Tuesday, July 06, 2010

New Meeting Space

Emergent West Michigan has found a new home for conversation~

ON the second Wednesday of each month, we will be gathering at Founders Brewery at noon for 90 minutes of conversation.

Founders Brewery
235 Grandville Avenue Southwest, downtown GR 

Some of us gather on Wednesday night each week as well.  Please invite yourself to our formal gatherings on the second Wednesday of the month at noon and/or show up on a Wednesday night.

If you would like more information on either of our gatherings, please email me@randybuist.com


Friday, May 21, 2010

Subject: You are Invited!!! Growing our passion for God's world!

Subject: Invitation for this Sunday

This Sunday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. our small faith community in Hudsonville is hosting Rev. Nicta Lubaale of Kenya.

He is traveling from Kenya to present at a Bread for the World consultation and then visiting Grand Rapids for the weekend.

Rev. Lubaale has a long track record of working in the field of Holistic Mission in the context of OAIC, the Organization of African Instituted Churches. He works with member churches in recognizing the importance of linking their own actions with the policies of African governments and international agencies.

He is currently working on a program that utilizes the unique insights and resources of people at the margins of society.

Please join us as we spend time together on this Sunday evening. Feel free to arrive between 4:30-5:00 and bring guests.

For all the details see the link below:

Randy Buist
Kenya Matters
Board President

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Upcoming Events & Conversation Wednesday...

Noon @ Urban Mill, Michigan Ave
Please bring your experience and creativity, and join us for a conversation:

"why generation omg is the theological stimulus plan we need"
(A friend, tweeting Kenda Dean FirstThird)   What do you think?  Let's talk about generation "omg" (plenty of food for thought right there) and how that group challenges us and our theology.
Hope to see you then!

Upcoming opportunities: 

+Doing Something bigger than yourself.  Oakdale Park Church (Saturday, March 13)
What does pursuing justice look like now -- given the economy, foreclosures, joblessness, and anxiety over the future?
What opportunities are there that there may not have been before -- for individuals, for the church, for those in the suburbs and in the urban-center?  
What special solutions might bring justice for "the least of these"?  
Anyone interested in practical and hopeful ways to address the growing need for justice in Grand Rapids and around the world is welcome to join this time of training and fellowship.
For more information and to register:  http://www.doingsomethingbigger.com/Home
+The Insurrection Tour comes to Grand Rapids (April 9).  "Peter and friends set out to remind us that belief in the event of Resurrection means nothing less than participation in an Insurrection..."  Info:   http://insurrectiontour.com/ or RSVP:  http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/event.php?eid=314484900543&ref=ts
+Road trip to "Free for All" National Event Durham, NC (April 15-16) Can you imagine communities that encounter the biblical text as a privileged invitation to collaborate in the process of interpretation? In these same communities — collective and personal imagination, artistic expression, sacramental practices such as the common table and baptism, and other essential practices such as mission, hospitality, and dialogue are not only motivated by the text but also are integral in shaping our reading of the Bible. This is the vision of the "Free for All."
Learn more at http://www.freeforallbook.com/  Contact Randy Buist if you're interested in road-tripping down there! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Free For All - conference this April... I'm going!

"Free for All" National Event
Durham, NC (April 15-16)

Can you imagine communities that encounter the biblical text as a privileged invitation to collaborate in the process of interpretation?  In these same communities — collective and personal imagination, artistic expression, sacramental practices such as the common table and baptism, and other essential practices such as mission, hospitality, and dialogue are not only motivated by the text but also are integral in shaping our reading of the Bible.  This is the vision of the "Free for All."

Sadly, this dream can be rare in its actual expression.  Biblical interpretation in our present culture tends to be limited by a few powerful voices who tell us precisely what it must mean (and what it cannot mean), theological overdetermination that also restricts meaning to predefined possibilities, the personal entitlements of individual readers who read the text to reinforce their agendas and loyalties, the apathy of bored readers, or the profuse frustration of silenced perspectives.  The result is a devastating disconnect between text and community.

The consequences of the disconnect are dramatic.  In many fellowships, the Bible is perceived to be oppressive, sacred but irrelevant, or even trivial by its lack of interpretation or intersection with the actual lives of those in community.  In more churches and communities than we care to admit, participants live in the typical anxiety of "don't ask, don't tell" environments where they fear to reveal their honest questions about the text and the actual contours of their lives.  In addition, many perspectives and experiences are entirely excluded from the interpretative process.    

The "Free for All" event is a theological dialogue, an artistic encounter, and an imaginative experience based on the book by that title which seeks to close this gap by encouraging communities to embrace the freedom to interpret and embody the text.  Authors, Tim Conder and Dan Rhodes, draw upon their experience as leaders in the emergent community, pastors in various settings, and as founders of Emmaus Way, a community founded on the practices of dialogue and community interpretation of the text, to lead this conversation.

But as a dialogue event, the voices of those in attendance will be critical to the content of the event.  Tim and Dan also are excited to draw upon the experiences of scholars, pastors, artists, often neglected interpreters to expand this conversation.  Check our site regularly to get updates about seminar leaders and other contributors! 

