Friday, May 28, 2010

LifeCast Update // coming up to the surface...

by Tim K. Snyder

It has been a very busy three weeks to wrap up another semester. I'm just now coming up to the surface and so I've not blogged in what seems like forever. But a lot has actually happened over the past three weeks and there are even more exciting things in the weeks ahead.
Earlier this month, my good friend Nate Preisinger was briefly in the Twin Cities. Nate is the cultivator of Organic Faith Community in Buffalo, NY trying to figure out what it means to be church in today's strange, new world. Nate is one of the most creative and honest leaders I know. Don't ask Nate about me, though...he knows me from my Lutheran Poster Child days. Nate did this clever Church Draft; my favorite: Saint Joseph of Cupertino because he levitates, according to Nate. Brilliant.

The semester wrapped up well and I've only got a short break here before summer classes start up. I'm starting to solidify my thesis research and that's been a blast. At this point I'd like to do an ethnographic study of a faith community that identifies with one or more particular tradition (Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, etc.) but that structurally is outside of what we've come to call a "congregation."

It looks lke I'm going to get to do some travel this summer albeit it's for two academic conferences. In June I'm heading to Chicago with a group of MA/PhD students in our Congregational Mission and Leadership programs to the American Society of Missiology. Last year's theme was emerging church and this year it's multiculturalism. It should be a good preview (though highly academic) to the upcoming Emergent Theological Conversation in November. In August I'm headed to Toronto for the International Conference on Religion, Media and Culture. Both should be great and I'll be sure to blog about them afterwards.

This past week week I spent two days at a cabin on a lake in Wisconsin working on a chapter for a book that I'm contributing to. Tentatively titled Hyphenated Christians Speak: How The Emergent Conversation is Shaping the Mainline Church (Chalice Press, 2011). My chapter is on "Improvising With Tradition" or in other words re-thinking how we think about tradition as a dynamic place of finding faith and creating meaning, rather than equating tradition with "status quo" like we so often do. I'll be blogging more about this soon so look for more on this.

Finally I'll be back on Andy Root's BlogTalkRadio show this week talking about a chapter from The Promise of Despair. I did this back in April, it was a ton of fun and as it turns out that episode got a lot of hits which is great. This time around we'll be answering the question: will death ever fall in love?

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