Twittering a Conference: Pt. 1

by Sharon Ely Pearson

It’s been a month since the “Children and a New Kind of Christianity” Conference in Washington, DC. I’ve written about it here a few times as well as linked to others perspectives. Keynotes I will still write about. But I still have a notebook full of chicken scratches and phrases with the hopes of writing articles. But time moves on as well as my travel schedule, so I’m turning to my “Twitter” feed from the conference to put things in perspective, along with some snippets from my notes. (Names in parenthesis are the speakers I am commenting on.)

So, the conference stated in multiple posts of 140 characters or less!

Day 1:

  • Great representation of Episcopal Christian formation folk
  • (Janell Anema): How do we pass along faith to our children without all our baggage?
  • What is the “new” Christianity?
  • What happens to those children who get “A”s in Sunday School when they graduate?
  • Fluent in a faith that no longer makes sense and is not engaged in the brokenness of the world.
  • (Dixon Kinser): Gen X is looking for benchmarks as parents when you have a child with autism
  • How do we incarnate Jesus on the spectrum?
  • Seems like autism + special needs may be a big topic here. Sitting next to Linda Snyder of Rhythms of Grace.
  • Another Tweeter: The wave of autism is coming to your Sunday night program.
  • My response: It is already here.
  • What if we did spiritual IEPs on every child?
  • Disabilities may be the norm of the future. What if autism is a gift being given to us to change our perspective?
  • (Starlett McNeill): The Daily Race 
  • A post-racial social coloring of skin. We are all children of God.
  • The call to discipleship does not know race. One category includes all.
  • (Mike King): We are curators of practice. Theology of place and time.
  • Space for the sacred. How does this impact Christian formation?
  • Psalm 90:1-4. Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
  • I’ve been to Sagrada Familia. True holy space Mike King is describing.
  • How are we called to create environments of sacred space of formation and art?

Day 2:

  • (On the Ground Panel) – new & innovative ministry
  • Erika Funk – Broad St. Ministry, Philly. Service-mission is discipleship
  • Broken but called – preparation & process is needed before, during and after
  • Why are we cleaning out our closets? Why do we want what we don’t need?
  • Doing vs. Being
  • Rebecca Lowe – Brentwood PCUSA. Worship Arts for Children. Song, story, ritual.
  • Bend Youth Collective – Oregon. PCUSA + ELCA + TEC focus on social justice, environmental issues – youth group model – no worship
  • Common Table 
  • Catherine MarescaCatechesis of the Good Shepherd
  • Kathy Fry Miller (Indy) Family Hospitality Project – how can we be present and give space?
  • Ministry with children whose parents are incarcerated, LGBT, etc. = children with disabilities
  • Empowering children, relationships and food
  • How do we help parents reprioritize for their children – faith before soccer, baseball . . .
  • Christopher Rodkey workshop – The Synaptic Gospel
  • What can we learn / make meaning from science from a theological perspective?
  • Pan-generational worship – church is the only place where empathy & emotion can be shared cross-generationally
  • How we learn is through emotion
  • (Tony Campolo): A letter to his grandchildren
  • To be fully alive requires intense spiritual energy. Guilt and anxiety keeps us from this.
  • The fear of death holds us back fro the freeness of life and destroys the joy
  • (Jeremiah Wright): Each of us lives at different times / ages. Our communities have changed radically.
  • • Need for CE programs that teach ideology of what it means to be a Christian beyond the denomination line
  • (Rebecca Seiling & Amy Gingerich): What stories do we tell our children? Violent nursery rhymes or transformative stories of peace?
  • The stories we tell form and transform us.
  • (The Wallis Family): Being a Christian family in today’s world
  • Sports is a secular ritual
  • (Cathy Ode): Play is essential and done well in faith formation
  • Enthusiasm is “God within us.” Play is not entertainment. When we rev up we miss the voice of God.
  • We must be childlike (playful) to receive God’s kingdom.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Days 3 & 4 of “Children, Youth and a New Kind of Christianity” – Twittering a Conference: Pt. 2. And for other postings I’ve written on this conference:


One Response to “Twittering a Conference: Pt. 1”

  1. […] in Part 1 I summed up in my Twitter feed and notes from the first two days of “Children, Youth and a […]

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