On October 24, 2009 we had the privilege of hosting Darrell Guder and Andy Crouch for a seminar in Suburban Philadelphia. Below, you will find the audio from those sessions.
JR describes the event this way:
The next big idea is about giving time to interact about innovative ways to partner with God in the renewal of all things. Unconference is about freely sharing creative ideas with one another without putting anyone on a pedestal. It is more participant oriented than personality driven, which is why there will be no lists of speakers. There is also no cost, because people share their gifts and knowledge freely.
Within a 24-hour period there will be twenty 14-minute presentations by 20 different speakers from 20 different churches on innovative ways to think and live missionally.
We’re excited about the upcoming Scripture and Culture Seminar with Darrell Guder and Andy Crouch at The Well in Suburban Philadelphia. This event is put on by both The Well and The Renew Community. It should be a great event. If you are coming, directions can be found here. We’ll also be trying to do a video cast as well so check the Ecclesia Twitter stream for more info.
You can find more information about these organizations on their websites.
Oh, and if you are attending, register here.
I reviewed Deep Church on my blog this morning. I’m reposting that review here because I think this a book that many in the Ecclesia Network will find beneficial.
I’ll tell you up front that I received Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional, by Jim Belcher, for review. But I’ll also tell you that I would have bought this and read it at my first opportunity, review copy or not.
With so many books written about the emerging church in recent years, there has been a gap in books written about…the gap. Most books from both sides of the discussion have been written from the perspective of, “Here’s what we think, and why we don’t agree with you.”
But there is a gap and many of us find ourselves sitting in it — somewhere between what Belcher labels as the Traditional and Emerging churches. I think many of us in the Ecclesia Network fit this description. In the introduction, Belcher says it like this:
This book is written for those who are caught in between. They are unhappy with the present state of the evangelical church but are not sure where to turn for an answer. They like some of what the emerging and traditional camps offer, but they are not completely at ease with either.
Despite what he writes above, I think Deep Church is a book that can speak to several different readers. To those in the gap, I think it will be a hopeful resonance with what you are thinking and feeling. To those in the traditional church with trepidation about the emerging church, Belcher offers a fair take on the emerging church as one who has clearly listened to what is being said. And to the emerging church, Belcher offers a thoughtful and honest reaction to the concerns being expressed.
If I have one critique of the book, it is that the subtitle is ambitious (but maybe that is more a revelation of my own hopes than of the intentions of the publishing team). Belcher does not go all the way to lay out what a third way between emerging and traditional should look like. And that task should not be his alone anyway, though he offers a good head start.
Belcher writes as one who stands perhaps a little more to the traditional side, but leaning into this third way. I read as one standing a little more to the emerging side, but also leaning into this third way. The generous yet honest way he writes is one that invites me and others into conversation about a third way — a conversation that I hope will grow as labels are shed and hope is adorned.
We will be using the best resources developed by GCM and other support raising mission agencies who have trained and helped hundreds of people develop funding for their mission over the years. The teachers are practitioners with over 20 years of experience in development.
This intense training time is design to give you theological confidence and practical training in developing a ministry partner team so that you can be fully funded to fulfill the vision that God has given you.
Theological Grounding for Support Raising
Gaining a Positive Perspective in Raising Support
Overcoming The Major Fears to Raising Support
Gathering the Necessary Skills for Ministry Partner Development
Developing a Workable Plan and Accountability
How to Maintain and Cultivate Your Support Team
Tuesday, October 27th @ Noon until Thursday, October 29th @5:00 p.m.
Richmond Hill [An ecumenical Christian Fellowship Monastery]
2209 E. Grace St., Richmond, Virginia 23223 (map)
$400 for Training, Room and Board
$350 for Ecclesia Network Members
Due to the reading and work that must be completed prior to registration, it is encouraged to register as soon as possible. To register, please email JR Woodward @
There are several partially funded church planting opportunities throughout the state of Virginia (and Washington DC) available. These new plants are being started in cooperation with the Baptist General Association of Virginia and the Ecclesia Network. We are looking for planters with a missional orientation and a high value for a contextual approach. Prior experience in a church planting setting or start-up is advantageous, but not necessary. Additional support will be established through partner churches and personal fundraising. Everyone interested would need to be comfortable participating in skill and behavioral assessments (both electronic and in person) to determine church plant readiness. If you are not quite reformed enough for some other networks (or you happen to be more Wesleyan) this might be for you. To discuss a full list of opportunities please contact Chris Backert. Specific opportunities are available in …
Winchester, VA – small university town of approximately 150,000 people 1 hour west of DC Metro area
Fairfax, VA – church planting opportunity near George Mason University
Petersburg, VA – small city located 30 minutes south of Richmond, VA. Future growth potential of the area is high due to military relocation. Facilities potentially available.
Hopewell, VA – suburb located between Richmond, VA and Petersburg, VA. Future growth potential is high due to military relocation. Facilities available.
South Richmond, VA – opportunity for new start located in the Woodland Heights neighborhood. This is a diverse neighborhood in transition. Facilities also available.