Do you remember that "I am spartacus" scene where everyone decides to take a stand of solidarity and support for a weary gladiator? Well, this is not quite as dramatic and this will be no huge revelation to many, but let me stake my claim, add my voice to the chorus and encourage others to boldly proclaim, "I am emergence."
Now I know, that in my own little world of grand delusions, if anyone takes notice of this, there will be plenty of folks from left to right who are going to say some version of the following,
"See, I told you so, he is one of those emergent, sell-out, hippie, anything-goes, wishy-washy, stands-for-nothing, fad-loving, trying-to-do-something-new-that-is-not-really-new, Bible-optional, Jesus-who? cool-kid, tradition-hating, "a-generous-orthodoxy"-loving, not-sure-if-he-is-even-Christian-anymore so-and-so."
And while I want to be liked as much as the next person, sorry to say, there is not much I can do about other people's perceptions. This is what many think of me and others who are having conversations about "emergence." But . . for those that know me, the church I serve and what I ACTUALLY say and believe you know that when people describe me as such, I have no idea who they are actually talking about. Part of me thinks there must be some BRC Doppelganger out there on the loose.
Still, I have never really claimed the descriptor "emergent" because it is so
loaded. Emergent has a gazillion different understandings, it seems
to draw both defenders and attackers and well . . . I am just not that
interested in entering into that particular debate. I have tried to help bring some clarification to some of the characteristics about the concept, I have critiqued some aspects of the emergent church movement/s and have given plenty of foundations about my life pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), a person of color in the US, a Christian in San Francisco, etc. . . that find resonance with the concept of "emergence."
A few nights ago however, I thought to myself, "I have been talking with a great many people about and around this wide bounded set called 'emergence' so I should probably just go ahead and say something." Again, this is not meant to be some big "reveal" but an offering to a conversation that many if us are having. More importantly it is a challenge to those in leadership today, especially for those of is who find joy in serving within the context of traditionally mainline church culture, to really put some words - and actions - to what I think is an amazing and opportune time of church reformation and transformation.
So here is a start at putting something together, not so much a "statement of faith," but an acknowledgment and claiming of some realities that inform and guide my life and ministry. I like the term "emergence"over "emergent" because it gives a feeling of movement and discovery. There is, OF COURSE, much missing, but I think it is enough to get some conversations going. I did, however, give myself a 140 word limit to offer some guidelines . . . see, told you I am not an anything-goes kinda guy ;-)
I am emergence . . .
because I believe that Jesus called us into individual and communal lives
that are inspired and fueled by the wonderfully ambiguous, immeasurable and nuanced
challenge of BEING the church;
because I believe the "T"ruth that God
speaks to humanity must be discovered and rediscovered through a consistent and
exhibited life of shared authority, communal theologizing and
because I believe that the political,
theological and ecclesiastical "other" is discerning God's calling on
their lives just as faithfully as I am, but do not feel the need to
stay in relationships that are confined by false, forced or
because I embrace, respect and
stand up for world that is does not exist in controllable and
unyielding bounds of culture, class, sexuality, gender, economies,
geography . . .;
and because I just am.
I also invited folks via this tweet to join in. Here are some of the responses. Go ahead and send me some links and I'll try to add yours to the mix.
i am emerging. i believe God is constantly changing me, calling me,
revolutionizing me. God has called me to creatively use all my gifts,
particularly my artistic gifts, in worship. God has called me to . . . [read more]
I wrestle alongside others in my church with what it means for this group of Christians to follow Jesus' calling in a world that is like and unlike the world in which our faith was formed . . . [read more]
In my past I had lived by the philosophy of progression, but that
implies that something is left behind. I now say "I am emergence,"
because, while some old dichotomies are transcended, they are also
included in the new life that now is. [read more]
* God is imaginative, creative in His/Her goodness which bears reckless promises and limitless possibilities * God
will not abandon us---His/Her wayward Pilgrim Church---no matter what
issues or challenges of the day we may face---God through Christ is
always with us [read more]
Theology and doctrine are social objects, are fallible, and in need of constant revision, reconfiguration, and creative reconstruction
lest they become arbitrary idols to prop up the powerful and oppress
the weak. [read more]
Today I attended the funeral of high school friend, Christopher Holloway, in Sacramento. While saddened by the reason that I was there, it did give me a chance to revisit some of my old hang-outs. Much to my delight, the pool hall that we used to frequent far too much and often during calculus or newspaper or . . . The Jointed Cue is alive and well.
