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 emergentvillage.com (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

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