor at The Christian Century, for the heads up on that one.

Monday, January 29, 2007

up/rooted.west update

Hey up/rooted friends!

Last week up/rooted.west gathered in Winfield to watch the 30 Days episode "Muslims & America" and discuss the issues with the help of Pastor Fred Nelson from Redeemer Lutheran. The show was provocative, and the conversation was wide-ranging. Fred pointed out that there are big difference between Muslims living in Western countries and Muslims in Islamic countries. We discussed some of the differences of belief between Christians & Muslims, including the big question of whether or not we worship the same God (interestingly, we learned that Muslims don't believe we can know God's character at all, only his will as expressed in the Koran - so it's difficult so say whether Allah and Yahweh share similar characteristics ). From there the conversation ranged into how to reach out to Muslims and whether a Muslim-Christian convert could continue to pray at the mosque while directing their prayers to Jesus instead. While we didn't settle on any definite answers to these questions, I think we all learned something new.

We have a lot of exciting up/rooted gatherings coming up. Don't forget about the innaugural meetings this week of up/rooted.north (Wednesday, Jan 31, 7pm at Life on the Vine in Long Grove) and up/rooted.south (Thursday, February 1, 6:30pm at Aurelios in Mokena).

We'll also be having a special joint gathering in February with Doug Pagitt (pastor of Solomon's Porch, founder of Emergent Village, and author of Church Re-Imagined), who was with us back in September as well. This time we'll host him in the north suburbs at Life on the Vine on Tuesday, February 27, at 7pm.

Also, towards the end of March up/rooted.west will likely be hosting another gathering with Brian McLaren out at Northern Seminary. We're still finalizing the details on that, so stay tuned.

And we've been talking with a representative with Bread for the World and the ONE Campaign about speaking with us sometime in the next few months as well. She'll be able to share with us more about the Millennium Development Goals and give us practical action steps that we can take if we're concerned about those kinds of justice issues. We're still working on finalizing the dates and location for that event as well.

Oh, and ladies, don't forget to register for the Emerging Women Midwest Gathering coming up March 16-18 out at the Stronghold Conference Center in Oregon, IL (only about 2 hours west of Chicago). This will be a great experience that you won't want to miss.

So yeah, it's going to be a great couple of months. Hope you all can make it out for at least a few of these events. See you there!


-Mike Clawson
up/rooted co-coordinator

Thursday, January 25, 2007

up/rooted.south - Inaugural Meeting!

A discussion of the Church in the south suburbs

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Aurelios Pizza
19836 Wolf Rd
Mokena, IL

4 years ago, a discussion began in the northwest suburbs of Chicago about the Church and how we should interact with the culture and world around us. Since that time, up/rooted has spawned another group in the west suburbs and is now spreading to the south/southwest suburbs. We are open to anyone, regardless of church affiliation or theological views. Our first gathering will be at 6:30pm at the Aurelios in downtown Mokena.

Contact Matt Cavanaugh ( with any questions. Also, please RSVP if you can so we can make sure Aurelios has enough room for everyone to sit comfortably.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Need Help with Brian McLaren Conference

Thanks to all of you who sent me suggestions for our Emergent Midwest Gathering this coming summer. Now I need help planning another conference. Brian McLaren contacted me to see if we might be able to find a venue for his "Everything Must Change" conference that will be coming to Chicago sometime between January-May of 2008. The conference would be a Friday evening to Saturday afternoon (so not very long), and they need an auditorium that will hold 500-1000 people. They will also need additional break-out rooms and food service for a meal or two. Brian is asking that the host institution sponsor the event, which means they would offer their facility and help for free. Also, needless to say, whoever hosts will need to be okay with being associated with Brian McLaren (keeping in mind that they could potentially take a lot of flak for doing so).

