Tuesday, October 2, 2007

On to Columbus!

Hardly a rallying cry, I know... I mean it's Columbus, where you can't even smoke cigars anymore! Besides, not all of us will be able to attend ACM this time. But following on Robert's suggestion, what would you like to see emerge out of ACM this year? What would you see as a desirable outcome(s) from these gatherings? Whose autograph would you like to score? Coming to Columbus or not, you're welcome to weigh in! And these musings are allowed to be a bit less weighty and perhaps more whimsical than our usual output.

38 comments:

Robert said...

No vegetables? Might be time to move the venue...

Sean said...

Guys, what does ACM stand for? What is it?

josenmiami said...

"Association of Covenant Ministers"

it is our long-time network of relationships...pastors, missionaries, bussiness people, academics, the conference is awesome but it basically gives us an excuse to get together and 'hang out' with native american herbal rituals...any chance you can shake loose and join us? Columbus, Ohio, Thurs-Sunday the last weekend of October.

John M. said...

Sean, ACM is the conference I've attended each Oct. for the last several years. David Hay and I went up together one year. Every year I'm there, I end up wishing I would have brought you and some of the other Lexington folks with me.

That gathering is the root system for what is happening here on this blog.

Patrick said...

How is ACM related to and unrelated to the annual CSM conference in Gatlinburg?

josenmiami said...

What is ACM...

I would say there is no "functional" or structural relationship. Robert and Paul started ACM back in the 90s after FCMC ceased to exist. FCMC was a larger association that functioned as sort of an umbrella.

The purpose of ACM was for Paul and Robert to gather their two respective spiritual families together. Later Gary Henley joined with some of his s.f... and Michael Cook began to develop his own spiritual family (network of relationships and churches) within Paul's larger spiritual family.

Charles started CSM shortly after that for the same or similar purpose, to gather his spiritual sons and spiritual family. there is relational overlap obviously.

It is kind of like my family. I am a 'son' in my dad's family, an 'uncle' in my brother's family. I also have my own family where i am a dad. Now I am also a 'grandfather' in Carlos' and Jimmy's families. Our families are related by organic ties of love and relationship, but each one is functionally distinct.

multiplication. hope that helps...

In recent years, ACM has become very inclusive. We have people like Steve Humble, who are relationally connected in our spiritual family, but are also members of other church associations.

Covenant Thinklings draws together people from 3 or 4 different Covenant streams as well as some who do not have a covenant background.

Brian Emmet said...

I learned a lot from Joseph's and John's comments, as well as from Sean and Patrick's questions!

And I agree with Robert, but that 's a topic for another day...

Robert and Sue Grant were with us here in Arlington recently. Sue was talking about the inestimable value of "old" friendships, i.e., friendships that have endured throughout many years and many ups and downs in the journey. With old friends there are few, if any, pretensions, more of a genuine enjoyment of the Other for who he or she really is. I have a lot of "old friends" in ACM... and am making a number of highly-valued new friends, which are every bit as precious. I commend the "long journey" with some choice friends, companions, compadres, etc... regardless of how "old" they might be chronologically.

That might be an interesting topic for us--the idea and practice of friendship. I suspect that friendship is more valuable than we may have thought...

And of course the only way to have old friends is to start the process today with some new ones!

Thanks, my friends!

josenmiami said...

i strongly agree Brian...I DO think there is more to friendship than we think...it seemed to be the highest honor for Jesus to call us "friends" ... and he was also called the "friend of sinners."

Possibly the greatest joy in my life right now (next to my love for Debbie) is the new friendships I have started in Homestead and at the u.campus.

And, my deep love and appreciation for all my 'old' friends... old wine really is better. and the new wine is needed so that some day there will be more old wine.

steve H said...

