whew — the convention is going great, but i’m already totally wiped out! i’m not doing a good job of disciplining myself to get to bed at a reasonable time (like, midnight would be reasonable at a convention, and, instead, it’s been 1:30 – 2:30 for me). i’ve been enjoying hanging with friends old and new, but need to say goodnight a bit earlier tonite and tomorrow night.
so, the convention. yeah. i’m not a big fan of the pittsburgh convention center. the location is great, and the layout is ok, but the general session room is really not great. the whole ceiling is transparent, and — while they have some material that semi-blocks it off — the room can’t be made dark during the day. and the acoustics are so bouncy in there. anyhow, i can just see how these little environmental issues really do make a difference in the attendees ability to engage. our first session yesterday, while good, really felt like people were struggling to engage.
we had a band in the first session i’d never heard of before: newworldson. very bluesy, with tons of gospel and funk thrown in. very unique, in a good way. and the guys are serious musicians.
pilivachi spoke in the first session and brought it. nice opening to the event. then starfield led us in singing. i’ve always enjoyed starfield, and really like the guys in the band, but feel they’ve seriously stepped it up this year.
busy afternoon for me, with a seminar and a dinner appointment. but a highlight of my day was the evening session. this was the one where we had three speakers, each with a format of:
– intro (by a host)
– 18 minute talk (with a clock on the screen, so everyone knows how much time is left)
– 8 mins of unstructured discussion in groups
– 8 mins of Q&A with the speaker, using questions that were texted in from the audience, and put on the screens.
two of the speakers rocked it. andrew marin again. then, i hosted dr. soong-chan rah, a professor from north park seminary. dr. rah was the whistle blower who outed ys when we blew it by publishing some racially offensive stuff a couple years ago. he became a bit of a short-term mentor for me, helping me through that time of response (he did this bluntly and honestly, but with grace and forgiveness). i asked soong-chan to talk about race and the church last night — dude is prophetic. he asked, before hand, if it was ok to push some buttons, and i told him to go for it. he pushed. but in a gracious way, i felt – he wasn’t the angry guy.
anyhow, i thought the whole evening was great. now, i just need to start getting more sleep!