Do any of you have ideas or suggestions for a venue that can accomodate that many people? Any schools or churches large enough that wouldn't mind associating with Brian? What about you folks from Christ Church of Oakbrook? I think you have the space, right? Is this something your leadership would welcome? Anyone from Willow know whether they'd be willing to host someone like Brian? How about those of you from various academic institutions? I know Northern isn't large enough. What about Judson? Or Garrett? Or North Park? (I'm assuming that Wheaton and Trinity aren't Emergent-friendly enough to foot the bill for something like this... but I could be wrong.)

Are any others of you from large churches that might be open to this?

Help me brainstorm and let me know if you have any options I can look into.


Mike Clawson
up/rooted co-coordinator

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ray Aldred comes to up/rooted

up/rooted.north starts up again!

Up/rooted is branching out to an old location in the Northwest suburbs. (If you remember back that far, cause I sure don’t.) We will be having quarterly meetings with emerging-style theologians, and monthly regular gatherings in-between. Expect reflective, theological conversations engaging our post-Christian culture.

I’d like to extend a special invitation to all of you in the northern parts of Chicagoland who find the drive down to up/rooted.west daunting, but everyone is welcome and encouraged to come.

Our first gathering will be on Wednesday, January 31st at 7pm at Life on the Vine Church in Long Grove. We will be joined by Ray Aldred, speaking on Christ and Culture, and what the Native American Theologies teach us about community, justice and living for peace in the world. Ray is the founder of My People International, a cross-cultural ministry to Native North-Americans. If you’d like to get a handle on Ray’s thought, check out the transcript of his keynote speech at the Urbana ’03 Mission Convention. I think you’ll find his stuff thought provoking.

Hope to see you on the north side!

-Jon Berbaum

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

This past Saturday I had the privilege of being interviewed on a community radio program in the Nashville area called "Brightly Speaking". "Bright" is a new euphemism that some atheists are trying to appropriate for themselves, and "Brightly Speaking" is a radio talk-show done by an atheist friend, Wendell, that I met this past year through the Off the Map message boards.

You can read more about my experience here, or download the podcast of the interview by clicking here.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Friday, January 05, 2007

Emerging Women Midwest Gathering

Emerging Women Midwest Gathering
Beyond the Castle Walls—Re-Imagining the Kingdom
March 16-18, 2007

Stronghold Conference Center
Oregon, IL

Emerging Women are gathering again this March in a castle retreat center outside of Chicago to “Re-imagine the Kingdom.” This gathering is open to women of all ages and cultures, ministers and lay-persons, from all denominations, and at all points on their journeys of faith. You are invited to a weekend of reflection and worship, theology and praxis, teaching and learning, and (of course) friendship, food, and fun.

We will explore the stories of women who re-imagined the kingdom by challenging the dominant assumptions of their cultures in order to serve God. We will re-imagine our worship as we explore our spiritual voices and how we connect with God. We will examine how the church is being re-imagined in our emerging, postmodern world. Our time there together will refresh us and give us a vision (a new imagining) for our spiritual lives as we serve in God’s Kingdom.

We invite you to add your voice to the conversation. We expect to learn from and encourage each other – through our stories, our knowledge, our questions, and our passions. This is a gathering of community and its outcomes will rest on what the community has brought to it.

The Emerging Women Midwest Gathering will be held March 16-18 (Friday evening til noon Sunday) at the Stronghold Conference Center in Oregon, IL. Oregon is in NW Illinois, about two hours from Chicago. Limited airport runs from the Chicago area airports (Rockford, O’Hare, and Midway) will be provided. We will be staying in dormitory-style housing in a modern-day castle. The cost for the gathering is $140, which includes the registration costs, 2 nights lodging, 4 meals, and snacks. There are a very limited number of private rooms and family accommodations available (at extra cost), so please contact us as soon as possible if you require either. Some scholarships and student rates are also available.

To register click here.

Get the word out, tell your friends, help us let others know about this gathering. If you would like to be sent a file of the event brochure to print out for your church, cohort, school, or friends please let us know.

We hope to see you at the Castle!

For more information contact –
Julie Clawson –

Sarah Notton