Some of the tangible and intangible highlights from my time in New Mexico for the Emergent Gathering (not a comprehensive list), a gathering of a group of friends and ministry partners (along with some new interested parties) for fellowship, discussions and general trouble-making...
1. I finally spent time with Uber-blogger Will Samson and will excitedly move him to my "comrades and cohorts" section of the blogroll. We are most definitely kindred spirits and I have a hunch we will continue to be fellow journiers for a long time. His understanding of justice issues from a real world Christian perspective is refreshing and quite similar to mine. He comes brings a fascinating background to issues of the emerging church, community, justice and poverty (an ex-Republican operative). He also understands from the inside the deeply seeded problems of the mix of Christianity and Right-Wing politics.
2. Andrew Jones brought some tasty beverages from his home in Scotland. We shared a common cup in tasting what is considered the best beverages in the world. I have to agree. Andrew, among the earliest and greatest bloggers is an amazing man with a wonderful wife and 5 beautiful kids. It was nice to see him back in the USA after a long time abroad.
3. Burnt offerings were sacrificed to our Lord by many old and new friends. I brought sacrifices from the Fuente family in Tampa (connected to the fam in the DR) was honored to share them with the group.
4. Open night at Evangelo's Bar in downtown Santa Fe was a rousing success with old friends Ryan Sharp and Troy Bronsink sharing 4 songs each. Both are not only theologians and church planters, but quite good acoustic singer-songwriters. In fact, Ryan's project, The Cobalt Season, is among the better albums I have heard this year (I will review it later), in the vein of Iron and Wine, Derek Webb and Bright Eyes. If you like intelligent, acoustic, spiritually insightful music with cuss words, you need to buy this project.
5. Doug Pagitt gave me a copy of his latest book, Body Prayer: The Posture of Intimacy With God, which should be a must for any church planter, music or youth minister (good corporate prayers), house church or Christian devoted to holistic prayer.
6. Other highlights included hearing Brian McLaren share a paper on why we should move from a discussion on postmodernity to postcolonialism (It should create quite a stir and is exactly where we need to continue to move); hanging with good friend Laci Scott and being reminded how much easier life is with people looking out for you; meeting Jason from Christian Century and rooming with Tim Conder, who I still want to work with on a church staff; eating breakfast burritos, mijas and lemon ricotta pancakes at the greatest breakfast restaurant in the world, Harry's Roadside Cafe, and many new friends. I am sure there is much more, but this is a beginning.