Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dan Kimball lectures at Wheaton College

This looks good...and free. --Mark

The Emerging Church: Origins, Doctrine, Truth, Mission from an Insider Perspective

Wheaton College's Center for Applied Christian Ethics (CACE) welcomes Dan Kimball to campus to speak on “The Emerging Church: Origins, Doctrine, Truth, Mission from an Insider Perspective.” Kimball is a leading voice in the Emerging Church movement and author of numerous books on the topic, including his most recent book, They Like Jesus but Not the Church: Insights from Emerging Generations. He is co-founder of the Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California, where he serves as a Mission and Teaching Pastor.

Kimball will be presenting on Tuesday, January 19 at 7pm and Skye Jethani will be leading a response and open forum on Wednesday, January 20 at 4pm. Both events are free and open to public and will be held in room 339 of Blanchard Hall, located at 501 College Avenue in Wheaton (
campus map)
. For more information, call the CACE office at 630.752.5886 or visit

up/rooted.west January wrap-up

A couple nights ago thirteen of us got together at Muldoon's Pub for the first up/rooted.west gathering in several months. Ostensibly we were to discuss the first chapter of Tony Jones's The New Christians, but as a lot of new connections and reconnections were being made (and most didn't have a copy yet), the book discussion will really begin in February.

Patrick Green, pastor of Lifebridge in Lockport, came for the first time along with several new friends from his community. Pastor Mark Borgetti from Our Savior's in Naperville also came by to check the group out. Good to see familiar up/rooted faces as well.

It was atypically loud in the pub (duh, you might say...but really, louder than usual), so conversation was mostly limited to one's half of the long table, but still it was good to make some new acquaintances and learn about how church is being embodied across some quite different communities. In case anyone out there would still benefit by being moderately shocked at an expression of God's church meeting in a pub, please be shocked now; we're moving over to Gino's East next time where we have a predictably quieter space, a big round table, and you can still order a beer if such is your thirst.

That next gathering will be February 11 (sticking with the 2nd Thursday pattern). Gino's is a block away at 315 W. Front St. in Wheaton. Come at 6:30-ish if you want to order pizza and all that; then we can actually start the discussion at 7pm. Also we wrap up (officially) at 8:30pm, but linger as you like of course.

Peace be with you, and if you are still searching for a trustworthy place to give to support the recovery in Haiti, I commend my denomination's channel for emergency aid: ELCA Disaster Response. 100% will go to aid the people affected.

Mark Williamson
up/rooted.west co-coordinator

Friday, January 15, 2010

Crisis in Haiti

There will be a free conference call TODAY at 11AM PST with World Vision's President Rich Stearns, Willow Creek Community Church Pastor Bill Hybels and Max Lucado on the Haiti crisis and how we can be responding.

Dialing instructions

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Becky Johnson

Friday, January 15th @7pm

Redeemer Church in Park Ridge will be welcoming Becky Johnson as a special musical guest, along with some of her musician friends - Izzy Hermosillo, Nathan Ykema, and Jonathan Fries. Becky is a worship leader at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, and a member of the increasingly popular band Beckon Q.

The theme for the evening is - get this! - "the devil." We're going to explore what Scripture says, what people are saying, and what we're thinking about the figure of the devil these days. Lots to talk about!

As usual, we'll have plenty of time for some conversation and great coffee and snacks.

Questions? Send an email to or call 847-823-3634.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Next uprooted west gathering in Wheaton

After a brief hiatus, up/rooted.west is back in session on Thursday, January 14th at 7pm at Muldoon's Pub, 133 Front St. in Wheaton. Randy Harper is taking a step back as co-coordinator for a bit and I (Mark Williamson) am stepping up to co-lead with Kristine Socall, who's been a part of this cohort for several years and is even featured in the YouTube video on cohorts at (I checked that out the other night and spotted her!).

I think we'll make a dynamic team, one that is quite representative of the diversity and convergence that is the emergent church. Kristine comes from a charismatic/non-denominational background and is also a Benedictine Oblate. She'll graduate in a year with her MBA Economic Development and is currently involved with launching a missional community hub in the Naperville area with Willow Creek's Axis. She's passionate about building community and creating experiences that foster transformation.

I'm a Lutheran pastor in Wheaton, with significant formative experiences in evangelical communities like Willow Creek where I went to Student Impact in the mid 90s and studied abroad at Oak Hill Theological College (an evangelical Anglican seminary) in London. I have a particular passion for helping to heal the liberal/conservative, mainline/evangelical split in American Christianity which I find to be terribly unhealthy. I think I got sucked into the emergent movement as soon as I came across the phrases "generous orthodoxy" and "generative friendship." Sounds like church to me.

Whether you've had any exposure to this movement at all or are just getting your feet wet, I think our series at up/rooted.west through the winter/spring will be a fine (re)introduction. We're going to be using Tony Jones's The New Christians to stoke the conversation; I think it does a splendid job of getting across both the history and ethos of this whole emergent thing, and has some good humor mixed in as well. Why don't you read the intro and first chapter if you can get to it in the next couple weeks. If you don't, by all means come anyway, and introduce yourself.

Hope to see you there & Happy 2010,

Mark Williamson