What I’m Up to: OPEN Boston for Youthworkers, The Justice Conference for Everyone But First Christianity21 (#C21Denver)

It’s going to be a fun couple of months as I get to be a part of some amazing events and I wanted to share with you a little about them.

I swear this post is not out of pride but in hopes that some of you will either be able to attend or share with others who can take part in some way. I offer that disclaimer because I’m somewhat involved in each of these and ever since I saw the #humblebrag hashtag, I have no idea what’s permissible to share anymore. It’s almost as if everything is a #humblebrag.

Anyway, if you are a youthworker come to OPEN Boston (Gordon College campus)  organized by the Youth Cartel. Seriously, sign up right now – it’s a well-spent $25.

Here’s what it is from their manifesto:
“There aren’t many places in the church where all ideas have the same opportunity to be presented. Everything is editorialized, shaped, and packaged. Every idea is filtered through a lens.
We think something is wrong with that. Deep in our souls we know the solutions to the problems we face today are already out there, waiting to be discovered.
Open is just that. Open. The Youth Cartel sets the table, plays host, and invites anyone and  everyone who has an idea to the table for a day where we all have equal value for our ideas.” More here.

Organized by the good people of the Youth Cartel, Adam McLane and Mark Oestreicher are trying to offer a stripped down, highly contextualized, relationally rich time to help youthworkers in today’s very different than yesterday’s student ministry.

I think the OPEN Concept plays well as a follow-up to those youthworkers who attend larger events (I appreciate many of them and not hating), also for those who place a high value on local gatherings and frankly, for  those who are tired of the big events and the same monthly network gathering.  (Again please don’t misunderstand, there’s a place for both – I just think this fills a unique need). I’m also glad it’s in Boston as one of my complaints for the last decade is that very few legit gatherings happen in the Northeast.

I am honored and excited to be one of the presenters and will be speaking on how youthworkers can avoid over-churching their students and instead offer a better narrative of Christianity, Jesus, and their part in the church.
I would love to see you there … even if you attend a more interesting workshop.
Other workshop topics include leading students in social justice, mentoring, dealing with singleness, preparing creative spiritual encounters, triage for hurting families and many more.

If you are a youth worker in New England or the NY/NJ/northeast, I’d really encourage to you attend. It’s worthwhile, it’s cheap, and it looks like it’s going to be good.

You can register here. (and know that I do not receive any commission am not getting compensated in any way, including the workshop – I, along with many others, simply like this thing).

I also want to draw your attention to the Justice Conference.
I was fortunate enough to attend last year’s conference in Philly with my dear friend         Bassim and this year we and a few others are organizing the simulcast and pre-conference.

Here’s how it’s put it on the Grace Chapel site:
“We are thrilled to be a simulcast partner site for The Justice Conference this year, which will take place on February 21 and 22 in Los Angeles. Their mission is to “impact a generation for justice.”

 After three years, momentum continues to build and the vision for The Justice Conference continues to reach thousands of people through a networked national conference that educates, inspires, and connects a generation of men and women around a shared concern for the vulnerable and oppressed.

Come see why The Justice Conference has become one of the largest international biblical and social justice conferences and an annual pilgrimage for justice workers, students, and learners from all over the world.

  Speakers include Bernice King (daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), N.T. Wright, Donald Miller, Stephen Bauman, Jenny Yang, Rich Stearns, and many more. In addition, our site will have a series of pre-conference workshops featuring local practitioners throughout the Greater Boston area. The purpose of the pre-conference is for creating awareness and relationships.

Read more here and you can register for our simulcast for the low price of $29 here.




Christianity 21 in Denver Jan. 9-11. What is it? Well, I’m still not sure. But here’s what they’re saying …

“Birthed in 2009, Christianity21 invites attenders to live a 21st century Christianity with 21 speakers who deliver 21 big ideas in 21 minutes each.”
Speakers this year include:
Rachel Held Evans
Jaime Wright
Mike Foster
Jonathan Merritt
Josh Dubois
Sarah Pulliam Bailey
Tony Jones
Doug Pagitt
Phyllis Tickle
and so many more including just about everyone who registered like me (yep, talking about the Over-Churched again – It’s called, “Oh God, Use My Egyptian-American Over-Churched Soul”)
Yeah, they’re having these 7-21 Talks (or as some call them “Pecha Kucha” Talks). You get 7 minutes and 21 slides that can’t have any words that advance automatically every twenty seconds. Should be fun.

Here’s what I really want to say. This event is so important to me and here’s why. These talks tend to be fresh, raw, very authentic and yet distinctly Christian. I need to be in these rooms more (you might too). We’ll be talking about the future of the Church. We’ll be talking about right now.  There will be some very profound things said. There will be some really crazy things said. The person next to me will disagree on what we think is profound and crazy … and that will likely be a worthy conversation.

But anytime anyone talks about the future of something, you’re looking at someone who bears scars and probably fresh cuts. I know that feeling in my context. And I’m not attending so I can hear clever insights, some new ideas, but because I really am passionate about the future of Christ’s church. I’m also still healing and hope to meet new friends and deepen relationships. 
Obviously, I’m excited and can’t wait to get to Denver.

These events will all be over by the end of February. I’ll probably be full and tired and eager for more. In the meantime, I’m doing by best to not be a consumer of new data, trends and even people. May this time be used to bless others and build the Kingdom. 

Which is another thread of thought all together but in short, most of these events are so worthwhile because they inform so much in my life. More info coming and  I hope you can be part of some of these in some way. And if you are, please make sure you say hi. Grace and peace.

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