1. Reports of the Church's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated (John Pattison) - Obituaries for the American church often seem like a cottage industry. But John Pattison, co-author of the award-winning book Slow Church, has seen a different, more interesting, more hopeful story unfolding. Drawing from the 90 neighborhoods he has visited over the last four years, John will tell stories of how faith expressions around the country are weaving fabrics of care in their neighborhoods, and why the future of the church is small, slow, local, and surprisingly bright.
2. Resistance and The Narrow Road (Matt Conner, Thomas McKenzie) - The Resistance is something we all feel. Fear. Apathy. Lack of resources. Whatever the term or reason, we all feel the distance between our stated goals (or self) and our present reality. This discussion will provide some biblical understanding and spiritual handles for encountering resistance in all forms and to help bridge that distance.
3. Imagining Our Neighbors as Ourselves: The Arts, Empathy, and the Christian Imagination (Mary McCampbell) - In his 1940 novel, The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene’s whiskey priest concludes that “hate was just a failure of imagination.” Greene suggests us that in order to love, we must be able to effectively imagine the lives of others. We must, however, learn how to imagine both truthfully and compassionately because the imagination can be used both for dehumanization and rehumanization. This session will look at literature, film, photography, and music that provide us with opportunities to expand our imaginations for the sake of loving our neighbors as ourselves.
4. Finding Rest For The Soul (Curtis Zackery, Matt Canlis) - With so many responsibilities and distractions vying for our attention, too many of us have built unhealthy cycles of rest. As a result, we burn ourselves out, striving and straining against God's intent for our lives. We can only sustain a life of purpose if we really learn to rest. In this session we will discuss how our misaligned view of rest has its roots in an identity that is out of rhythm with God. Taking steps toward understanding Sabbath in the way that God intends can dynamically affect every aspect of our lives.
5. Working Together: An Art Story (Russ Ramsey) - A look at the power of creative community, as told through the story of the little-known French painter Jean Frederick Bazille, and his friends who together helped launch one of the most influential movements in the history of Art.
6. The Perilous Pilgrimage: How Writing Shapes the Writer (Andrew Peterson, S. D. Smith, Helena Sorensen) - Writing a story is like fighting your way through a dark forest—and you always come out changed on the other side. Three fantasy authors talk about the struggles and joys of storytelling and world building.
7. Bonhoeffer and The Other (John Hendrix) - Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German theologian, a pastor, and an agent of the resistance against Adolf Hitler. His legacy is often misunderstood, and his name has become a veritable tug of war between conservative and liberal elements of Christianity. But this session will focus on what might be his most enduring challenge to the world—his notion of seeing "the other" inside and outside the walls of the church.
8. Betting on the Dark Horse: The Holy, Hidden Potential of Human Weakness (Rebecca Reynolds, Douglas McKelvey) - Weakness doesn’t feel comfortable; it feels like failure waiting to happen. Yet as we walk with Jesus, our darkness, doubt, pain, and inability can be used in the battle to birth redemptive things. If your best just isn’t good enough, come hear Douglas McKelvey and Rebecca Reynolds talk about why broken people make the best warriors.