Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Shayne Moore in Vanity Fair

Co-Founder of up/rooted.west, Shayne Moore, is mentioned in this month's issue of Vanity Fair. This is their special Africa issue, co-edited by Bono, and a short article features the ONE Campaign, which Shayne has been very active with in recent years. Besides the mention in print, Shayne also appears in the magazine in this picture with Senator Bill Frist, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Ashley Judd, Pastor Rick Warren, Matt Damon, Ugandan mother Agnes Nyamayarwo and N.A.A.C.P. chairman Julian Bond. (Shayne is the one standing directly behind Matt Damon.) The One Campaign was highlighted for their hard work narrowing the gap between Africa's have-nots and America's haves. Way to go Shayne and keep up the good work!

up/rooted.west recap w/Hemant Mehta

up/rooted.west met last night with Hemant Mehta, the eBay Atheist. We had a great time chatting with Hemant and hearing his story. I think it gave a lot of the Christians there more insight into what it's like to be an atheist, and really encouraged me with the fact that atheists and Christians can have friendly conversations.

Helen Mildenhall, manager of the Off the Map blogs and an "almost atheist" herself also drove out from Oak Park to be with us. She has an excellent summary of the evening at her blog so rather than restating everything she said, I'll just encourage you to go read her reflections.

BTW, up/rooted won't be meeting separately next month since we are hosting the Midwest Emergent Gathering. It's not too late to sign up to attend (only $60), and we especially need volunteers to help with some of the behind-the-scenes work. Volunteers get to attend the rest of the conference for free, so if you'd like to help, please email me at emergentmidwest(at)gmail(dot)com.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Up/rooted.north recap with Pernell

A big thanks to Pernell and Matt from The Freeway for joining us at up/rooted.north last night, and the 20ish people who came out. Pernell talked a bit about third places in general (recommending Ray Oldenburg’s The Great Good Place): there must be no pressure to consume, there must be new people constantly, and there must be a consistent group of regular people. I confess, I kept thinking of Cheers through this whole section. Where everyone knows your name...

But the evening wasn’t as much about third places in general as it was about how the intentional third place of The Freeway is central to its life as a missional community. Seriously, if you want to know what being a missional church is all about, spend two hours with Pernell. The Freeway, in Pernell’s words, purchased a bank building on the busiest corner of Hamilton, Ontario that wasn’t for sale with no money. They turned it into a 5-days-a-week coffeehouse with volunteer baristas, regular showcases of local musicians and artists, and a growing involvement in their neighborhood. It is a place with no pressure to consume, created intentionally to be a third place in their community, where people can come and develop relationships. Community groups hold meetings there, people come in for coffee and wi-fi, the homeless come in for shelter from the cold and heat (and often are offered food and drink and to spend the night as well). The list goes on and on of the missional ways they are using this place.

Pernell said more than I can hope to summarize here, and I was just blown away at how the mission of Jesus to his people (or as Mark Van Steenwyk would say, the Jesus Manifesto) is driving all these creative ways The Freeway is responding to and serving their neighborhood.

Pernell stressed that a third place is not an add-on program, not a new fad for the church. It is central to the shape of The Freeway, and it can’t really be done any other way. But I can't help but think that those of us in churches not shaped around a third place can still learn from The Freeway. So for those of us in missional churches with traditional buildings (or no building of our own), what can we apply from the experience of The Freeway to our own local bodies? Can our homes or our local coffeeshops become third places of community on a smaller scale? What are creative ways to intentionally engage people in third places without buying and running your own coffeeshop?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Up/rooted.north gathers Thursday, June 14th with Pernell Goodyear.

Hey up/rooted-ers! Pernell Goodyear is coming to Chicago in the middle of June, and is spending an evening with up/rooted.north discussing third spaces. Third spaces you say? Eh? No way!

A third place is not a home, and not a business, but an informal gathering place that fosters friendships, discussions, and networking. Third places are incredibly important for churches who don’t want their front doors on a Sunday morning to be their only gateway in their communities. If our churches are to be missional and incarnational, third spaces are crucial ideas to understand and bring to life (or participate in) in our neighborhoods.

Pernell planted a church called The Freeway in Hamilton, Ontario, that has developed a coffeeshop as a third space, and will be speaking on what makes a good third space for community witness. We can also engage him on broader church planting issues/struggles. There is a fantastic write-up and podcast of an interview of Pernell by Allelon here.

I’d encourage you to read Pernell’s page on third spaces, and come on June 14th to engage in the theory and practice of third spaces for our churches in the suburbs, where third spaces, like all forms of hospitality, face unique challenges. Don’t miss this critical conversation about being incarnate in the places where we live.

June 14th, 7pm, at Life on the Vine Church. See you there!