To Sean and maybe some others from the younger group --

The Fellowship of Covenant Ministers and Churches (FCMC) was the group still identifying with Charles Simpson after the five teachers in the "covenant" or "discipleship" movement decided to build separately in the mid-1980s. As has been pointed out the ACM and the CSM conferences represent two overlapping branches from FCMC. There are other networks that have developed from these same roots -- some of which identifyed with one of the other teachers. Two of these are Salt and Light Ministries International led by Barney Coombes and Kingdom Ministries International led by Dennis Peacocke -- these men and networks were connected by relationship with Bob Mumford way back when.

I was at the annual KMI conference this week -- although I left early to attend my uncle's funeral. KMI is strongly built on the same values as ACM and the CSM group. One distinctive, I think, is that KMI has made a more conscious effort to reach and include people from non-discipleship backgrounds. In recent years KMI leaders have put more emphasis on structurally organizing -- out of the desire to be able to mobilize for action more easily and (I think) to have a more visible presence among other apostolic networks.

I find myself in an interesting position. I am deeply committed to the core values of KMI (kingdom, covenant, community, discipleship, spiritual authority. I have deep relationships with a number of KMI leaders. However, I also have deep relationships with several ACM men as well as a strong sense of family identity with them because of our common history (I moved from ACM to what has become KMI in about 1996.). Although I never disconnected from certain ACM relationships, in the last few years there is a sense of "being home" among them even as God has opened up opportunities for me to serve in KMI.

The recent reconciliation between Bob Mumford and Charles Simpson has struck a great chord in me (and others too it seems). I believe God will use the several branches that have derived from the early movement to do a wider variety of His work. And I also believe there is some sort of "sound" calling us "home" -- to find a way to identify with and strengthen one another -- that God is not done with what used to be the "covenant" or "discipleship" movement.

Therefore, even though I don't really enjoy conferences, I have been finding myself drawn to be with my ACM brothers in Columbus, to attend the Gatlinburg gathering, even as I continue to try to work within the KMI framework.

josenmiami said...

amen Steve...and we are blessed by our 'family' connection with you.

There are one or two other groups or streams as well... Dan Wolfe has a farily large apostolic network, although I don't remember what it is called. Also Ray Ciervo works with a group of churches.

We should be clear, that despite ACM being the "rootsystem" for this blog, Covenant Thinklings represents a wonderful "institution" (right Brian?) or "think tank" that draws together a variety of men from KMI, AMC, CSM, and NeXt ...as well as others from other backgrounds like Sean. I hope we keep it that way...the broader we make this conversation, the more cross-fertilization we will have. Robert's sharing about the Anglican Communion, and STeve and John's contributions from Eastern Orthodoxy help to broaden us. I hope I can contribute from not only academia, but also liberational Catholicism.

John M. said...

Amen Joseph re the blog, and Brian re friends.

Interesting that what to some of us looked like fragmentation back in the '80's has actually become multiplication.

What we thought we had lost was there all the time. God processed us, removed some unnecessary baggage, and now we're experiencing a wonderful depth of fellowship and friendship with both old and new friends. God is good!

Michael said...

For me, ACM, covenant, discipleship, or whatever we are calling it, is my spiritual home. Regardless where I go, my spiritual roots rests here. I hear something that I do not hear anyplace else, its not that God isn't speaking in other places, it is just that for me it just seems clearer here. I am sure it is a part of the spiritual DNA imparted into me over the years. I don't know everyone very well, and I do not have long history with many of you. But I always believe that I am missing something when I don't attend. More so in these days, since the reconciliation of Charles & Bob I believe there is fresh blessing that is flowing out of their unity.

John, your comments on fragmentation made me think of Jesus feeding the five thousand. When he took the bread (maybe us individually and/or corporatly), He give thanks for it, He broke it (I am glad he blessed it before He broke it), and then returned it to the disciples (certainly better than it was at the beginning), so they could in turn feed the people.
It seems to me that multiplication flows out of brokeness.

John M. said...

Thanks Michael. Good thoughts about brokenness.

Brian Emmet said...

