first full day blur

– coffee with john raymond (our partnership dood at zondervan). told the story of the last week and a half of hills and valleys in YS land.
– all learning community tour guides, theologians and presenters gather for lunch in my suite (uh, pizza). what an incredible group of people.
– antsy build-up to the opening orientation session. always an intense bit of waiting for me.
– orientation general session runs fairly smoothly, other than a couple missing tour guides when they were supposed to be there (the kincade-hater — a few of you who read too many blogs will understand that).
– learning communities are off and running. i sit for 10 – 20 minutes in each to get a feel of them. it’s good.
– first seminar time. as it’s clear things are running smoothly, i head up to my room to do email and get my feet up for a bit.
– zondervan author dinner. normally a bit forced, i really enjoyed it this time, as (either by luck or design), the table with my place-card was all emergentYS authors or zondervan peeps i know. sat across from brian and grace, next to john raymond. good people. and a surprizingly yummy fried thing of chicken with some mustardy chutney or whatever. mmm.
– first evening general session (these are the mini general sessions, before everyone splits off to “multiple choice” worship). after the opening stuff, phyllis tickle got up to talk. the room was full. and 3 minutes into her talk, something dawned on me. when we have a different speaker at each general session, people still return after a lousy one, because they’re willing to give the next one a chance. but i realized in that moment a risk we’d taken without realizing: if phyllis sucked in this opening session, that room was going to be so freaking empty the next two nights! ah, but she so did not suck. wow. wow. listen — those who aren’t here. i’m pretty certain her general session talks are being recorded by the company that does that for our events. after the event is over, you can go here (click on the “youth specialties order form” button at the bottom, and then go to the NPC/EC event recording list) and buy any of the convention CDs you want (seminars, whatever). but i strongly encourage you to listen to phyllis’ blessings. ooh. can’t wait for tonite.
– at the end of the session, doug p is supposed to lead an interaction of some sort each night. he (and the rest of the emergent clan) blindsided me by having the first one be “blessing each other with thanks”, and bringing me on stage (and my wonderful wife, and the wonderful karla yaconelli) to publicly thank me for three years of emergent conventions and eYS publishing. i don’t think i have words for this yet. it will be with me for years to come.
– i went to two of the three worship experience options: primarily, i sat with my wife and sister and claudia at the Ikon service at downtown pres. it was very much what i’d hoped it would be — which is, to mean, it was what i’ve experienced as the amazing worship experiences offered by a multitude of alt.worship churches at greenbelt in the UK each august. i have a burnt match in a tiny cello bag next to me as i write this — and “icon” we created in that service last night to medidate on tenebrae. the service was centered around a wonderful proposition, and a wonderful question. the proposition was that “the absense of god”, possible, is something that should be seen as validation in our lives that god has been present — that only we who love god will recognize the absense. and in that thought: we got present with the notion of the saturday after good friday, and the question, “would you still love jesus if you didn’t know about the next day?”
– i also popped over to the justin dillon/matt slocum song-set at mckenree umc (next door). also wonderful, and so different. both packed with people. my feeling: this is exactly what we’d hoped and dreamed it would be. i hear the taize service (a few blocks over at christ cathedral) was wonderful also.
– back to my suite, i chilled and talked with new and old friends. this is the best part of conventions for me. it’s church. church broke up around 1:30am.

2 thoughts on “first full day blur”

  1. Say hello to my good friend John Raymond if you see him again. Great guy, and perceptive about what is going on in the church.

    Sorry, brother, for what you thought was a “slam” — I thought it was pretty good humor.

Leave a Reply