"Free for All" is an image that cuts in two directions.  When we hear this term we often think an argument that crosses the lines of propriety, chaos spinning out of control, or the likes of a bar fight.  It conveys our greatest fear of the chaos invited when giving the responsibility of interpretation to whole communities rather than trained professionals.  But it also implies the beautiful possibility of a liberated text, liberated from homogeneity and the claims of objectivity despite the biases that all persons bring to word, functioning as a living word in practicing communities of faith.  This event will offer not only a vision and rationale for that second trajectory by looking at the Bible from historical and social lenses, but will also explore many proven paths to this reality from pastors and leaders who are committed to the value of community interpretation and a living text.  
- Hide quoted text -

Also in the spirit of this metaphor, the conference will be offered, "free for all," meaning free from a registration charge!  The event will be held in downtown Durham, NC (walking distance from Duke University and many excellent pubs and restaurants) and is being produced by JoPa productions.  The event website <freeforallbook.com> has a registration link, hotel and transportation information, and other critical updates.

On Free for All...

“This is as clear and thought provoking a statement as I have seen yet of a theology of Scripture for emergence Christianity. Conversational in tone, these pages are filled with the practical implications of the possibilities and ideas being presented. As cofounders of Emmaus Way, Conder and Rhodes speak with the authority of lived experience as well as out of their own deep faith.”--Phyllis Tickle, author, The Great Emergence

“The Bible is the product of the believing community, and it is meant to be read in community. Solitary reading of Scripture has gotten us into all manner of difficulties. Now Tim Conder and Dan Rhodes discover the fruitfulness of reading the Bible together. This book is a wonderful exercise in biblical hermeneutics by two of the best representatives of a younger generation of pastor-scholars. Weaving in popular culture, well-informed Christian theological insight, and excitement for the Bible as uniquely revelatory, Conder and Rhodes lead us into a fresh new encounter with Scripture—the church’s book—speaking anew to the church for the salvation of the world.”
  --Will Willimon, bishop, the North Alabama conference of the United Methodist Church; author, Conversations with Barth on Preaching

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

(Re) Reading Paul - WEDNESDAY, Jan. 13th @ noon!

Wishing you a hope-filled 2010!

To kick off the year, our first  Conversation Wednesday:  (Re)Reading Paul
Next week, January 13 @ the Urban Mill on Michigan Avenue, GR

(Re) Reading Paul: A Posture for Reading Paul in Context

In recent years there has been an immense amount of material on how one should read Paul. The most prominent being, "How are we to read Paul in his historical and theological contexts?" The promise of this approach for postmoderns is that it allows for past interpretations to be subverted by possible new ones. On the other hand, the peril of this approach is that it ends up being an ad hoc way of doing theology. Maybe a re-posturing is needed in order to read Paul faithfully. Maybe the most important question is "how do we become wise readers of Paul?" If we seek to answer that question then we must also ask, "what constitutes a wise reading of Paul?"

Our conversation will be led by Nate Dawson, a friend of many ewm'ers.  Hope you can join us for what's sure to be an insightful, animated discussion.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Conference in January -- attend!


The Missional Learning Commons is a collaborative day for missional churches to exchange ideas, support, and encouragement about how to incarnate the gospel in their respective contexts. This year our theme is:


JANUARY 8-9, 2010

Westview Alliance Church
9804 Illinois Rd
Fort Wayne
IN 46804


Free. Nobody is being paid to be here. Nobody is selling books. Just conspiring and collaborating together. You should come!


Book Discussion: The Next Evangelicalism by Soong-Chan Rah
A theological and practical discussion about obtaining multi-ethnicity in the local church. Rah critiques the captivity of evangelicalism (even in its newer expressions like “emerging”) as captive to Western and white culture and argues for a way forward.
Crucial Practices for Deeper Churches (Chris Smith/Ben Sternke)
How do Eucharist/worship and communal economics shape us into missional people and further God’s mission in our local communities?
Sharing a Deeper Gospel in Post-Christian Contexts (David Fitch/Jeremy Dowsett)
What does it look like to share the good news after evangelicalism? What kinds of practices, language, and metaphors does faithful evangelism in post-Christian settings call for?
Should Deeper Churches Have Paid Staff? (Panel discussion)
What are the strengths and weaknesses of bi-vocational leadership in missional communities? What kinds of skills and practices make it viable over the long haul?
How Can Deeper Churches Become Multi-Ethnic? (David Fitch)
Have white concerns and values shaped the missional/emerging movement? How can we move forward to more faithfully embody the Revelation vision of every tribe, nation, and tongue?
See the schedule for more details. Also check out the Facebook event to RSVP.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Conversation Wednesday, Dec. 16 @ Noon... join us even if it's your first time

~topic of conversation for Wednesday, Dec. 16 @ noon~ Urban Mill on Michigan Ave, Grand Rapids

What sort of gathering could we create in West Michigan during ArtPrize 2010 that would have value to the larger church? 

** People often ask, so what are we doing? So, let's do something...