Amen (and thanks) to Michael, and Amen to John's amen-ing thereof! We celebrate and remember unity in, and unity out of, brokenness every time we come to the Table. The one loaf is the product of a process of breaking, as is the cup. Thanks be to God for his incomprehensible gift!

John M. said...

Brian, Amen to your comments about the bread and the cup; which reminded me of the annual communion service at ACM; which brought a question to mind...

Earlier we discussed getting the blog participants together who are able to be in Columbus. Did we ever finalize anything as to whether and when?

Brian Emmet said...

I'm not aware that we finalized anything yet, but please correct me if I'm wrong. I'd hate to go all the way to ACM and miss a covenanthinklings get-together!

My guess/suggestion is for a breakfast meeting...? I know that's early, but it seems lunchtimes are short and dinner times get crowded. Do you agree and, if so, how would either Fri or Sat morning for breakfast work for you? Other suggestions are also welcome, incl. someone hosting an after-hours get-together in your room/suite. If that's the preferred option, it might be good for someone traveling sans spouse to host a late-nighter? My wife loves me and therefore loves all of you, but not sure she wants to stay up late with the likes of us, sitting around batting back-and-forth with Hebrew mindset, Greek philosophy, the true meaning of ekklesia and bitching that we can't smoke cigars...

...although Kathy would be more than delighted NOT to have us lightin' up the stogies in our room! Love has its limist, you know...

John M. said...

Yes, I would like to see those who are there. The problem with breakfast is that you just get started and then have to break up because it's time to start the corporate gathering.

So, I would prefer the more open-ended time of an "after hours" gathering. (Ditto your Kathy comments for my Vicki!)

I'll go with the consensus. If breakfast is preferred that's fine. Is anyone else reading this? What do the rest of you think?

Robert said...

Brian/John

Another time that might work is after lunch Saturday. If I am recalling correctly, the afternoon is open. My suggestion is to NOT attempt engaging blog/e-mail subject matter for furtherance of the discussions but maybe use the time to put faces and names together along with a few reflections on the value of the format. There is so much going on around this gathering, I am inclined to have a "thinklings" hour to just say "howdy" to everyone. The after hours proposal is a bit of a reach for me because of everything else going on. NOt to mention that sleep tends to be the commodity that takes the biggest hit at these things.

josenmiami said...

anyone know if Sean, Patrick or William are coming?

I'm guessing that an issue for them might be finances, since all of them are students.

Jeremiah said...

Hey guys,

I'm back. I went to the KMI conference last week. It was great! Steve, I'm so sorry about your uncle, and I really missed spending time with you. I was looking forward to that. BTW a lot of the guys were talking about how incredible you did at the thing on Tuesday.

I wish terribly that I could go to ACM this weekend. I've really enjoyed talking with you guys so much. A guy in my small group is having his bachelor party/paintball extravaganza and I am committed there first.


BTW please pray for me as you read this. My small group is meeting for the first time as two groups tonight and I already have a very significant "crisis" I have to deal with. I am not at liberty to say more, but I'm in for a rodeo.

Incidentally I started my first small group exactly seven years ago and we will now be 5 groups out of that first one. GOD's Grace has been on us for sure. Please pray that we will weather this next storm.

As you all recognize, I don't mind conflict, but I need the Grace to approach the issue with the heart of Jesus. Thank you for your prayers.

Jeremiah said...

BTW if anyone wants to stop by Cincinnati to visit/ stay over, I've got a spare bedroom and would love the company/chat. My door is always open and my cell # is (859) 466-2454.

Address is 356 dry creek rd. Cold Spring Ky. 41076

Blessings

josenmiami said...

hey Jer... when is the bachelor extravaganza? maybe we can come down!

seriously...we have not picked a time to meet yet...any chance you can drive up for part or all of one day? I think we would be willing to try to work things around your schedule if possible to have you with us for at least an hour or so... wish I could drop in but we are flying.

way to go on the small group! keep it up....we can take over the world...one small group at a time.