So, you have heard the crowd and have finally decided to dive into the Social Media waters known as Twitter? Good for you! Even if it turns out that twitter is not for you, at least you tried. And believe me, Twitter is NOT for everyone . . . for at its basic level Twitter is simply one more way for humanity to engage in the practice of community.
Still . . . I do think it's a pretty groovy way to engage with folks and keep up with the happenings of the world, so welcome to the crazy! Below are a few things that I wish folks had told me as I began this adventure. I have included both technical tips as well as thoughts on twitter twetiquette* and culture that will allow you to navigate the landscape as you begin your adventure.
So here you go, a growing list of tips that I think every beginning twitterer should know. As you read this, feel free to suggest other tips or ask questions and I'll expand the list as appropriate.
I have made each of these tweets short enough to fit within 140 characters - the TOPIC will be linked if I have already tweeted it - so feel free to retweet any or all of the tips as you see fit. If you add "MORE TWITTER TIPS https://3bl.me/ef4n24" to the end of your tweet it will link back to this post.
USERNAME - Chose a USERNAME that is short so you save characters and personal so folks will remember you.
PROFILE PIC - Use a PROFILE PIC that is actually you so people get a feel for who you are as a person.
HASHTAGS - HASHTAGS "#" are a whisper about your tweet or a way to make a word or tag into a common link.
MENTION/REPLY - MENTION or REPLY by putting an "@" in front of their username, otherwise they'll never see it.
RETWEET - To pass along a tweet, RETWEET it by using the Twitter RT function or place an "RT" in front.
LINKS - When including LINKS, always use the "https://" and use a url shortener like https://3bl.me/
FOLLOW - FOLLOW those that will feed you: news, culture, people and like radio, unfollow if they don't.
FOLLOWERS - Some FOLLOWERS just want you to follow them, but most want to connect with your life/thoughts.
TRENDS - TRENDS are popular words or hashtags that are appearing in tweets in real time. Semi-useful.
LISTS - LISTS are people you group together so you can see JUST their tweets w/o having to follow them.
DM - DIRECT MESSAGES are private messages that can only be sent to people who are following you.
to be continued . . .
CULTURE ETIQUETTE TIPS
TONE - The most interesting twitterers are real, so be yourself, if folks don't like it, they can unfollow you.
RETWEETING - When RT'ing edit or shorten but don't change content. Not cool to assign your ideas to others.
DM vs REPLY - Use DM when relevance is limited to two; REPLY when others might be interested in the conversation.
FREQUENCY - No hard rule, like most things personality and perspective will dictate tweeting frequency.
to be continued . . .
There are, of course, many many many more things to know about twitter, and you should also check out 13 Twitter Tips and Tutorials for Beginners as well as Mashables Twitter Guidebook
for more info that you ever through you needed about Twitter. Please feel free to suggest other links, leave some times tips or ask questions. And of course, if you want to follow me, I am probably twittering right now at @breyeschow.
* Twitter people are dorks. There I said it. One of the dorkiest things we do is add "TW to words to make them "cooler" - see, told you were were dorks. Some common ones are things like "tweeps" or "tweeple" which are tw + peeps/people; "twitterverse" "twubs" and some guy even started a "tworship" service . . . good grief ;-)
We now have a relatives that live on the "Penthouse" level of a building requiring a special key and attracting endless teasing from their family. You can call it the 4th floor all you want, but when the butler comes to get us . . . just kidding, there is no butler.
“Peace it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
Thank to all who have asked for this. This is a compilation of many different benedictions that I have heard throughout the years, no originality claimed, just some great opportunities to share it.
Go forth into the world
With compassion and justice in your heart
Give voice to the silent
Give strength to the weak
See one another
Hear one another
Care for one another
And love one another
It's all that easy
And it's all that hard
Now may the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ
The love of God
And the power of the Holy Spirit
Be with us all, now and forever more