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There was a stir recently when Emergent leaders announced they were meeting with some Jewish leaders. Here is the latest form of the press release for S3K, including names of those invited:
LOS ANGELES, MINNEAPOLIS — Synagogue 3000 (S3K) and Emergent have announced a ground-breaking meeting to connect Jewish and Christian leaders who are experimenting with innovative congregations and trying to push beyond the traditional categories of “left” and “right.”
In their first-ever formal gathering, emerging leaders from across the United States will confer during the inaugural session of the S3K Leadership Network’s Working Group on Emergent Sacred Communities, which takes place January 16-17, 2006, at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in Simi Valley, California. They will share experiences and exchange ideas about reinventing the meaning and practice of community in their respective faith traditions.
Prominent Emergent Christian theologian Brian McLaren (A New Kind of Christian, A Generous Orthodoxy) has met with Synagogue 3000’s leadership three times in recent months to discuss shared concerns, particularly surrounding attempts by younger Christians and Jews to express their spiritual commitments through social justice. “We have so much common ground on so many levels,” he notes. “We face similar problems in the present, we have common hopes for the future, and we draw from shared resources in our heritage. I’m thrilled with the possibility of developing friendship and collaboration in ways that help God’s dreams come true for our synagogues, churches, and world.”
S3K and Emergent will convene pioneering rabbis, pastors, artists, and leaders who are reaching out to the unaffiliated and others who are not attracted to mainstream congregations. An open discussion with leading clergy in mainstream synagogues will address the relationship between the congregational establishment and emerging groups. An evening lecture program will feature Emergent scholar Ryan K. Bolger (Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures), in dialogue with two renowned experts on religion and generational change, Steven M. Cohen (The Jew Within) and Wade Clark Roof (A Generation of Seekers, Spiritual Marketplace, Bridging Divided Worlds)
S3K Senior Fellow Lawrence A. Hoffman (Rethinking Synagogues: A New Vocabulary for Congregational Life, forthcoming) stressed the importance of building committed religious identity through conversation across faith lines. “We inhabit an epic moment,” he said, “nothing short of a genuine spiritual awakening. It offers us an opportunity unique to all of human history: a chance for Jews and Christians to do God’s work together, not just locally, but nationally, community by community, in shared witness to our two respective faiths.”
According to Emergent-U.S. National Coordinator Tony Jones (The Sacred Way: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life), this meeting has historic possibilities. “As emerging Christian leaders have been pushing through the polarities of left and right in an effort to find a new, third way, we’ve been desperate to find partners for that quest,” he said. “It’s with great joy and promise that we partner with the leaders of S3K to talk about the future and God’s Kingdom.”
Not only are many Jewish religious communities looking to the experiences of Christian innovators, especially in the context of worship that engages the unaffiliated, but they are seeing a similar paradigm shift from the Baby Boomer individualistic seeker mode to an emergent Generation X/post-GenX search for spirituality in community. S3K Director of Research Shawn Landres (After The Passion is Gone: American Religious Consequences), himself a GenXer active in an emergent Jewish congregation, said, “We hope to learn from their experience and also to build bridges by engaging and challenging one another.”
Synagogue 3000 (http://www.synagogue3000.org) is a catalyst for excellence, empowering congregations and communities to create synagogues that are sacred and vital centers of Jewish life. Its purpose is to make synagogues compelling moral and spiritual centers– sacred communities–for the twenty-first century. From offices located at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles and the Hebrew Union College in New York, the S3K staff has created a national congregational leadership network and is developing a synagogue studies institute. The S3K Leadership Network comprises two working groups, one on Spiritual Leadership and the other on Emergent Sacred Communities.
Emergent (http://www.emergentvillage.com) gathers reflective practitioners and engaged scholars for conversation and missional action around the issues of Christian theology, practice,
spirituality, justice and church life. The network developed in the 1990’s and includes a wide range of Christian leaders from progressive evangelical, mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic backgrounds.
