Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hanging with the NuDunkers

The NuDunkers, a group of Brethren missional organic intellectuals who are gathering into something of a renewal movement within the Church of the Brethren, went live this morning. Five of us participated in a Google Hangout videochat that streamed to YouTube in real-time, and is still available for viewing and conversation.

I served as the "elder" for this first conversation, which is something of a synthesis of hostess and facilitator, bringing the questions and keeping the conversation going. Elder responsibilities also include sharing the main post-hangout blog space for continued discussion, and thus, this post.

Here's the recorded Hangout:

Just a couple of reflections on this initial public hangout, which was a bit meta-level, about what NuDunkers is and what we hope it might provide space for:

First, I just like these guys, and I like hanging out with them. Matt McKimmy's observation about the discussion was that all of this is grounded in relationship. This is conversation, he said, going on between people who "either care about each other already, or WANT to care about each other."And that's exactly it - I want to find ways to be in relationship with people who may be far from me - geographically, relationally, theologically.  I want to find ways to be in relationship, and I want to be able to care about them. 

Second, we talked a fair bit about NuDunker discussions being, first, a sort of generous, hospitable space: no real agenda for advocacy, no polity implications, no decision-making apparatus with time-sensitive schedules attached, but an open-ended conversation free to roam as widely and as deeply as those involved want it to be. Of course we'll have structure - an elder, a topic, an hour-long timeframe for the initial group chat - but the point of the conversation IS the conversation. And all are welcome to join in.

Third, I'm eager to throw questions with a bit less meta-level ramification into this forum. I'm excited to talk in this way about the stuff of theology and ministry and life of the church: the Spirit's movement and the shape of a congregation and the theological implications of voting, and whatever other things of importance are shaping our lives. 

And, for some continued conversation:
An article by Philip Clayton that Josh referenced: Theology and the Church After Google

Now: What are y'all thinking?


Brian R. Gumm said...

You're right, Dana, that the conversation today was pretty meta-level, which I suppose it helpful to get out of the way, a sort of prolegomena.

When it will get really fun, though - as you said - is when we get more theo-ministerial in our reflections. Can't wait!

Jake said...

This reminded me of the Sunday School class I attended at First Mennonite of Bluffton while I was at Bluffton University. Great conversation amongst awesome intellectuals. Maybe in a selfish manner of wanting to understand CoB better, I hope to hear more about the meeting of Anabaptism and Pietism, which has not really been present in Mennonitism. I hope you all keep the conversation going and work towards understanding where everyone is coming from and what they're saying. Finally, I agree with Callie that everyone needs a filled bookshelf as a background hehe.

Dana said...

Oooh, theo-ministerial! Theo-pastoral? Now I'm going to be playing with those terms all afternoon, Brian.

And Jake - so glad you're joining in the convo. I think we have quite a few reflections on the meeting of Anabaptism and Pietism up our sleeves. I'd be curious to hear about which pieces of the Brethren Pietist heritage you find interesting. It's sometimes hard for me to pick out the strands since I'm so immersed in this tradition where they've been combined for so long.