We just left Minnesota today. We're now in Wisconsin.
Turns out we were in Minnesota for a solid week and a half. What a wonderfully enchanted time. Really.
The first few days were the Emergent Summer Learning Institute. As is typical for us at these kinds of things, we just pretty much hung out with people...and that was great. Through Doug and Shelley and through our October gatherings, we have met some very cool folks from Minneapolis. And it is always our pleasure to catch up with them.
The weather was nearly perfect all the time. It even got cool to give us some relief from the mild heat. Aside from the mosquitos in the Boundary Waters, it was dang near perfect. Hard to believe this place has such ridiculously awful winters!
After the Institute was over we spent 3 days on an Emergent Coordinating Group meeting. I must say that I went in with slight hesitation. You see, I would align myself with more anarchists than organizationalists (are there truly either such person?), so when it appeared that there was a possible institutionalization of my beloved Emergent, I wondered if I had a place in it any longer. And I wondered if the direction of Emergent was going to be more like "new church resourcing" than "new understandings of being human in the way of Jesus".
But I would say that these days of meetings were some of the more rich, hopeful, and life-giving conversations and encounters I have been a part of with Emergent. It was great to talk very openly...very openly...about all things Emergent. It was great to finally get to spend some times with Tony Jones. He is a genuine soul, and I'm glad to know him.
It felt a bit like a family meeting. A sort of "So are we cool with where we're going? Or ought we go in a different direction? Or what?" kind of conversation. I think that there is much work to be done (I think "Getting Shit Done" should be the new Emergent Village slogan), but this meeting was a wonderful, hopeful starting point.