This June 8-10 is Envision '08: The Gospel, Politics and the Future, held at Princeton in New Jersey. The conference is described as being "about the power of the gospel to transform the public square. It’s about Jesus and justice, evangelical history and heritage, and practiced theology. It’s about the next one hundred years of the church and its impact on the common good." It has an amazing lineup of speakers, with Miroslav Volf, Randall Balmer, Brenda Salter McNeil, Shane Claiborne, John Perkins, Jim Wallis, Kay Warren, Brian McLaren, Richard Cizik and many more. There are tracks on issues like consumerism, poverty, immigration, earth care and human trafficking. It looks like a great event - they're planning on a thousand people, and registration is just $49 for the first 200 to sign up. (I'm part of a group presentation/panel discussion on the future of the church.)
August 8-9, I'll be in Philadelphia to do a seminar on "The Church and Suburbia." I was invited by Todd Hiestand, pastor at The Well and author of the paper "The Gospel and the God-Forsaken: The Challange of the Missional Church in Suburban America." Todd is passionate about suburban mission and just reserved the domain name for missionalinsuburbia.com. He describes the seminar this way:
“God always shows up in the most God-forsaken places.”So if you're in the Philadelphia area, you can register here; it's just $25. Should be a good time - hope to see some of you there!
In some ways, it doesn’t get any more God-forsaken than suburban America. This seminar will take a look at two important topics: Suburbia and the Church. For some people, there is a sentiment that its impossible to really be the church in the ‘burbs. But for others, we believe that this is the place that God has called us. If we are going to stay, we need to ask what it means to “be the church” in a culture that is defined by comfort, consumerism, isolation, wealth, strip malls and hidden poverty.
This one day seminar will focus on the development and culture of suburbia and the opportunities and challenges that this context presents the Church.