EMC Charlotte Exclusive - Friday “Late Night” Discussion Groups

January 6th, 2008 by Steve Knight

We’re finally ready to announce some exciting news about the “Everything Must Change” event, February 1-2, at Area 15 in Charlotte—Friday “late night” discussion groups featuring some great topics facilitated by some incredible leaders!

After the regular program ends on Friday night (Feb. 1), we’ll have the following breakout sessions to choose from:

What Does Leadership Look Like in the Emerging Church?

Discussion Leader: Ed Brenegar
edbrenegar_web.jpgEd Brenegar is a leadership development consultant living in Hendersonville, N.C. His ministry is at the intersection of the church and the world of contemporary business. He has been a Presbyterian Church (USA) minister for over 25 years, a Boy Scout leader for the past decade, and currently serves on the board of RandomKid, a national non-profit that helps kids develop social entrepreneurial projects. Ed writes two blogs — Leading Questions and The Presbyterian Polis, and a business leadership column, Real Life Leadership, which appears twice monthly in the Asheville Citizen-Times. He can be reached at ed@edbrenegar.com.

Church as Art: discussion on the beautiful mission that brings the church together

Discussion Leader: Troy Bronsink
troybronsink_web.jpgTroy Bronsink is an artist and a pastor seeking the way of Jesus. He and his wife, Kelley, and daughter, Eve, live in the Capitol View neighborhood of downtown Atlanta, where they have worked in community organizing and public education. Troy is a singer-songwriter with over 13 years of experience in youth ministries, worship leadership, and senior pastor in both the mainline and para-church fields. Troy is a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and contributing author to the 2007 Baker Emersion release, An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, he facilitates the Atlanta Emergent Cohort, and is an active blogger at churchasart.com. Have you been reading about this word “missional” and wondering what it’s all about? Or are you an artist wondering how your creativity can participate in the dreams of God without being domesticated by the church? We’ll talk about God’s mission of creating his world, and how we participate in his commissioned work of art with our whole lives.

Mainline/Emergent Dialogue
Discussion Leader: Fred Burnham
Rev. Dr. Fred BurnhamDr. Frederic B. Burnham is senior fellow for program and conference of the Institute for Servant Leadership located in Hendersonville, N.C. In October 2003, Dr. Burnham retired in as director of Trinity Institute, a program for the continuing theological education of clergy and laity sponsored by the Parish of Trinity Church, New York City. He was educated at Harvard College (physics), the Episcopal Divinity School (theology), Cambridge University, England (philosophy), and The Johns Hopkins University, where he received a PhD in the History of Science. He also holds an honorary degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He writes and lectures on the intersection between religion and culture.

Being the Change You Want to See:
Creating an Organized Christian Influence in One’s Chosen Profession

Discussion Leader: Joe Carson
Joe Carson is a licensed professional engineer (PE) with a 30-year career in many facets of nuclear engineering and technology, including weapons, power, and other applications. He is the current “dean” of federal whistleblowers, having “prevailed” in numerous whistleblower cases against his employer, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). His concerns include aspects of the safeguards and security of America’s nuclear stockpile, under DOE’s sole custody. He co-founded and now leads the Affiliation of Christian Engineers to be an organizational vehicle to foster the development and expression of an organized Christian influence in the engineering profession. He is leading an effort to expose and stop systemic and persistent lawbreaking at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, the government agency specifically created to protect him and other federal employees, from what he has repeatedly experienced. If you are a member or aspiring member of a secular profession and want to “be the change you want to see” in the activity you will likely spend the greatest portion of your conscious time in life preparing for or pursuing, you should attend this discussion group.

The Church In Transition
Discussion Leader: Tim Conder
Tim ConderTim is the founding pastor of Emmaus Way (Durham, NC) and a standing elder at the Chapel Hill Bible Church where he served as a co-pastor for 15 years. He is a coordinating group member for Emergent Village and a member of the board of directors of Mars Hill Graduate School in Seattle, Wash. He is the author of The Church in Transition (2006, Zondervan) and the host of the “On the Verge” podcast, which discusses “The Church on the Edge of an Emerging Culture.”

Technology for the Emerging Church: Podcasting, Blogging, and More
Discussion Leader: Nicholas Fiedler
nicholasfiedler_web.jpgNicholas Fiedler is the co-creator and host of “The Nick and Josh Podcast,” an experiment in the podcast medium to have casual conversations with today’s top thinkers, storytellers, and artists and find out more about them and their journeys. The podcast operates with no budget, no paid staff, and no high-tech equipment. Yet somehow Nick and Josh have slowly grown to over 200,000 subscribers—and they covet every one. Nick and his wife Leslie are still trying to figure out what to do with their lives, and they are taking the next couple years to see as many countries, cultures, and religions as they possibly can. Currently, Nicholas calls himself a ‘hopeful skeptic’ and along with Josh they probe the ‘emergent conversation’ in hope of finding some place to experience true community. The podcast is his biggest connection to the emergent conversation. He blogs at nicholasfiedler.com/blog.