Brian Emmet said...

I like and agree w/ Robert's points--we're not getting together for further theological heavy lifting, but to get to know one another. Guys, if you're in the area and could make it into Columbus for even part of a day, please let us know when and we'll do our best to schedule around you.

John M. said...

Jeremiah, welcome back! I wondered where you were. Just to clarify, the dates of ACM are Oct. 25-28, beginning the evening of the 25th and ending at noon on the 28th.

Sat. afternoon would work for me. I think Joseph and I are committed for lunch that day for a previously scheduled meeting, but we should be able to get that one over in time to meet with you guys after lunch as Robert suggested.

John M. said...

PS Ditto on scheduling around anyone the schedule of anyone who can drive in during the weekend.

Robert said...

Let's choose a time and go with it.

1 PM, 2 PM...

Those that can make it will make it. We will need to pick a place...maybe the lobby. Suggestions?

Jeremiah said...

Thanks Joseph,

Thanks also John for the clarification,

Somehow my foggy brain thought the meeting was this weekend. I'll have to look at the calender and see what I can do. There are 2 weddings coming up and I don't know when they are. I may be able to make it on the 28th or 27th.

Jamie if you read this I may change my response to your request.

Patrick said...

Hey Thinklingers! All of this talk about fellowship and cigars in the cool weather is tantalizing. I am here, reading along, as I will be while ACM is underway. Will and I will not be attending. We are students, yes. And employees.

Thanks to you guys for writing what you did about ACM, CSM, KMI, VCR, and the history thereof. It's all starting to make more sense.

Brian Emmet said...

OK, everyone who's in/near Columbus, let's meet on Saturday, 10/27, at 2 PM, in the lobby of the Hyatt Convention Center (on N Hiigh Street). The nearby Arena District has some nice watering holes and has been pretty deserted the last few times ACM has been in Columbus.

Now, since not all of us will recognize all of us, how will we disclose ourselves, without giving ourselves away to standersby and passersby? Ceremonial garb? Secret hand signal? Decoder ring?

Or will gentlemen of such breeding, wit, brilliance and authentic ancient/future, emmerging/postmodern, missional/incarnational spirituality such as ourselves simply recognize one another instinctively?

OK, who's definitely in? Probably in? On the outside, but really wanting to be in? Inside out?

steve H said...

I plan to be with you all on Saturday.

josenmiami said...

so... are we done with this thread? Time to get Matt, Dr. Sam or Eagle-Man to post a new topic?

josenmiami said...

sorry....that was Windows VISTA again....I am ready to remove it and go back to XP

John M. said...

I'll be there. Just look for a guy with a lot of gray hair a short cropped white beard and more paunch than he wishes he had.

Robert said...

OK...lobby at 2 PM...anybody who recognizes somebody that has been on this thing...hang with them and it will come together. If you are in doubt, just show up looking like you can't wait to express an opinion and ask if anybody is interested. If they don't agree with your point of view, you have the right group! Given that we will have a schedule to follow for the rest of the day...let's don't get too intense and just enjoy looking at each other over a beverage of choice. What has this meant for you to date?

josenmiami said...

depending on the weather, there is an Irish bar down the street with an outdoor area where we could practice native american herbal rituals.

Brian Emmet said...

Yipee! I'm in!

Jeremiah said...

Ok,

The Paintball extravaganza this past weekend was fun if short.

I found out the wedding is on the same saturday you guys are meeting on so I'm out. The wedding is more important than the bachelor party is, but probably not as fun. We did discuss staging a paintball ambush during the ceremony, but the idea was discarded when we thought about the guys who would be there who have their conceal and carry licenses.

We also thought the brides reaction might make for a cold evening for the groom.

So that idea went out the window.

Anyhow, I think one of you ought to rent a gorilla suit, that would help everyone know where to meet.

Brian Emmet said...

New post ahead--please check in there.