Participants:
Rabbi Daniel Alter
Denver East Minyan @ DAT
Denver, Colorado
http://dem.denverjewish.com
Julia Andelman
(*) Elie Kaunfer
Kehilat Hadar
New York, New York
http://www.kehilathadar.org
Rabbi Andy Bachman
Brooklyn Jews
Brooklyn, New York
http://www.brooklynjews.org
Dr. Ryan K. Bolger
Fuller Theological Seminary
Pasadena, California
http://thebolgblog.typepad.com
Rev. Troy Bronsink
Capital View Community Fellowship
Coordinator, Atlanta Emergent cohort
Atlanta, Georgia
http://www.churchasart.org
http://atlantaemergence.blogspot.com
http://gatheringmusic.blogspot.com
Rabbi Sharon Brous
IKAR
Los Angeles, California
http://www.ikar-la.org
Rabbi Menachem Cohen
Mitziut
B’nai Hamidbar – Black Rock JCC
Chicago, Illinois
http:/www.mitziut.org
http://www.metatronics.net/burn/
Rev. Scott Collins-Jones
Woodland Presbyterian Church
Coordinator, Philadelphia Emergent cohort
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
http://www.woodlandpres.com
http://www.phillyemergent.com
http://scjtoday.typepad.com
Rabbi Shir-Yaakov Feinstein-Feit
Kol Zimrah
New York, New York
http://www.kolzimrah.info
Dr. Dwight Friesen, D.Min
Quest: A Christ Commons
Mars Hill Graduate School
Seattle, Washington
http://www.quest.nu
http://www.dwightfriesen.com
http://dwightfriesen.blog.com
Rabbi Dov Gartenberg
Panim Hadashot
Seattle, Washington
http://www.panimhadashot.com
Lauren Grabelle Hermann
Kol Tzedek
West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
http://www.kol-tzedek.org
(*) Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld
Ohev Sholom Talmud Torah/The National Synagogue
Washington, District of Columbia
http://www.thenationalsynagogue.org
Rev. Tony Jones
Emergent US National Coordinator
Minneapolis, Minnesota / Princeton, New Jersey
http://www.emergentvillage.com
http://theoblogy.blogspot.com
(*) Rabbi Elana Kanter
The New Shul
Scottsdale, Arizona
http://www.thenewshul.org
Rev. Tim Keel
Jacob’s Well
Kansas City, Missouri
http://www.jacobswellchurch.org
http://jacobswellchurch.org/tim/
Rev. Heather Kirk-Davidoff
Kittamaqundi Community Church
Emerging Women Leaders
Columbia, Maryland
http://www.kc-church.com
http://www.emergingwomenleaders.org
Margie Klein
Kavod House
Boston, Massachusetts
http://www.kavodhouse.com
J. Shawn Landres
Synagogue 3000
Los Angeles, California
http://www.synagogue3000.org
http://religion-society.blogspot.com
Amichai Lau-Lavie
Storahtelling/RituaLAB
New York, New York
http://www.storahtelling.org
Rabbi Shoshana Leis
Congregation Tehillah
Riverdale, New York
http://www.congregationtehillah.org
Rabbi Jeremy Morrison
The Riverway Project/Temple Israel
Boston, Massachusetts
http://www.riverwayproject.org
Rev. Doug Pagitt
Solomon’s Porch
Minneapolis, Minnesota
http://www.solomonsporch.com
http://pagitt.typepad.com
Rev. Nanette Sawyer
Wicker Park Grace
Chicago, Illinois
http://www.wickerparkgrace.net
http://www.wickerparkgrace.net/tiki-view_blog.php?blogId=1
Rev. Rebecca ver Straten-McSparran
Tribe of LA
Los Angeles, California
http://www.tribela.com
http://tribela.typepad.com
Rev. Dieter Zander
BayMarin Community Church
San Rafael, California
http://www.baymarin.org
(*) S3K Emergent Working Group member, but unable to attend in January.

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