I leave tomorrow morning for The Great Emergence, a two day event in Memphis hosted by Phyllis Tickle and organized by Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt. The release of Mrs. Tickle’s book of the same name is the premise for the event, but the schedule is jam-packed with speakers, breakout sessions and several opportunties to eat amazing BBQ. You can find some background on Mrs. Tickle, her book, a list of speakers and other info here if you are interested in learning more.
I’d love to tell you that I can’t wait to go or that this is my emergent dream come true, but that would not be true. On the contrary, I have a nasty cold (maybe the flu) and, while I have read and enjoyed the writing of many of the key emergent authors since I came to faith in 2003, I have to admit that I am still very much a listener in the emergent conversation.
That being said, since I come to the Christian mosaic as an adult convert (I was 37) with no church experience (I was raised in a secular home), I am taking my time answering the frequently asked “what kind of Christian are you?” question that I get over and over again from my new brothers and sisters.
So, why not just read the book? Why am I spending money I do not have to get on a plane, stay in a hotel, rent a car and attend a conference?
I have absolutely no idea.
All I know is that, informed by a barrage of Holy Spirit serendipity that I cannot explain but always follow, I believe that I am supposed to go.
So, I’m going.
This is the part of the Christian faith that I never bargained for when I was an outsider looking in. There always seems to be a new and exciting adventure unfolding in front of me if I am willing to take the leap. So me and my aches and pains are off. And, as if to confirm that I am there to listen, I am rapidly losing my voice into a froggy ‘yo quiero Taco Bell’ version of laryngitis.
Isn’t God hysterical?
I’ll be posting dispatches from the road here and on Twitter if anyone is interested in following…