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.