“It takes a village to raise a child,” or so the African proverb suggests.
By way of introduction, I’m one of those unfamiliar people Doug mentioned when he introduced this blog almost a month ago now.
What excites me the most about this blog is the rich diversity of voices that are present in the collective conversation. I’ll be contributing from where I stand and while my vantage point has much common ground with many of the other contributors, I’ll be writing from the perspective of what it has been like to come of age in Emergent Village.
I was introduced to the movement while still in high school and as I entered college at a small, private liberal arts college of the church my resonance with the conversation intensified. Soon the conversation gave way to an experiment as some friends and I planted an alternative community of faith in the Lutheran tradition. Planting a church and being raised in the Village as a young 20-year old has been a strange and wild way to come of age. At times I think growing up in this movement was challenging. Often times the movement has been a sanctuary for the wounded and a messy laboratory for crazy dreamers and innovators. Such a chaotic place is fruitful, but it can also be dizzying. I’ve often wondered if it’s already time for this movement to think about the next generation of young leaders who may benefit from the wisdom of our conversation and practices. Yet I want to be clear: is has taught me a few things too. The Village gave me the crazy idea that I could risk experimentation, that I could improvise with my tradition and that there are at least a few honest and safe places where theological reflection happens.
I hope to contribute to the conversation in a few ways. First of all, I want to tell stories, especially those that illustrate hope, but a hope beyond optimism. There are also many fine theological voices around the Village. I hope to apprentice myself to those conversations, but also to contribute to them in some way. I am especially interested in the relationship between theology and culture, so I’ll add my voice from where I stand at that intersection.
As I wrap up this initial post, I want to leave with a question and perhaps we can wrestle together with it:
What does it look like for this Village to pass on the wisdom of our movement to younger generations—to young adults, to youth, to children?