Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

NPC — A Place for Friends

I’ve been at the National Pastor’s Convention in San Diego — wow, beautiful weather — and one thing that makes the whole event vibrate for me is seeing old friends and meeting new ones.
I spent time, of course, with blog friends, readers of this blog whom I’ve met before or whom I first meet at such events, who are now faces and voices. What it all means to both Kris and me to have so many readers of the blog come out of nowhere to introduce themselves or say something appreciative is beyond words … we never knew what would become of this blog, but we are beginning to realize all over again that the level of conversation and civility is not just a witness to you our readers but to something that is desired in a world marred by fractious and acriominious words. Peaceful conversation can no longer be assumed, and I have to thank you for all your goodness on this blog. I’m not saying we don’t have disagreements, but we know how to disagree without turning a person into an enemy.
I had breakfast with one of my favorite bloggers, Jim Martin, down in Texas. We had a great time talking about how best to prepare pastors. Jim had some very good thoughts for me.
John Frye, up in Michigan, “met” Jim Martin — only over the blog — but met him yesterday in person and they had a good time meeting. And today I had breakfast with John and his friend Kenton Kemp.
Dana Ames (not “Day-na” but “Dan-a”) and I first met at this event two years ago; we share a common joy in fountain pens and in reading Tom Wright. We had coffee, talked about what was going on in our families (her son is exploring a master’s in piano performance — artsy family I have to admire). I didn’t get to speak much with Christine Scheller but it was nice seeing her again (she evokes tranquility for me).
It was the first time I got to sit down alone with Dan Kimball — we share so many common ideas and theology and I have to say that I envy his awesome hair and admire his pastoral tact, his graciousness, and his commitment to missional work among the 20somethings.
I had dinner with three leaders at Mars Hill Grand Rapids. Creative, insightful, courageous … Matt Krick, Greg Bunch, and Brad John Nelson (I think I got that right; sorry if I didn’t). They brought energy to the table and they give me confidence in the future church.
And I was with Tony Jones and met Julie for the first time; I saw Doug Pagitt and Shelly. We are all grateful to John Raymond, at Zondervan, for his creative insights into all things emerging and emergent. I’ll be blogging about this tomorrow.
I’ll post tomorrow about our sessions, among which was my first ever “Blue Parakeet” book event. I’m so pumped about that session I can hardly contain myself. I’ll talk about Phyllis Tickle tomorrow, since we shared a speaking event on prayer.

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posted February 28, 2008 at 12:55 am

What a nice thing to say. Thank you.
I really enjoyed what you had to say about reading the Bible and regretted not scheduling an interview to talk about your new book, which I look forward to reading.
Your impression of Dan Kimball was nearly identical to mine. I can away from my interview with him with a deep appreciation for his pastor’s heart.
Blessings to you~

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jeremy bouma

posted February 28, 2008 at 6:34 am

Have a beer with my pastor friend/mentor John Frye for me :) And I hope you come away refreshed and renewed for another year of ministry!
dont get a sunburn 😉

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posted February 28, 2008 at 10:03 am

Scot, if I may interject a completely off topic plea from the viewing community. Have you considered using the “Verdana” font? It’s so much easier on the eyes. Bless you!

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posted February 28, 2008 at 12:15 pm

I hope you have a great time and are feeled up to the brim spiritually. Please share with us what you have learned with week so we can share in your blessing. Again, God’s blessings on your life this week brother.

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Dana Ames

posted February 28, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Thanks again, Scot.
Wow, wish I could have met more of the blog community. It was fun to run into Patrick.
The only bad thing about this event is that there are not enough hours in the day to spend with such great people, listening and learning if not conversing. I’m going to have to go home to recover from getting to bed way too late…

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John J

posted February 28, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Does this mean you’ll be speaking at Mars Hill anytime soon? I go there myself and would love to see you come!!!

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Skye Jethani

posted February 28, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Hey Scot,
Thanks for the update. Sorry I couldn’t be at NPC this year. I’ve always enjoyed that event and the great conversations up in John Raymond’s room.
On Monday our third child was born- a good reason to stay in cold Chicago. We’ve named her Lucy. Everyone’s doing great.
Hopefully we can catch up soon.

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posted February 28, 2008 at 10:48 pm

Agree with Dana’s comments, there wasn’t enough time to hang out with people; I felt the schedule (this time around?) was just too packed with programming from the stage and from up front, instead of time to talk with fellow attendees. There’s a lot of wisdom, well, life experiences, anyways, amongst the almost 2,000 pastors there. If my math was right, those main sessions were over 2 hours long! Goodness! I can’t sit still for that long… :)

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posted February 29, 2008 at 10:53 am

I too wish I had put some faces to the names I read on this blog. Perhaps next time, Scot should organize a Jesus Creed social : )

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Ken Kemp

posted February 29, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Hey Scot…
Thanks for the great time over breakfast in San Diego. The two hours flew by; our many connecting points and our mutual friend John Frye all made it seem like we’ve known each other forever. We are on parallel journeys.
Thanks for your good work… I’ll be first in line for that next book. ‘Til then, I’m makin’ the Jesus Creed my mantra.
With a smile, Ken

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brad nelson

posted February 29, 2008 at 10:16 pm

It’s Brad Nelson, not John. I’ll assume that the streaker who interrupted our dinner distracted you.
Looking forward to the blue parakeet…

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John Frye

posted March 1, 2008 at 7:09 am

It was delightful to meet Jim Martin and Dana Ames, and to spend time with you and Ken. I give a hign five to John Raymond for his efforts in programming a meaningful NPC this year. NT Wright blew me away in every session he spoke. And I think *The Blue Parakeet* is going to be a pivotal book in the emerging conversation.

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Joe Beach

posted March 4, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Your Blue Parakeet presentation was great. It was crisp, clear and concise. I attended both the critical conerns course and the Parakeet one. There was some overlap, but I was grateful that I attended both. Throughout the conference, you were always delightful in your gracious, passionate, intellect.
And, yes, it was also great to hear NT Wright. His Friday morning seminar on the cross, etc. (evil, justice) was superb. The Q & A session at the end was, by itself, worth the trip.

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