Festival of Homiletics: Day One

Posted by: Richenda at Monday May 19, 2008 in

I am expecting adventure. Here I am at the Festival of Homiletics in downtown Minneapolis, a peon next to over a thousand experienced pastors and many experts speakers and storytellers. A very excited peon, actually. I am looking forward to learning as much as I can.

The conference runs Monday – Friday, and the schedule is absolutely chock full. Mom (she’s a UM pastor in Delaware) invited me to come, and so I have been lucky enough to bum a bed in her hotel room—at the Hilton, very nice (you have to pay for wireless, though, what’s with that?). We met at the airport this afternoon, coordinating arrival flights from opposite sides of the country. It was so good to see her! And we celebrated the Seattle way: we went to Starbucks.

(A nice stranger took our picture. Mom says she looks like a pirate. I think she looks wonderful!)

[Note to Minneapolis: Whew! What’s with all the bars, lol. I was joking with my son that you can’t walk ten feet in Minneapolis without running into a bar. The downtown area seems similar. I’ll give you this, though, they are very nice bars. Lol.]

For dinner Mom and I went to the Irish Pub for some yummy Island food. Pickled onions and cheese and the Shepherd’s Pie was fabulous. Our server was a lovely college student (there are two universities within a few blocks of our hotel) and the daughter of a Baptist Minister. She now studies ancient Egyptian civilization, spirituality, and culture, and Latin. A lovely interdisciplinary mix.

[Note to intellectuals: I was going to say ‘post-modern’ mix, but it’s an antique word. We have marched on from there, though I admit we are still in some ways transitioning. I need a word, though, so I will say we are into the proto-global era, with the new young intellectuals and free thinkers already exploring inter-relational ethics and disciplines and combining them into integral concepts and interwoven systems. So, Proto-global, or even ‘proto-relational’ is where we are today.]

Anyway our Server was wonderful and shared a little of her religious upbringing. Though she says her father will kill her if she doesn’t claim to be a Baptist, she explains, like so many of her generation, to be “more spiritual than religious.” Back to the proto-relational again. In this statement, the young make a very astute critique of the Christian climate of the past years. When they say they are “more spiritual than religious,” what they say, rightly, is that Christianity has become more religious than spiritual. It’s time that changed. It’s time we put the ‘spirit’ back in ‘holy’, and alleluia! at the prospect.

So yes, here I am at the Festival of Homiletics, and I am excited for the festival. I’m going to learn everything I can. I am very excited for the future of faithful Christianity—for—like this upcoming generation, I am looking to put the ‘spiritual’ back into our religion.

[Note to self: Though the time shift makes it 4:30 in Minneapolis, it’s 2 in the morning your time. You should probably attempt a couple more hours of sleep!]

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