Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Waxing Poetic: NuDunkers

I love books. I love them so much that my ideal interior design includes shelves in every room, books organized by genre by room. I visited a bookstore in Eastern Market this weekend where linguistics were shelved in the tiny shop bathroom, with a sign on the door to "leave open when not in use...LINGUISTICS ROOM." Now that's a decorating scheme I can get behind.

Capitol Hill Books

But: having been a pastor for the staggering time frame of ten full months, I'm learning a strange, surprising, and paradigm shifting thing about myself: It turns out, I love people, too. A lot. And often, people are infinitely more interesting even than books can be. They're unpredictable! But so predictable. They're kind and compassionate, and they're incredibly mean, ugly, and violent. People are big ol' bundles of paradox, and I love them. A colleague seasoned in ministry said recently that the number one criteria for an effective pastor is that she must "delight in people." As introverted and cynical as I try to be, delighting in people is becoming the Thing I'm Called To Do.

(and not for nothing, but these guys are incredibly easy to delight in)

Which is why, in part, I'm excited about this new (nu) thing that a few of my fellow Brethren organic intelligentisa members are dreaming up: NuDunkers. Andy, Brian and Josh have already outlined with their typical theological sharpness and organizational precision the parameters of what it is we're trying to do, so I'll just direct you over to their posts (and give them thanks for doing the heavy lifting this time and letting me be the one to wax poetic!).

Mostly, I'm excited about the NuDunkers because it's combining a lot of things that people keep telling me can't be combined: theology and practice, heart and mind, direction and openness, tradition and innovation, thought and action, reading books and serving people. We're thinking about things we're doing, and then doing the things we're thinking. We're using Twitter and Google Hangout to riff on ideas and rituals older than even the telegraph machine. We're putting theology on the ground, and asking all of y'all how you're doing it, what you think about it, and where it looks like the Spirit is moving from here.

Things are still shaping up, but things are shaping up. Join us. Be on the lookout. Speak up into this conversation.

(And as for that name, NuDunkers? Think Stuart Murray's The Naked Anabaptist. Also, Homebrewed Christianity and Sarah Coakley's article on ministry and theology. Our inspiration is widely-sourced and medium-varied. I'm thinking a NuDunkers Mix Tape might even be in order.)


Brian R. Gumm said...

Love the mix tape idea. I think a place to start would be your question on Facebook a while ago, re: an "alternative" Brethren hymnal. E.g. - Mumford, The Brilliance, et al...

Great reflections, Dana; thanks for rounding out round one of public remarks on this emerging conversation! (Am I allowed to use that word, "emerging? :)

Andrew Hamilton said...

The remix might be an interesting conversation. Thanks Dana