Rochester College, a Christian liberal arts school in southeast Michigan, serves over 1,200 students by helping them to find their missional vocation in God’s world. To that end, we offer over twenty undergrad degrees, including five in ministry, and a graduate degree in missional leadership.
Our graduate degree, unique in both its content and design, signals RC’s commitment to prepare leaders and their communnities for the challenges of ministry in a new missional era. RC is also home to the Resource Center for Missional Leadership that provides a variety of services to enrich leaders and their ministry communities. Prime among these services is our annual ministry conference, Streaming. Streaming is three days of rich conversation, worship, and learning. In year’s past, we have featured speakers such as Miroslav Volf, Scot McKnight, Walter Brueggemann, Richard Beck, Luke Timothy Johnson, and Greg Boyd.
This year (Oct 8-10), our speakers include Amos Yong and Leonard Allen, from Fuller Seminary and Lipscomb University, respectively. Along with others, they will address the conference theme, “Baptized with Fire: The Holy Spirit and Missional Communities.” We would love for you to attend or spread the word to others you think might be interested. If you can’t attend in person, we will be live streaming much of the conference. Register here.
What follows is a fuller description of the event posted to my blog a few weeks ago. Hope to see you at Streaming.
–Dr. Mark Love, Dean, School of Theology and Ministry, Rochester College.
The event: Baptized with Fire: The Holy Spirit and Missional Communities.
Jerry Taylor will be preaching from Ezekiel 37, the valley of dry bones, and if that doesn’t give you goose bumps of anticipation, then you don’t know either Jerry Taylor or Ezekiel 37 well enough. AND, we will have an African-American church choir lead in that period of worship. Can’t wait.
And while we’re talking preaching, I can’t wait to hear Mallory Wyckoff preach on the groaning of the Spirit and of all creation from Romans 8 in our closing worship. I’ve had Mallory as a student in the Lipscomb DMin program and she is top shelf.
And while we’re mentioning women from Nashville, Claire Frederick Davidson will be doing a “VH1 Storytellers” type presentation, featuring songs written by women in the Tennessee Women’s Prison. Claire’s an accomplished performer and budding theologian who has participated in a project with other Nashville songwriters to bring the words of these women to music. Can’t wait.
And we’ll have other storytelling as well. In Ted-talk format, presenters will be sharing stories of the Holy Spirit, both from their ministry context and from history. Stories from charismatic-Anglican, Disciples of Christ, Churches of Christ, inner city Chicago and Detroit will be told alongside Acts 2, the Montanists, Cane Ridge, Azusa St, the Civil Rights movement, etc. I can’t wait.
I can’t wait, and I haven’t even talked yet about our main presenters.
If you don’t know Amos Yong’s work, you should. He’s a serious theologian and a serious pentecostal, and those things haven’t always gone together. He’s doing so many important things by making pneumatology (teaching/experience related to the Holy Spirit) the centerpiece of contemporary theology. One by one, he finds a new way forward where theology has been at an impasse. And he takes current philosophical and historical perspectives seriously, avoiding the charge of anti-intellectualism so often associated with pentecostal life. Can’t wait.
And it will be so great to sit at Leonard Allen’s feet again. Here’s a Church of Christ guy who brings deep experiences of the Spirit together with searching theology. I find Leonard an enthralling presenter and know you will too. Can’t wait.
There are a few theological adjustments that are absolutely necessary if the word missional is going to mean anything more than churches doing more outreach. One adjustment is related to eschatology and the coming Kingdom of God. The other is the move toward a more participatory understanding of God as Triune. And for both, the Holy Spirit is front and center.
Put more directly, there is no participation in the mission of God apart from the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
If you’re planning to come, registration before September 1 gives you a discount.
If you’re planning to come, share this post with your friends.
If you’d like to come, share this post with your friends.
Holy Spirit, come.
Missio Alliance Comment Policy
The Missio Alliance Writing Collectives exist as a ministry of writing to resource theological practitioners for mission. From our Leading Voices to our regular Writing Team and those invited to publish with us as Community Voices, we are creating a space for thoughtful engagement of critical issues and questions facing the North American Church in God’s mission. This sort of thoughtful engagement is something that we seek to engender not only in our publishing, but in conversations that unfold as a result in the comment section of our articles.
Unfortunately, because of the relational distance introduced by online communication, “thoughtful engagement” and “comment sections” seldom go hand in hand. At the same time, censorship of comments by those who disagree with points made by authors, whose anger or limited perspective taints their words, or who simply feel the need to express their own opinion on a topic without any meaningful engagement with the article or comment in question can mask an important window into the true state of Christian discourse. As such, Missio Alliance sets forth the following suggestions for those who wish to engage in conversation around our writing:
1. Seek to understand the author’s intent.
If you disagree with something the an author said, consider framing your response as, “I hear you as saying _________. Am I understanding you correctly? If so, here’s why I disagree. _____________.
2. Seek to make your own voice heard.
We deeply desire and value the voice and perspective of our readers. However you may react to an article we publish or a fellow commenter, we encourage you to set forth that reaction is the most constructive way possible. Use your voice and perspective to move conversation forward rather than shut it down.
3. Share your story.
One of our favorite tenants is that “an enemy is someone whose story we haven’t heard.” Very often disagreements and rants are the result of people talking past rather than to one another. Everyone’s perspective is intimately bound up with their own stories – their contexts and experiences. We encourage you to couch your comments in whatever aspect of your own story might help others understand where you are coming from.
In view of those suggestions for shaping conversation on our site and in an effort to curate a hospitable space of open conversation, Missio Alliance may delete comments and/or ban users who show no regard for constructive engagement, especially those whose comments are easily construed as trolling, threatening, or abusive.