phyllis-tickle.jpg I spent last evening with an exceptional group of folks having some great conversation. Among the nine of us, it was billed as a debrief session for The Great Emergence conference with Phyllis Tickle a few weeks back. The four of us panelists/workshop leaders (Jamie Howison, Jamie Arpin-Ricci, Lesley Harrison, and yours truly) met together with the organizers (Christine Longhurst, Kara Mandryk, and Michael Boyce along with spouses Rachel Twigg Boyce and John Longhurst) to discuss the event just passed. I have to say it was some great conversation, both when it was on and off-topic.

The conference itself was quite good, and video is now online for the plenary sessions. (The Q&A is unavailable and the panel discussion was not recorded.) The organizers have also posted links to other reviews and resources from the conference, including an annotated bibliography. Rather than downloading the videos, you can view them online below.

The Great Emergence Postscript

greatemergencebanner.jpg This past weekend was the The Great Emergence one-day seminar in Winnipeg with Phyllis Tickle, sponsored by FaithForum (and others). Clearly, the event centered around Ms. Tickle’s book, The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why. A few of us (Jamie Howison, Jamie Arpin-Ricci, Lesley Harrison, and yours truly) were invited to participate in a panel discussion and present a workshop, leaving two plenary sessions for Ms. Tickle, the last of which included a good Q&A session.

Friday evening before the event, the organizers — Christine Longhurst, Kara Mandryk, and Michael Boyce — invited us to join them with Phyllis Tickle for dinner, and we landed in a little Laotian place well-recommended by Jamie Howison. We found Ms. Tickle to be warm, witty, and approachable, which was reinforced during her plenary sessions, in which she was not only intelligent and widely conversant with her topic, but also downright funny at times. And she’s got a delightful accent.

Christian Bookstore Odd-essy

inside-bookstore.jpg So I took my oldest daughter down to the Christian bookstore to buy an “Adventures in Odyssey” CD for my youngest daughter’s birthday. The first store, subtitled a “Christian Store” (Er, I’d like to buy a Christian, please) didn’t have any, so we went downtown to the second, a much older long-established store. It’s the largest such store in the city.

Theology by the Glass: ‘Aftermusings’

theologybytheglass.jpg This week saw the start of the summer series of Theology by the glass, now meeting at Confusion Corner Bar and Grill, just around the corner (sort of) from our most famous street sign. Our first conversation of the season began with a CBC podcast of The Age of Persuasion where Terry O’Reilly discusses church marketing and related matters.

Recasting the Good News™

goodnews.jpg JR Woodward is about 2/3 of the way through his Good News Series, where he puts a question to 50 bloggers, asking them for an article explaining what the “good news” is — but the article is to be about 500 words and written as though for publication in each blogger’s local newspaper. It’s quite a good series with a variety of responses and approaches posted so far. Today’s post is Jamie Arpin-Ricci in Winnipeg, which is also my city. I found it very poignant and compassionate approach to presenting the good news, opening with the account of a suicide that did feature very recently in our local media. Jamie takes an approach which is not theology-first, something I appreciate and attempted to do as well. My contribution was the sixth in the series. It didn’t generate a lot of discussion, perhaps because it appeared on a weekend, but I thought I would post it here as well now that it’s run on JR’s blog for a while. In the disclaimer that ran with my article, I said that I wanted to write early in the series “to get it out of the way before reading what so many astute thinkers would write so I wouldn’t feel the pressure to come up with anything so profound. This way as I follow the series, I’ll only have to say, ‘Gee, I wish I’d written that…’.” As I expected, a number of such approaches and statements have already appeared in the series. In any event, what I said follows below.

The Red River Flood of 2009

Things have been tense here in Manitoba for the past week or so… longer, for some. In recent days, the provincial flood forecast has been changing frequently, and almost hourly at times. When people have been sandbagging frantically to build a dike, it can be rather disheartening to hear that the anticipated water level just went up another eight inches, or two feet. The present forecast suggests that the water level will be second only to the legendary “Flood of the Century” in 1997, ranking this flood second over the past hundred years. To make matters worse, the two rivers that meet in downtown Winnipeg are projected to crest at the same time.

Christmas Golfing?

We spent a good part of the evening with friends playing glo-mini-golf. I’ve heard of glo-bowling, but this was an interesting twist, and a very different kind of activity to do during one of those “let’s get together over the holidays” kind of affairs. Original, you have to give it that.

It was also a good break from the taping and plastering going on in the rec room. The other night after the evening’s activities were wrapped up, I started around midnight and worked an extra three hours. I think we’ll get it done, but not with any time to spare. Tomorrow we start painting. Didn’t help discovering the two walls that had been done by the previous owner looked like they’d been plastered and painted without being sanded first… so there was extra repair to do, and extra primer now. Sigh. This better be worth it!

Rather Annyoyed: Over $200 for a Christmas Gift

no-right-turn.jpg Okay, the gift itself wasn’t that much, unless you add in the $190 traffic ticket… about which I’m exceptionally annoyed. We dropped by the MTS Center in Winnipeg today to pick up tickets to “Disney on Ice” for the kids for Christmas. Arrrgh. In this day and age, can anyone explain why they can sell tickets for all kinds of events online — even airline flights — over the phone, or at any one of a hundred remote outlets around the city (or country!), but if you want tickets for Disney on Ice, noooo, you have to come right downtown to the box office at the event venue and get them there. Noplace else will do, they won’t sell them that way. I’m miffed at them first. So we make a special trip downtown and my wife runs in while I circle the block twice. By “circle the block” of course I mean a 6-block radius given the negotiation of one-way streets in the area. At the second revolution when my wife gets back in the car, I follow the vehicle in front of me, turning right from Portage Avenue onto Donald Street to head back toward home.