Today began the first full day of the conference. I’m not felling all that great, but I’m determined to not succumb to illness and be part of the fellowship. The morning began with breakfast and a brief worship time with a pretty good sermon. I do kinda wish worship and breakfast were reversed and that worship would have been more than “sing a few songs and ‘go preacher go’!” This isn’t to knock what we did – just a preference. The song-leader for the week wrote a song for the conference which is pretty good, if I can get him to record it for me I’ll actually bring it back for Central to use.
I sat in on Lee’s presentation this morning. I already know where he’s going with things but my goal was to see him during the first session and Paul Borden during the second morning session (Paul has a different, but complimentary, approach to church renewal than Lee). I did this so I could be “freshly prepared” for their afternoon discussion about their different approaches.
Ministry called, however, and before I had a chance to get to Paul’s session I got whisked away to the town of Green Lake in an effort to ask people about their views on what makes a healthy church. Folks were nice, and we actually got a few people on camera (after we told them we weren’t reporters). Our excursion caused us to miss lunch, however, so we ended up eating at a Bar and Grill called “The Goose Blind.” I highly recommend it to everyone.
The afternoon conversation was nice. Actually, the afternoon conversation was all I’d wanted last year’s Emergent Philosophical conversation to be. People asked good questions, which impressed me, and Lee and Paul spent significant time in the answers and further clarification. Al Fletcher moderated the debate, and when he felt a point needed to be made by one or the other participants – he pressed the point in ways which added to the over-all tone. A room full of baptists with some differences who left the room with a greater love for each other – oh my gosh, there’s hope.
I’ve also made some good contacts today, one of which is even interested in working together to do some spiritual development using web-technologies. All in all, a good day.
Pictures and my thoughts on the evening session will be up later.