New Monasticism
Discussion Leaders: Greg & Helms Jarrell
gregandhelmsjarrell.jpgGreg and Jennifer “Helms” Jarrell are members of a neo-monastic community called Hyaets (hy = “living”, aets = “tree” in Hebrew), located in the at-risk neighborhood called Enderly Park in West Charlotte. In addition to their work with Hyaets, Greg serves as Minister of Client and CareTeam Services at the Regional Aids Interfaith Network (RAIN), and Helms serves as an associate campus minister at UNC-Charlotte.

Who Cares About Sexual Justice?

Discussion Leader: Becky Knight
becky-headshot.jpgBecky Knight is Director of Education and Programs for Sensovi Institute, an innovative organization that offers services and resources for individual and couple’s sexual concerns. She is completing a Master of Public Health in Human Sexuality degree through the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. She also blogs at LivingSexuality.com. She is interested in creating a dialogue about how spirituality informs sexual ethics, morality, and justice.

24-7: The partnership of creative sacred space, prayer & social justice
Discussion Leader: Lisa Koons
lisakoons.jpgLisa Koons is the Director of 24-7, an organization focused on instigating vertical dialogue & a goodness revolution through the venue of prayer & service to the city’s marginalized & poor communities. She has 15 years of discipleship experience among individuals & groups, & mentors church leaders & congregations regarding intimacy with God, efficacy in prayer, & walking in resurrection life. 24-7 is the site of the city’s 1st emergent-style prayer room & the epi-center of The Justice Project, a yearly 400-strong volunteer effort to help bring transformation to fragile inner city neighborhoods.

Emergent Village, Cohorts, and More

Discussion Leader: Jeff Kursonis
jeffkursonis_web.jpgAfter a decade in New York City as an artist, Jeff planted Communion of the Arts, a faith gathering in the NYC creative community. Besides pastoring artists and trying to experience communion in a crazy place like Manhattan, he is working on a theology of art and new forms of artistic liturgy (and he blogs). He is passionate about emergent friendships and the conversations that lead to good things, so he leads the Cohorts Team at Emergent Village and would love to help you start one in your area, or to make yours even better.

Food - Local, Slow, and Urban-Grown:
Jesus’ Subversive Meal-Sharing Practices and Us!
Discussion Leader: Mike Morrell
Mike MorrellMike Morrell lives with his wife, Jasmin and daughter, Jubilee Grace, in an intentional house church community in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is Graduate Fellow in Emergent Studies, M.A. in Strategic Foresight Program under futurist Jay Gary at Regent University. Mike makes his living as a journalist and publishing consultant. He is an editor with TheOoze and an Emerging Churches Coordinator for the global abolitionist Not for Sale Campaign, along with being active in its local Triangle-area affiliate, Jubilee. Mike maintains zoecarnate.com, an alternative Christian web directory, and is a liaison of Presence International, an eschatological think tank and activist cell funding head, heart and hands with visions of a new reality.

Consumption and Anti-consumption:
Living Reflectively in a Consumer Culture

Discussion Leader: Holly Rankin Zaher
hollyrankinzaher_web.jpgHolly Rankin Zaher lives and breathes in the Charleston, S.C. area. She has been a part of Emergent Village for the past four years as part of some iteration of the Coordinating Group. She’s been involved with student ministry for the past 16 years, is a part of multiplying young Christian leaders through Rock the World), teaches as an adjunct at Trinity School for Ministry, was part of instigating threenails (a creative Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh), loves connecting cultural studies with typical human development, and enjoys being a friend, wife, and mom.

Thinking About Seminary
Discussion Leader: Andy Rowell
Rowell is a Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) student at Duke Divinity School. His primary concentration is “The Practice of Leading Christian Communities and Institutions.” He did his Master of Divinity degree at Regent College, served five years as an Associate Pastor with young adults in Vancouver, British Columbia, and taught Christian ministry at Taylor University for two years. Andy has written regularly for Leadership Journal’s Out of Ur blog and blogs at Church Leadership Conversations (http://www.andyrowell.net/). Andy and his wife Amy (also M.Div. from Regent College) have two boys under three. Are you thinking about going to seminary? Andy will discuss “Ten Things You Should Know If You Are Considering Seminary,” as well as how to pick a seminary, why you should go, why you shouldn’t go, the largest ones, theological differences, going part-time or full-time, financial issues, and other questions you may have about theological education. Are you from a seminary (either on staff or currently a student)? Andy will also be discussing how emerging and missional church movements are challenging theological education and how seminaries must change in light of Everything Must Change.

Practicing Pentecost
Discussion Leader: Anthony Smith
Anthony SmithAnthony Smith is the “Resident Emerging Theologian” of the Charlotte cohort group and also serves on the National Coordinating Group of Emergent Village. He facilitates a blog, Musings of a Postmodern Negro, that is an investigation into the intersection of theology, philosophy, race, popular culture, politics, and emerging culture. His writing also appears in An Emergent Manifesto of Hope (edited by Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt) and Justice in the Burbs (by Lisa and Will Samson). There is also a chapter about Anthony’s journey into the emerging church conversation featured in Tony Jones’ forthcoming book The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier (due out March 2).

