State of Emergent Cohorts 2012

Charlotte Emergent cohort

According to Emergent cohort guru Mike Clawson, there were about 50-60 active Emergent cohorts across the U.S. as of June 2011. That's about half of the 100+ cohorts that were going just four years ago. And, anecdotally, it seems 50-60 may be a high number just one year later, because only a handful of cohorts are really visibly doing much.Our cohort in Charlotte, NC, just celebrated eight years of monthly Meetups, and 2012 has been one of the busiest years we've ever had with special … [Read more...]

Church On The Internet

Bruce Reyes-Chow

Last month I had the privilege of interviewing Chris Smith of Englewood Christian Church on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis. Chris joined me for the monthly Twitter #missionalchat in February, and then we sat down to record this half-hour conversation about his new e-book The Virtue of Dialogue (Patheos Press) and his forthcoming book Slow Church, co-authored with John Pattison. Watch:This month I'm looking forward to chatting with Bruce Reyes-Chow about his latest bold initiative … [Read more...]

Kickstarting the Emergent Conversation

For a long time, the emergent conversation has been labeled and criticized (to some degree, rightly) as a mostly white male phenomenon. Thankfully, that is not the reality on the ground any longer. Over the years, the conversation has become much more diverse — racially, ethnically, socio-politically, as well as theologically. But that story hasn't really been told, and so the movement (heck, let's call it a movement) still is seen by some as not relevant to them or not relevant at all … [Read more...]

Conversation As a Path to Transformation

Chris Smith

We're getting ready to celebrate in April our 8-year anniversary of meeting as the "Emerging Church Discussion Group" (a.k.a. the Charlotte Emergent cohort). The group has changed a lot over the years, but one thing remains the same: There is still a need for a safe(r) space for theological conversation, because most churches do not create space for it.This is still true here in Charlotte ("the city of 1,000 churches"), and I suspect it's true of the many cities where other Emergent cohorts … [Read more...]

Missional Conversations with … Anthony Smith

I'm excited to be able to share my recent interview with Anthony Smith (a.k.a. Postmodern Negro). February is, after all, African American History Month, and, I must confess, Anthony was my first real African American friend, who has taught me much of what I now know about black history and my own white privilege. I'm deeply indebted to him for that!Anthony has been a great friend for the past seven years, and I've had the privilege of collaborating with him in several projects since that … [Read more...]

Recap: Emergent Village Theological Conversation 2012

The annual Emergent Village Theological Conversation has been going on this week at Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California (January 31-February 2, 2012). The theme of this year's conference was "The Living and Life-Giving God in a World of Transition." Claremont is the bastion of what is known as process theology, and the main speakers are prominent process theologians — Monica Coleman, Phillip Clayton, John Cobb, etc. — in conversation with emergent church … [Read more...]

Missional Conversations with … Kathy Escobar

Last month, I decided to start a series of monthly #missionalchat conversations on Twitter, on the third Monday of the month (which is also when I'm planning to post on the Emergent Village Voice blog).Back in December, the conversation was around the terms "incarnational" vs. "missional" for the type of ministry we're talking about in the emerging church. I had the privilege of doing that first experimental #missionalchat with Kathy Escobar, co-pastor of The Refuge and author of Down We … [Read more...]

Incarnational or Missional?

During this season of Advent, I've been reflecting a lot on the idea of incarnation — specifically, these words from author and activist Parker Palmer: "The Christmas story is ... about God taking the risk of showing up in the flesh, and all that comes with it. I think that's a risk that we're all called to — the risk of incarnation, the risk of embodying our values and beliefs, the risk of manifesting our identity and integrity in the world, the risk of being fully human. And it's … [Read more...]

Emerging Church Still Making Headlines

Reforme-cover-story-3442

The reports of the emerging church's death are greatly exaggerated. The existence of the new Emergent Village Voice blog is one example of a new chapter that's being written. My experience with the Charlotte Emergent cohort over the past eight years reminds me over and over as I meet and talk with new people joining the conversation every month. Then there's the ongoing media attention that this movement continues to receive, 10+ years on.Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, and I were … [Read more...]


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