I'm sending this via email (and to the blog) in part because I've not seen a lot of response to this request on the blog as of yet. I really covet your replies.
I mentioned on the blog that part of my workplan for 2007 is a gathering for us and others who are working at emerging ministry in the UMC-- a gathering in part to address the specific opportunities, and problems, that our church offers for those seeking to lead congregations in not currently "traditional" ways of mission, worship, theology, and spiritual formation. I say "not currently" traditional ion recognition that in addition to "new" things, much of what emerging has been about has been the recovery and reclamation of practices in worship, theology, spiritual formation and mission that have flourished in the church in the past from time to time and in many places across the globe, but are not now part of the "dominant paradigm" for whatever reasons-- though they may be finding new opportunities to flourish in the current set of missiological circumstances in which we find ourselves.
This morning, I had a conversation with a colleague here at Discipleship Resources (one of our publishing entities within GBOD) who is very interested in developing a book along the lines of "what we wish the mainline church understood about emerging ministry." The idea is to be a book written by and about practitioners in the field-- and especially United Methodist ones. So… in addition to a gathering, let me suggest there's likely a real opportunity here for you to get your voices into print, in a title that is likely to be widely read.
So let me now ask three questions…
1) When (2007 dates) and for how long (2-3 days, weekdays, weekend) would such a gathering work for you to be a fruitful gleaner and contributor?
2) Are there particular topics or persons you want to be sure to include in such a gathering?
3) What do YOU want the mainline church to know about "emerging" vision and praxis of ministry based on your vision and experience?
Peace in Christ,
The Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards
Director of Worship Resources
General Board of Discipleship
P.O. Box 340003
Nashville, TN 37203-0003
877-899-2780 X 7072