Register Now!More details on these (and hopefully a few other discussion groups yet to be announced) are coming soon! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to not only hear from Brian McLaren, but also to interact with many other people from around the country who are interested in this new conversation about the role of Jesus’ message in answering the global crises of our time.

Register now at the $99 rate ($79 after the $20 off discount code, available by joining the Charlotte Emergent cohort). Tomorrow (1/8) the rate goes up to $109, so don’t wait—register today!

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  1. Joe Carson says:

    I am willing and able to lead a discussion group on the topic “radical and professionally risky expression of “everything must change” - creating an organized Christian influence in one’s profession/vocation”

    Joe Carson
    Knoxville, TN

    PS - the vast majority of participants in EMC are college-educated, professonal people, whose vocations and professions are the sphere in which they have the greatest influence, but who shun being an organized influence in them for fear of economic retribution or loss of professional advantage, enabling much evil or anti-Gospel, anti-hope realities in 2008 - i.e. the “everything” in everything must change.

    I do not see much of a the connection between the “global crises” and the topics of breakout sessions brought down to individual levels, I suggest this topic would do that and I suggest I am qualified to lead it.

    January 7th, 2008 at 5:04 pm

  2. Steve K. says:

    Hey Joe,

    Thanks for your comment — and for volunteering to lead a discussion Friday night at EMC Charlotte! I’d like to talk to you more about it, so I’ll give you a call.

    I also just wanted to add that these discussion topics are ones we thought would be of interest to folks who are planning to participate in the EMC Charlotte event — many of whom will be church ministry folks, pastors, etc. or active/ministry-engaged lay people. Obviously the groups on environmentalism and consumption tie in directly to what Brian will be talking about in terms of the global crisis to the planet, but all of these groups will still be informed by the context of the overall event and I’m sure the discussion groups will all be reflecting on what we all hear from Brian earlier Friday night (e.g., leaders talking about how to take action and lead on these issues in the local church context, mainline church folks engaging Emergent church folks in dialogue about working together on addressing these issues, etc.).

    Look forward to meeting you there!
    Steve K.

    January 8th, 2008 at 11:14 am

  3. EVERYTHINGMUSTCHANGE - Charlotte, NC » Blog Archive » Brian McLaren and Interfaith Dialogue says:

    […] Just a reminder to check out Friday night discussion groups (more details being posted) … […]

    January 13th, 2008 at 7:07 pm

  4. Shawn says:

    In the book, Everything Must Change, the topic of global warming is brought up regularly. My question is this, why is so much information being recieved as fact. The only cited source I hear from is Al Gore– not a scientist! I just read an article sent to the UN by a group of scientists (over 100) stating that the average rate of warming is normal within the known natural rates over the last 10,000 years. By the way the media is not publishing much of that report, why?

    I understand the point of the book is to make Christians aware of our impact on the environment and mobilize them to do something about it. But do we have all the facts?

    January 16th, 2008 at 4:14 pm

  5. Steve Knight says:


    I’m just seeing your question now. Sorry for the delay in responding. I think there are voices on both sides of the “global warming” debate. The broader concern Brian McLaren is raising in the book is about ecological problems, how our consumption and waste is destroying the planet and what we need to counter-act these “suicidal” acts. And so Brian ties the concern for the planet back into the economic issues that are driving those problems and the political issues that are keeping us deadlocked from moving forward.

    I think the simple answer to your last question is, of course we don’t have all the facts. But I don’t think we need complex scientific surveys to recognize that we consume fossil fuels at a ferocious pace. That my own habits of consumption and waste are excessive and need to be curtailed. Brian is seeking to raise these issues in a way that gets people talking and thinking about the complexity of the problems and the solutions to those problems — and how all of it ties back into our faith in Christ and a kingdom motivation to see all things redeemed for God’s glory.

    So anyway I hope you’ll come out for the Charlotte event and interact with folks about these issues. I hope to meet you there!

    Steve K.

    January 23rd, 2008 at 10:24 am

  6. EVERYTHINGMUSTCHANGE - Charlotte, NC » Blog Archive » Brian McLaren in the Charlotte Observer says:

    […] This is going to be more than just a book tour and more than just a series of talks from Brian McLaren! “Everything Must Change” Charlotte promises to be a unique experience featuring the visual art of Linnea Nilsen Capshaw, the original music of Tracy Howe, and the contributions and voices of local leaders — including plenty of opportunities for conversation and interaction with hundreds of participants, all enjoyed while drinking fair-trade coffee. […]

    January 26th, 2008 at 9:02 am

  7. Insurgency of Peace ‘occupies’ the Queen’s City (Charlotte, NC) this Friday « Musings of a Postmodern Negro says:

    […] *shameless plug.  I get to lead a discussion on diversity and Pentecost. Published in: […]

    January 28th, 2008 at 11:36 am

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