Last night I took in St. Ben’s “Theology by the Glass” — a name change from “Theology Pub” since, technically, it’s held in a restaurant rather than a pub. We were discussing a brief interview with Phyllis Tickle last year on “The Future of the Emerging Church,” so the conversations ran to some interesting spots. Up for discussion was the contention that the church has a major shift every 500 years (so we’re due) and the metaphor of a “vortex like a whirlpool” where various traditions are blending into the emerging church. Of course, there were many an additional topic that we hit as well, from third places to missional vs. emerging vs. Emergent to postmodernity, even the names of Lesslie Newbigin, N.T. Wright, Brian McLaren and Ray Oldenburg came up. Book recommendations were made and written down, and of course the subject of the Anglican contribution the mix was thrown in for good measure. I met some new people that were full with good resonating conversation, and I had this strange moment of being a recognition target. A fellow who I’ve met a few times before (the legendary WInnipeg used book sale, kids in the same school, and of course St. Ben’s) said “So that’s Brother Maynard!” when Jamie Howison “outed” me. Turns out he’s been reading my blog for a while now, so it’s an interesting connection point. (Hi, John!) The evening ended for the last three of us out on the pavement around midnight a little while after the waitress told us they were closed and it was time to leave. Yes, we got kicked out.
This afternoon I’m meeting Christine Sine of Mustard Seed Associates for coffee. We’ve emailed but never met in person, so that promises to be good. I’m looking forward to hearing more about what MSA is doing and about The New Conspirators. I hope to hear some thoughts on missional orders as well.
Tonight we’re out for Chinese food with some friends that we’ve journeyed with through thick and thin nigh these past getting-close-to-twenty years. We were on a church planting leadership team together at our CLB, where we also did small groups, ran conferences, and voiced many a concern together. Over the years we’ve also consumed many a bottle of aged grape juice together as well…
Tomorrow we’ll be seeing friends we’ve known even longer — they return tonight from a year in China teaching English. Despite the magic of Skype, out kids have really missed each other and are keen to seek their friends again… not to mention that the adults are quite looking forward to it as well.
Lots of connections to be made in these three days, with much exchanges of the sacrament of fellowship. Love it.