An amazing weekend …

Jonathan Brink and others have been doing a great job blogging (and tweeting) about the excellent weekend we just shared in Albuquerque – over 900 Catholics, Protestants, Anglicans, Orthodox and “none of the above” gathered to consider what it means to be followers of Jesus in these times. It was a tremendous joy to work with Fr. Richard Rohr, Alexie Torres-Fleming, Shane Claiborne, Phyllis Tickle, Bryan Froehle, and Karen Sloan. And everyone agreed – nobody could have been better hosts than the amazing people at Center for Action and Contemplation, led by Brian Picha and CeCe Shantzek.
I felt especially grateful for the way that the event communicated the emerging priorities of the emergent conversation …
1. A fresh vision of Jesus, rooted in the canonical gospels rather than in later theological debates. This fresh vision of Jesus and the kingdom of God brings a new perspective on Paul and the whole Bible as well.
2. A profound commitment to spirituality – including what Richard calls “the contemplative way,” and what Phyllis celebrates in the “ancient practices.”
3. A priority for holistic mission, especially committed to justice and peace-making, and especially concerned for the poor and marginalized, as Alexie so beautifully shared.
4. A celebration of community, as Shane shared, that emphasizes the empowerment of all the people of God – which our closing eucharist conveyed beyond words.
5. A relational partnership among Roman Catholics, Mainline Protestants, Charismatics and Pentecostals, Evangelicals, Orthodox, and all who wish to follow God in the way of Jesus. What hierarchs and institutions have valiantly struggled to do for decades, “common Christians” also did around the tables in Albuquerque: engage in mutual listening, sharing, honoring, and appreciating … in the Holy Spirit. It was a beautiful thing to experience.
I returned to my home airport late Sunday night to find my car window smashed from a break-in – but I felt so full and energized by the weekend that I found myself consoling the parking garage attendant who came to help me contact the police. “Most people are totally freaked out when this happens,” he said. “Thanks for being so calm and considerate.”
The slides from my Friday talk are already available here on the site (drawn from EMC sessions 2 and 5), and we’ll put the slides I shared on Sunday up ASAP. For those who missed the gathering, CAC will make CD’s and DVD’s available. We’re tentatively hoping to re-convene again next year – April 9-11. Stay tuned …